Bangladesh: Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan)

Sovereign Project | 30216-013

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Project Results



students benefiting from new or improved educational facilities



students educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems



teachers trained with quality or competency standards

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Project Name Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan)
Project Number 30216-013
Country Bangladesh
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 4209-BAN: Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan)
Netherlands Fund (with LoA) US$ 50.00 million
Sweden (Sida) (w/ LoA) US$ 29.00 million
Canada (CIDA) US$ 20.00 million
European Commission US$ 100.00 million
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation US$ 40.00 million
United Kingdom (w/ LoA) US$ 150.00 million
Loan 2015-BAN: Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan)
Asian Development Fund US$ 100.00 million
Loan: Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan)
International Development Association US$ 150.00 million
Japan International Cooperation Agency US$ 3.00 million
Australian Agency for International Development US$ 12.00 million
Grant 4209-BAN: Second Primary Education Development Program (Supplementary)
Canada (CIDA) US$ 30.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Pre-primary and primary

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description This sector loan has been designed to support the Government's Second Primary Education Development Program (PEDP II) during 2003 2009. PEDP II was prepared in consultation with stakeholders through a Government-led participatory process. Results from an indepth evaluation of the First Primary Education Development Program (PEDP I) were incorporated as well as lessons learned from other sectorwide approach programs (SWAPs) in Bangladesh and in the region. PEDP II is an integrated and coordinated program covering the formal primary education subsector. PEDP II will focus on improving the quality of education in primary schools; it will strengthen policy, and organizational and institutional development necessary to support coordination, subsector planning, management, monitoring and evaluation. PEDP II includes a comprehensive policy and institutional reform framework, a common set of key performance indicators, and a common implementation framework for support from the Government and its development partners. PEDP II has been designed to be a catalyst in achieving holistic, sectorwide planning in the education sector in the long term. PEDP II will support the Government's Education for All (EFA) plans, achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the poverty reduction agenda.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the world. In the year 2001, 17.7 million students were enrolled in over 78,000 primary-level institutions and were taught by more than 320,000 teachers. This represented a 30.8% increase in formal primary education enrollments from the level in 1991. In 2001, the gross enrollment ratio was 97.5% and girls' enrollment was slightly higher than boys'. The overall net enrollment ratio was about 81%.

While access to primary education has been provided, its quality has stagnated. There are several reasons for the poor performance. The overall pupil-teacher ratio is about 55:1, but is 67:1 in Government primary schools (GPS). With the double shift system operating in 90% of primary schools, the pupils-in-class-to-teacher ratio is less than 30:1. However, the double shift system reduces the number of contact hours between pupils and teachers. Contact hours in Bangladesh are approximately 30% below the international average. The dropout rate is high, averaging 33%, due partly to the dire poverty experienced by many families and partly to the perception of many parents and children that schooling is of little value. Average attendance rates are low at 61% overall. Girls' attendance is a little better than boys'.

These constraints mean that many children do not receive an adequate primary education. Indeed, the current completion rate is estimated at only 67%, while no more than 64% of children starting grade 1 reach grade 5 at the expected time. The average time to complete 5 years of primary education is approximately 6.5 years, reflecting low internal efficiency and indicating a significant wastage of scarce resources. Many children perhaps the majority and even those successfully completing grade 5, do not attain acceptable standards of literacy and numeracy, and many lapse into illiteracy once they leave school. Only 5% of grade 5 pupils attain the standards required for the primary scholarship examination.

Impact Reduced poverty through universal primary education and sustainable socioeconomic development and equity in Bangladesh' society as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome To provide quality primary education to all eligible children in Bangladesh
Progress Toward Outcome

The Directorate of Primary Education's Annual Sector Performance Report 2010 indicates that trends in participation, transition and government spending show a stable or positive development and some are close to or on the PEDPII targets. Most internal efficiency indicators appear to be at a turning point for the better since 2008-09. For drop-out and repetition, the trend of grades 1-4 is stable or improving, while the trend of Grade 5 is worsening. To have a better understanding of the nature and causes of the dropout as well as reliable data, a study was commissioned by UNICEF and the result has been shared with DPs. Public spending on education (2%) as a percentage of gross national product is still far short of the target (2.8%), but the expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total education expenditure (45.4%) is on track. There is steady decline in student absenteeism, increase in enrollment of children with disabilities, decrease in the number of students per classroom, some decline in the proportion of schools without toilets, increase in access to water free from arsenic contamination, increase in contact hours, considerable progress in timely distribution of textbooks, increase in the proportion of female head teachers, and overall positive trend in the proportion of teachers and head teachers receiving training.

