Samoa: Education Sector Project (1752-SAM[SF])

Evaluation Document | 19 December 2011
This report evaluates the performance of the project aimed at increasing the number of appropriately skilled people in Samoa, to meet the future labor requirements of its increasingly market-oriented and broad-based economy.

The Education Sector Project, approved on 5 September 2000, was the first project of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Samoa's social sector. The goal of the project was to increase the number of people with adequate professional and technical skills to meet the labor requirements of a progressive, broad-based, and market-oriented economy. The project was purposefully selected for this performance evaluation report to provide inputs for the Pacific region thematic evaluations by IED.

Overall assessment

The project is rated successful.

The project is rated relevant, being consistent with the government policy and strategy for the education sector for 1995-2005 and ADBs country partnership and sector strategies. The project is rated effective in improving equity in access to education, as it contributed to the improvement in enrollment and transition rates (progression from a lower year level to the next higher year level) and improving the quality of education, given the various measures of learning outcomes in both primary and secondary education. The project is assessed less efficient in generating its outputs and outcomes because of underutilization of facilities and equipment, and delays during project implementation. The project is rated likely sustainable, given the continuing efforts by the government and other development partners to enhance teaching quality and student learning assessment (i.e., through the development of an overarching framework for managing teachers performance and professional development, and a national assessment policy framework and system for student performance), increase the supply of competent teaching staff, develop relevant curricula, and improve capacity to maintain school facilities.

Key findings

An issue that remained unaddressed is gender disparity in student performance. In the context of ADB country partnership strategy which emphasized improvement in equity and access to quality education, there were opportunities for the project to tackle the gender disparities highlighted in the Education Policies and Strategies 1995-2005. However, boys still showed lower levels of achievement than girls based on the result of learning outcomes. The average test marks for national Year 8 and Year 12 examinations in 2008 indicated the underperformance of male students in most of the project and nonproject government primary schools in the Apia urban area as well as in government secondary schools throughout the country.

Lessons

  • Upfront work is needed to use the sector lending modality.
  • Aid harmonization was difficult due to procedural issues.
  • Studies of affordability and the cost and efficiency of school operations were needed.
  • Project implementation could have been improved with appropriate interagency coordination and support on civil works design and supervision.

Recommendations

This evaluation proposes that the Pacific Department engage in policy dialogue with the Government of Samoa before the completion of the Education Sector Project II to discuss the following:

  • Sustainability of physical infrastructure needs to be managed. To sustain the government's investment in new and renovated secondary schools and refurbished primary schools, structural support on asset management for Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and capacity development for communities to strengthen ownership and management should be provided. The provision of government grants could then be linked to improved school management and facilities maintenance. This may be accompanied by a monitoring system.
  • Further support for information management is necessary. Despite recommendations by successive advisors since 2001, Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture has yet to link the different databases in its various divisions. This would remove the current difficulty in retrieving and analyzing data for results-based planning, monitoring, and reporting. An integrated database system is needed to accurately gauge progress in the equity and quality objectives of the project, and in those of the Education Sector Project II, as well as to predict sector needs and define priorities.

Contents 

  • Contents
  • Basic Data
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Design and Implementation
  • Performance Assessment
  • Other Assessments
  • Issues, Lessons, and Follow-up Actions
  • Appendix