47136-006: Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program | Asian Development Bank

Cambodia: Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 47136-006 Status: Proposed

The proposed Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program (USESDP 2) is part of the phased support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop high-quality human resources by improving the effectiveness of upper secondary education (USE). It builds on and complements ADB's ongoing First Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program (USESDP 1). The program is intended to be categorized gender equity as a theme. The preliminary design and monitoring framework is in Appendix 1 and the problem tree is in Appendix 2

 
Project Name Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program
Project Number 47136-006
Country Cambodia
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan: Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 15.00 million
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 35.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Education sector development - Secondary

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The proposed Second Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program (USESDP 2) is part of the phased support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop high-quality human resources by improving the effectiveness of upper secondary education (USE). It builds on and complements ADB's ongoing First Upper Secondary Education Sector Development Program (USESDP 1). The program is intended to be categorized gender equity as a theme. The preliminary design and monitoring framework is in Appendix 1 and the problem tree is in Appendix 2
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The development problem. USE plays a crucial role in equipping the youth with the appropriate skills, competencies, and knowledge for them to benefit from and contribute to the country's economic and social development. The persistent performance gaps in USE, however, have become a constraint to the education sector and the medium-term growth potential of the economy. The gross enrollment rate in USE as of school year (SY) 2016 2017 remains low at 26.5%. In SY 2015 2016, 19% of the USE students dropped out, while less than 21% completed USE. Passing rate in the grade 12 examination is only 62.18%, and even lower for the science stream. Many students who completed USE are not prepared for further study nor equipped with skills to meet employers' requirements. While overall gender parity in USE is achieved, differences remain between urban and rural areas and provinces.

Binding constraints. Low access, quality and relevance, and weak capacity to plan, manage, and deliver USE are the key binding constraints facing upper secondary education.

Low access to upper secondary education. The high opportunity cost of schooling among poor students is a major demand-side constraint hampering USE enrollment and completion. In disadvantaged areas, low student attendance is attributed to the lack of teachers. The government has given high priority to addressing these access issues through policy initiatives and budget commitments since 2016. USESDP 1 supported policy actions to improve access and is currently supporting associated investments under the project until 2021.

Lack of qualified teachers. The shortage of qualified teachers and teacher-educators in USE has been a major impediment to improving USE outcomes. More than four out of five Cambodian teachers do not have a bachelor's degree. Many teachers are not prepared to teach the specialized subjects in USE. Preservice training programs do not adequately address the lack of mastery of content or knowledge of effective pedagogy to enhance student learning and interest. Aside from poor teacher preparation, incumbent teachers and teacher-educators are faced with limited professional development opportunities to upgrade their pedagogical content knowledge. The lack of qualified teachers is partly explained by the difficulties in attracting top graduates into the teaching profession. Teacher deployment remains a challenge, with fewer qualified teachers, especially women, in disadvantaged areas. The proportion of female teachers in USE (30.6%) remains very low.

Low quality and relevance of standards, curriculum, and assessment. Many USE students are not acquiring the required skills and competencies, even after completing USE. Aside from the issues of teacher quality, the absence of minimum service standards for basic inputs (e.g., laboratories, workshops, and equipment), critical to teaching and learning the specialized USE subjects, has exacerbated the inequities in the quality of teaching and learning across schools. The lack of a national assessment policy to measure student learning has impeded improvements in content and pedagogy. The USE system suffers from weak links to private sector partners that could enhance labor market relevance.

Weak capacity to plan, manage, and deliver services. The inadequate USE budget has constrained the provision of critical resources to upgrade the students' proficiency in the specialized USE subjects. Less than 10% of upper secondary schools (USSs) have science facilities. The poor capacity of school management to prepare and implement school improvement plans and to engage with its stakeholders has hampered efficient resource allocation and utilization (Supplementary Appendix 1). Gender gaps remain in USE (Appendix 4). The capacity to effectively mainstream gender, and more particularly to fully implement the Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Plan (GMSP) in Education, 2016 2020, remains limited (footnote 8).

ADB engagement. The government's Industrial Development Policy, 2015 2025, Education Strategic Plan, 2014 2018 (with projections up to 2020), and indicative priorities in the Education 2030 vision, serve as the policy framework and roadmap for ADB's engagement in USE in the medium-term. The identified sector reforms will take time to implement and show development impact, given the current low-level outcomes. ADB's USE engagement involves strategically sequenced support in the medium- to long-term to build the foundations for the reforms and allow these to take root and show results. USESDP 1, ADB's first focused intervention in USE, is currently supporting the government in addressing the constraints of low access. It also provides initial support to key reforms to improve quality, relevance, and management capacity, including the development of a comprehensive teacher policy, and strengthening of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. To enhance the impact on learning outcomes, the reforms on quality, relevance, and management capacity need to be immediately followed by concomitant reforms under USESDP 2. Both programs are aligned with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2014 2018. A third phase support for USE in 2021 will address the remaining gaps to further improve learning outcomes and student's employability. Guided by the government's new Education Strategic Plan, 2019 2023 and the 2030 vision, indicative areas will include reforms to enhance adaptation to the skills and knowledge needed in the 21st century. These reforms will include innovations and enhanced linkages with technical and vocational education and training and higher education.

Sector development program. Lessons from previous ADB sector development programs in Cambodia highlight the effectiveness of combining a policy-based program with an investment component for a holistic, comprehensive, and integrated response to sector issues, gaps, and priorities. As such, USESDP 2 is proposed as a sector development program. It will continue to support key policy reforms and respond to unmet investment needs, particularly in the areas of quality and relevance of upper secondary education. The policy component will set the national policy framework, while the investment component will support measures to implement the policy framework. Many of the policy reforms are also expected to result in substantial financial costs, which can be initially supported through the investment component. While ADB is the only development partner focusing on USE, the project team will continue to ensure a strong coordination with development partners working on education reforms.

Impact High-quality human resources developed
Outcome Effectiveness of the upper secondary education system improved
Outputs

Quality of teachers in upper secondary schools improved

Quality and labor market relevance of upper secondary education improved

Institutional capacity for planning, management, and delivery of upper secondary education strengthened

Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Perez, Lynnette
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
148 Norodom Blvd.
Phnom Penh
Kingdom of Cambodia
Timetable
Concept Clearance 03 Oct 2017
Fact Finding 15 Jan 2018 to 26 Jan 2018
MRM 19 Mar 2018
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 05 Oct 2017

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