Government has made significant progress in recruiting teachers with higher educational qualifications in government primary schools (GPS) through an improved and transparent recruitment process. The ratio of female teachers has increased from 50% in 2005 to 60% in 2010 which is the target under PEDPII.. The key progress includes the recruitment of 45,000 new teachers to fill the newly created posts under the Program, completion of 37,894 new classrooms out of the revised target of 40,000, training of 88,910 teachers in the one year C-in-Ed program out of the revised target of 105,000, and distribution of free textbooks for all eligible primary school students before the each school year which begins on 1 January.

Four recent developments are important: (i) the results based management is leading to improvements in data quality, timely availability of data, including the second round national student assessment results are available and preparation of analytical reports (annual sector performance report for 2008-2010); (ii) DPE is expanding the implementation of school level improvement plans (SLIPs) with the intention of universal coverage by the end of the program; (iii) NAPE is embarking on the development of a new Diploma in Education Training which will lay a foundation for improved teacher development framework and allow synergy across different training programs; and (iv) DPE decentralized the implementation of Innovation Grants in the third round (FY 2009-10) to invite more relevant proposals from qualified institutions In addition, other initiatives are underway to improve quality in schools and classrooms and equitable access: (i) developing and implementing a training module to improve quality in the classroom; (ii) implementation of upazila primary education plans (UPEPs); (iii) strengthening field level capacity (recruitment of teachers and head teachers, recruitment of inclusive education specialists at the district level, preparing upazila profiles, equipping PTIs and URCs with ICT, and filling vacancies).

Major Issues include (i) chronic vacancies still remain in PTIs, UEOs and URCs, which is already being addressed under the time bound action plan; (ii) quality improvement in schools and classrooms should be integrated with SLIPs (iii) strategies and action plans for Inclusive Education should be targeted in 100 most disadvantaged upazilas to cover most vulnerable groups and pockets; and (iv) technical support should be arranged for SLIPs/UPEPs, Innovation Grants, Inclusive Education, M&E, quality improvements at the school level and for teacher development, and huma

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Quality Improvement through Organizational Development and Capacity Building

1.1 Enhance the capacity of MOPME and Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) and affiliated institutions such as NAPE and NCTB and field offices to ensure quality and equitable provision of primary education

1.2 Enhance the capacity of EMIS to support monitoring and evaluation (M&E) functions

2. Quality Improvement in Schools and Classrooms

2.1 Enhance and improve the field-level capacity of school organizations and management at the local level

2.2 Improve the physical and professional capacity of Primary Education Teacher Training Institutes (PTIs), URCs and school sub clusters to deliver quality primary teacher training

2.3 Improve the quality of head teachers

2.4 Enhance the quality of teachers and of teaching in primary schools through new job descriptions and improved career development plans

2.5 Enhance the provision and quality of learning resources

2.6 Promote and facilitate greater community participation and support for education improvement in Bangladesh primary schools, through SMCs, etc.

3. Quality improvement through infrastructure development

3.1 Provide improved levels of infrastructure, facilities and equipment to encourage and facilitate improved and equitable access for all children, leading to improved student achievement

4. Improved access to quality education especially for poorest and socially excluded

4.1 Enhance and institutionalise the capacity of DPE at the centre and in the districts to meet the needs of poor children and children with special requirements

