MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB is backing a comprehensive program that will help restructure Nepal's primary and secondary education system.
The program supports the Nepal Government's Education for All program (EFA) for 2004-2009, a high priority national program that serves as the sole framework for basic and primary education in the country. Even with several development partners, the EFA still has a financing gap of about $55 million.
The Government wants to develop public education into an integrated 12-year system - eight years of basic education and four years of secondary education. Beginning with technical assistance in 2004, ADB, in coordination with other concerned donors, has helped the Government to begin planning for a holistic approach to this development.
"Through this program, ADB will support both EFA and the preparation and transition to the 1-12 year school system," says Ayako Inagaki, an ADB Senior Education Specialist. "The reforms and restructuring should result in a more equitable, inclusive, effective, and holistic education system."
The program will offer support to the EFA through the joint financing agreement (a harmonized system for development partners to support EFA). The first phase will support EFA through a joint financing agreement, and help prepare an education reform and restructuring program that will integrate the current system into the planned 12-year framework.
This subprogram, to be carried out over January 2007 to July 2009, is backed up by a $30 million loan from ADB's concessional Asian Development Fund (ADF). The loan carries a 24-year term, including a grace period of 8 years, with an annual interest charge of 1% during the grace period and 1.5% thereafter.
In addition, a $2 million grant from the ADF will facilitate planning and a smooth transition into the 12-year school system by strengthening policies and programs, and helping realign governance, management and financing structures appropriate for the 12-year school system.
The second subprogram will support the early implementation of the 8-year basic education system in a few districts. The third subprogram will support the initial phased implementation of the restructured 12-year school system.
The second and third subprograms will be processed separately by ADB, based on satisfactory progress of prior subprograms. The second phase is expected to require an $8 million grant from the ADF, while the third phase may be supported by $25 million in loans and grants, also from the ADF.
The Ministry of Education and Sports is the executing agency for the project.