Project Data Sheet

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program: Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

PDS Creation Date 16 Feb 2007
PDS Updated as of 31 Jul 2007

Project Name Secondary Education Modernization Project.
Country Sri Lanka
Project/Program Number 33245-013
Status Approved
Geographical Location Nationwide.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
Sector Education
Subsector Pre-Primary and Basic Education
Strategic Agendas
Drivers of Change
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Categories


Type/Modality of Assistance Approval Number Source of Funding Approved Amount (thousand)

Safeguard Categories

For more information about the safeguard categories, please see

Environment C

Summary of Environmental and Social Issues

Environmental implications were reviewed and no significant adverse environmental impacts were identified. The Project also involves no resettlement or land acquisition. Social assessments indicate that females are well represented in the school system. About 60 percent are in secondary schools and their pass rate in national examinations is higher than that of boys. About 65 percent of secondary schoolteachers are female. Females often find it difficult to relocate to remote schools, thus contributing to the shortage of qualified teachers available for redeployment to rural areas. Schools in Sri Lanka cater to clearly defined ethnic and cultural clientele within a given geographic area. In rural areas, poverty is severe especially in the hill plantation regions in the 24 centers of the country where many families do not own land, and poverty is widespread. Deprivation is measured in terms of lack of access to electricity, potable water, health care, and good schools. Government surveys suggest that families residing in poor areas prefer to migrate to towns and urban centers once they attain marketable skills. Because education is near universal for students up to age 15 or 16, the poor still attend school but are in danger of dropping out when they do poorly on the grade 11 national examination. Monitoring the number of additional students passing the national examinations at age 16 and 18 will indicate the Project s effectiveness and demonstrate how changes in the pass rates affect individual earnings and reduce poverty. Measures of stipend program success can also provide information on poverty reduction.

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation and Consultation

Education sector policy dialogue with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) under the Secondary Education Development Project and the technical assistance, Improving Education Planning designed to improve school efficiency and governance. Key issues discussed include (i) provision of full access to quality schooling for disadvantaged students attending small schools, in an attempt to increase school attendance 11 for all from age 14 to age 16; (ii) strengthening the National Evaluation Testing Service to improve the reliability and validity of national examinations through improved test administration and the introduction of SBA; and (iii) restructuring of MEHE to focus on policy and standards setting to assist the local schools to strengthen management and supervision. In addition to specific policies on school access to be addressed through the project components, ADB has urged the Government to improve efficiency through good governance and through cost recovery and public-private partnership designed to guarantee the sustainability of the secondary education system.

During Project Design
During Project Implementation


The overall objective of the Project is to assist the Government to modernize the secondary school system to prepare the young to compete in the modern global economy. Specifically, the Project will improve the quality of secondary school instructional materials and training to raise the national examination results. Quality improvement will lead to higher pass rates especially through improved access for disadvantaged students by introducing stipends and upgrading selected schools to full curriculum secondary schools in underserved areas. The Project will improve school supervision and management so that teachers and principals have greater control over classroom learning as it affects examination results. Component I will modernize secondary schools by introducing modern teaching, learning and evaluation methods to improve quality. Component II will broadened educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. Component III will improve the delivery of educational services.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

While Sri Lanka has achieved progress in basic human development, it has been unable to translate these achievements into broad-based sustainable economic growth. Worse still, the rural poor have not had equal access to opportunities necessary to acquire social and physical capital. A key reason for this failure to achive more rapid economic growth with greater equity is the poor quality of the education system. Strong state dominance and an inflexible regulatory framework that limits choice have characterized the system. There is an over-reliance on national tests as opposed to school based assessment, a mismatch between ability to pay and secondary school educational services offered, little choice in the quality of educatioin especially for the poor or options to avail of scholarships or private partnerships and, finally, weak supervision and management from the national to local level. This has created a secondary school system that graduates students unequipped with marketable skills and unprepared to participate in the modern economy. The result is relatively high unemployment among the educated while emerging modern sector employment opportunities are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates. It also results in an inefficient and inflexible secondary education system that restructs curriculum choice and occupational opportunities. Sri Lanka views modernization of secondary education as one of the main pillars of its drive for economic and social development and a key to reducing regional disparities. Consequently, there is no choice but to improve school quality by raising standards, improve access especially for the poor through greater choice of quality offerings and improve administrative efficiency through school leadership and decentralization.

Development Impact

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome
Progress Towards Outcome

Outputs and Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Status of Development Objectives
Material Changes

Business Opportunities

Date of First Listing 2007 Feb 16
Consulting Services
The Project will require 373 person-months of consulting services (190 international and 183 domestic) to support implementation and capacity building for the Project. The consultants will be engaged by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in accordance with applicable Nordic Development Fund guidelines.
All civil works contracts will be awarded to prequalified contractors in accordance with the Government's standard procurement procedures acceptable to ADB. Contracts for the supply of goods and equipment, including furniture, and instructional materials will be awarded in accordance with ADB's Guidelines for Procurement. All Nordic Development Fund (NDF)-financed procurement will follow applicable NDF guidelines.
Procurement and Consulting Notices


Concept Clearance
Fact-finding 29 Mar 2000 to 19 Apr 2000
Management Review Meeting 22 May 2000
Approval 12 Sep 2000
Last Review Mission


Approval No. Approval Signing Effectivity Closing
Original Revised Actual
Loan 1756 12 Sep 2000 20 Oct 2000 18 Dec 2000 30 Jun 2006 05 Oct 2007


Date Approval Number ADB (US$ thousand) Others (US$ thousand) Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards
21 Sep 2014 Loan 1756 53,761 0 98.00%
Cumulative Disbursements
21 Sep 2014 Loan 1756 54,697 0 100.00%

Status of Covenants

Covenants are categorized under the following categories—audited accounts, safeguards, social, sector, financial, economic, and others. Covenant compliance is rated by category by applying the following criteria: (i) Satisfactory—all covenants in the category are being complied with, with a maximum of one exception allowed, (ii) Partly Satisfactory—a maximum of two covenants in the category are not being complied with, (iii) Unsatisfactory—three or more covenants in the category are not being complied with. As per the 2011 Public Communications Policy, covenant compliance ratings for Project Financial Statements apply only to projects whose invitation for negotiation falls after 2 April 2012.

Approval No. Category
Sector Social Financial Economic Others Safeguards Project Financial Statements
Loan 1756

Contacts and Update Details

Responsible ADB Officer Ayako Inagaki (
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Divisions Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SARD
Executing Agencies Ministry of Education
Mr. Anura Dissanayake


Project Website
List of Project Documents