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Following the approval of the Organizational and Institutional Capacity Review (OICR) in December 2006 and the fielding of Technical Support Team 1 (TST1) in November 2006, the HRDM Action Plan was approved on 27 February 2008 based on the HRD Strategy approved in 2006. It covers: (i) recruitment and promotion rules; (ii) performance appraisal; (iii) career path, promotion & cadre strategy; and (iv) professional development and upgrading strategy. Revised Development Project Proforma (RDPP) was approved on 26 May 2008 with a provision for flexibility. During the MTR, the Program Framework along with the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Primary School Quality Levels (PSQL) were slightly revised. After the baseline survey report of 2005, the School Census Report of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 had been made available.DPE is now working to finalize the Annual School Census Data for 2010 which will be the main basis to produce the Annual Sector Performance Report (ASPR) 2011. Introduction of Results Based Management from May 2008 has helped to strengthen M&E and development of the ASPR. Chronic vacancies at the field offices along with limited capacity remain a major constraint and a cause for low absorptive capacity. However, DPE is taking concrete steps in accordance with the time bound action plan to fill up at least 80% of these vacancies .Urgent approval of the revised recruitment rules and career paths is necessary to accelerate the recruitment process.

First, two rounds of National Student Assessment (2006 and 2008) have been completed and the results from 2008 show improvements in the students learning achievements across the subjects. The Terminal Examination for Grade 5 which combined the scholarship examination and the existing terminal examination was introduced for the first time in 2009.The results were encouraging. The overall results of the second terminal examinations held in 2010 marked a significant rise in the success rate of 92.34 percent compared to the first year rate of 88.84 percent coupled with an increase in the number of students obtaining first division. A total of 17,91,651 students -- 8,29,531 boys (92.75 percent) and 9,62,120 girls (91.98 percent) -- passed the examinations this year. Second, the Government has made significant progress in improving the recruitment and transfer of teachers through a transparent process, which has been commended by Transparency International. Creation and filling-up of 45,000 PEDPII teacher posts was completed well ahead of the Project completion.. Third, the Government has been successful in printing and distributing 100% of new textbooks for AY 2011. In addition, schools have been provided with 29 titles of Supplementary Reading Materials (22 Bangla and 7 english titles) and Taka 10,000 to all DPE administered schools to acquire Teaching and Learning Materials. Fourth, most training programs are progressing with coverage in accordance with the targets. Out of the target of 105,000 trainees to be covered for the one year C-in-Ed training, a total of 88,910 have been trained and another 16,000 are undergoing training. However, quality and impact of these training programs will need to be assessed. Fifth, School Level Improvement Plans (SLIPs) have been expanded rapidly during the last 3 years. A total of 316 upazilas have been covered and by the end of PEDPII all the upazilas are expected to have the SLIPs program. Upazila Primary Education Plan (UPEP) is also progressing well and by the end of Dec 2010 a total of 316 upazilas have been covered. Finally, the new Diploma in Education program as well as a special module to improve quality in the classroom is under development. A comprehensive review of teacher training program should be carried out to establish synergy across all training.

As of 31 December 2010, the following have been completed: classrooms (37,894 out of 40, 000), toilets (17,825, out of 18,500), facilities for URCs (366 out of 397), UEO

Geographical Location Upazila and district levels in all 64 districts of the country
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The design, extension, upgrading, renovation and operations of facilities under the Program followed the Borrower's environmental requirements, the Bank's environmental guidelines for Selected Infrastructure Development Projects, and other relevant Bank guidelines on environment.
Involuntary Resettlement


Classrooms will be expanded in the existing compound. In cases where a new school is required, the school will be built on land contributed by the community. Contributing land for a school has been a community practice in Bangladesh.

Indigenous Peoples

While Bangladesh is a largely monoculture society, there is a indigenous people population living largely in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and in parts of Sylhet and northern Bangladesh. PEDP I included a number of initiatives designed to increase school participation among the tribal communities in CHT. However, due to political and other factors, little of this program has been implemented. PEDP II will take initiatives to accelerate implementation in CHT. In addition, the PEDP II will take initiatives to develop a mechanism for consultation with indigenous people communities in CHT, Sylhet, Mymenshing and northern parts of Bangladesh on strategies for increasing access to education. These will include facilitating the process for implementing the sections of Rangamati Declaration on Education pertaining to primary education; in constructing new schools and classrooms, priority will be given to remote areas, underserved, underschooled areas of CHT, and areas with indigenous people in other districts; exception should be made in the criterion of a no school within 2 km in the underserved CHT; flexibility in qualification in recruiting teachers; recruiting teachers from the respective indigenous people groups; recruiting female teachers; teaching resources and medium of instruction in local languages for 1-2 grades; recruiting community volunteers to assist teachers in local language.

The PEDP II will establish linkages with the Integrated Social Development Program (ISDP) of United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Children's Opportunities for Learning Enhanced 2-program (CHOLEN2) of CARE. The Para Kendra (preprimary) school under ISDP could be upgraded to 2 grades in remote areas having no primary school. The Program will develop specific programs to address the needs of disadvantaged children: disabled children, refugee children, religious minorities and working children.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The plan of PEDP II was prepared in discussion with various stakeholders such as the government, training institutes, school management, teachers, and development partners.
During Project Implementation

To enhance the participation of parents and the community during implementation of PEDP II, emphasis will be on capacity building and active involvement of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the School Management Committee (SMC) in school management and planning. In addition, the role of local government (Union Parishad) in the local-level education system will be strengthened by forming an education committee at the Union Parishad level. At present the functions of SMC and PTA are limited to occasional meetings. The roles of these committees are not properly understood and or accepted in the school management system. The PEDP II will restructure and strengthen the SMC and PTA to increase accountability of teachers, to improve attendance

and lower the dropout rate.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

Consulting services are required for program coordination and technical inputs. The consulting services will be recruited in packages. International firms, in association with domestic firms, will be engaged to provide the required consulting services.

All consultants financed from the ADB sector loan, and from co-financed pool of funds under ADB administration, will be selected and engaged during implementation in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants, and other arrangements satisfactory to ADB for engaging national consultants. A total input of about 600 person-months of international and 1,300 person-months of national consulting services is expected. Indicative contract packages of consulting services will be finalized during appraisal.

Procurement Vehicles, equipment, materials were procured by international competitive bidding, and as appropriate, through local competitive bidding. Civil works procured through local competitive bidding procedure. Details for procurement for the first year of implementation was finalized during appraisal. Final details for procurement scheduled to later years were determined during program implementation, as appropriate.
Responsible ADB Officer Rudi Louis Hendrikus Van Dael
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Bangladesh Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Directorate of Primary Education
Mr. Shyamal Kanti Ghosh
Mirpur-2, Dhaka 1216
Concept Clearance 07 Mar 2000
Fact Finding 22 Mar 2000 to 22 Mar 2000
MRM 28 Mar 2003
Approval 03 Nov 2003
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 02 Nov 2006
Last PDS Update 24 Jul 2012

Grant 4209-BAN

Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 419.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 - 0.00 0.00 %
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 419.00 - 0.00 0.00 %

Loan 2015-BAN

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
03 Nov 2003 20 Jan 2004 19 Apr 2004 30 Jun 2010 31 Dec 2011 19 Jul 2012
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 265.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 100.00 03 Nov 2003 107.63 0.00 98%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 165.00 03 Nov 2003 109.33 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory
Title Document Type Document Date
Second Primary Education Development Program Project/Program Completion Reports Sep 2013
Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan) Loan Change in Scope, Amount, and Implementation Arrangements Dec 2008
Second Primary Education Development Program (Sector Loan) Reports and Recommendations of the President Oct 2003

Safeguard Documents

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Evaluation Documents

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  • 14 Nov 2014 | Project Result / Case Study

    Transforming Bangladesh Primary Education

    New teaching methods, increased student participation, and reward schemes for parents are helping Bangladesh modernize its vast primary education sector.
  • 15 Jul 2010 | Article

    Bangladesh: Keeping Education's Promise

    Bangladesh has high primary school enrollment rates and equally high drop out rates for older students. A revitalization of the country's education system aims to keep students in school. Syedpur, Bangladhesh - "I want to be a teacher when I grow older and help poor and sick people," says Devasmita Sarkar, a lively 10-year-old girl who attends a primary school in northwestern Bangladesh.
  • 07 Sep 2012 | Photo Essay

    Improving Bangladesh's Primary Education

    Despite impressive enrollment rates of around 98%, primary education in Bangladesh is hampered by low levels of teacher-pupil interaction, poor teacher training, and high student dropout rates. ADB is working with the government to step up the quality of primary education through the $1.1 billion Second Primary Education Development Program, which began in 2004.