39293-037: Education Sector Development Program | Asian Development Bank

Sri Lanka: Education Sector Development Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 39293-037 Status: Active

ADB is helping Sri Lanka revamp its secondary school system through a results-based lending (RBL) program. The project will help integrate school assessments with external exams to improve pass rates, introduce a technology stream to enable graduates to move more easily into vocational courses, and upgrade the quality of teaching, training institutions, and learning facilities.

Project Name Education Sector Development Program
Project Number 39293-037
Country Sri Lanka
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 3008-SRI: Education Sector Development Program
Ordinary capital resources US$ 100.00 million
Loan 3009-SRI: Education Sector Development Program
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 100.00 million
Loan: Education Sector Development Program
World Bank US$ 100.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Education sector development - Secondary

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description ADB and the Government of Sri Lanka are working together to revamp the country's secondary school system in order to reduce youth unemployment and meet the country's urgent need for skilled workers. The Education Sector Development Program is ADB's first results-based lending, which links loan payments to the achievement of results, such as increase in number of schools offering advanced level science and commerce education, and increase in pass rates among secondary education graduates. It is also introducing technology courses that allow secondary school graduates to move more easily into vocational courses. Classrooms and laboratories are being upgraded, and teachers are being trained, to increase the number of students studying science and commerce. The program is also helping educators and school administrators improve the financing, management and planning at schools.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Sri Lanka has made impressive gains in education. The country has high literacy rates and has achieved universal primary enrollment at the elementary level and gender parity in all levels. Students generally attend school for about 10 years, compared to 6 years in neighboring South Asian countries. This success has been the result of the government's strong commitment to education. This has included investing heavily in modernizing secondary schools, and offering scholarships, as well as free textbooks and uniforms. But the education sector in Sri Lanka continues to face significant challenges. Many students are not able to move from secondary school to college. Others enter the labor market without adequate academic qualifications or skills training. Many schools, particularly in rural areas, do not offer advanced level science education, and student learning outcomes are poor in science, mathematics, and English, which makes it difficult for graduates to move into post-secondary education. Many schools also lack modern facilities such as fully equipped classrooms or science laboratories.
Impact Enhanced youth employability in Sri Lanka
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome A modernized secondary education school system developed
Progress Toward Outcome

A. Science enrolment: 23.42% in 2013, 21.01% in 2014, 24.61% in 2015, and 23.77 in 2016; Commerce enrolment: 27.85 in 2013, 24.86 in 2014 and 24.00 in 2015, and 24.27 in 2016;

B. The participation rate in A/L technology stream;4.28% in 2013, 8.42% in 2014, 9.93% in 2015, and 9.46% in 2016

C. Pass rate for A/L: 58.56% in 2013, 61.25% in 2014 and 62.35 in 2015, and 63.36% in 2016

D. Pass rate for O/L: 66.67% in 2013, 69.02% in 2014 and 69.33% in 2015.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Improved student learning

2. Improved equity and efficiency of the school system

3. Strengthened school leadership

4. Strengthened capacity for effective program planning and implementation

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

1.1 National Student Assessment Policy Framework Implemented: NEC conducted a review and a draft policy was developed, but overall this action has been delayed.

1.2 Technology stream in GCE advanced level fully

operational with adequate teachers and facilities: Technology stream was introduced in 2013 for 251 schools and in 2014 additional 171 schools entered into the TEC stream. Available statistics confirms the female participation in grade 12 is 28% and Grade 13 is 31% as of March 2017.

1.3 Expansion plan to roll out technology stream

approved: The government already rolled out technology stream to over 400 schools, beyond the initial target of at least 100. ADB advised MOE to focus on quality improvement, rather than further expansion.

1.4 Integrated computer-aided learning for

mathematics implemented: A plan was developed, but implementation is yet to be commenced.

2.1 Upgrade 250 1C schools to 1AB status: School up gradation started in 255 schools and classes are operating in 140 schools as of March 2016. Science enrolment in the 140 schools is 10% (female 10%)

2.2 Deploy 250 science teachers: 333 teachers were recruited for the newly upgraded 140 schools (gender target was achieved).

2.3 Deploy 200 technology stream teachers: Out of 811 required teachers, 693 have been recruited and recruitments are ongoing.

3.1/3.2 Recruitment of staff for NIE/CELD: Staff recruitment is in progress.

NIE/CELD recruited 18 staff (31 Dec 2015); NCOEs 489 staff (2014) and 214 staff (2015).

3.3 Complete training of at least 600 principals and 900 deputy principals by end of the program: Training Program designed. 692 principals (male 521, female 171) & 780 deputy principals (male 446, female 334) have been trained as at 30 June 2016.

3.4 School Facility and Equipment Maintenance Fund scheme piloted in 250 schools: Guidelines for FEMF were prepared, and budget was allocated for implementation in 2016, but the implementation got delayed.

4.1 SMTSU fully operational by June 2014: SMTSU established in 2013 and continued coordinating program planning and monitoring, and provided technical support, but since 2015, its coordination function got strained with leadership changes and staff turn-over.

4.2 Prepare, upgrade and sign annual PPAs: Agreements signed for 2016. Needs development such as institutionalization of PPA to school level. Some provinces have already started this.

4.3 Ensure 85% of spending on annual capital budget: 93.16% of the capital budget (as per the audited financial statements 2015) for the year 2015 were expended.

4.4 Share of total capital education budget for higher

order learning spaces and capital assets at schools increased to 45%: Investment of first three years of the program was highly focused on capital investment.

4.5 30% of school and/or civil works contracts awarded on basis of district-level bundled contracts: Initially the large procurement was done at the center to ease administration and time saving and gradually it is moving to provincial levels. From 2015 the packaging was done to suit for provincial procurement.

Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects

The program is designed to exclude activities with significant environmental impacts. Within the program scope, there will be construction of science / technology laboratories and technology faculty buildings, which may have temporary, limited adverse environmental impact during the construction. (category B).

Adequate measures to mitigate such impacts and improve compliance are outlined in the assessment, including assurance that all activities comply with ADBs Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) and all applicable environmental laws and regulations of Sri Lanka. An action plan to improve safeguards compliance and monitoring has been prepared.

Preparation of EMPs for 250 schools is in progress. By 15 April 2015, 234 EMPs received by SMTSU and 77 progress reports received by CEBC.

Provincial level awareness workshops conducted in 9 provinces.

Involuntary Resettlement The program will exclude activities that have involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples impact (Category C for both the involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples).
Indigenous Peoples The program will exclude activities that have involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples impact (Category C for both the involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples).
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Preparation of the program included detailed consultations based on focus group discussions, workshops, and field visits.
During Project Implementation School community and parental participation is built into the program and is institutionalized with School Development Committees taking a lead role in identification and implementation of school development plans. The program will build on these and strengthen the consultation process. Additionally the program has strong social and economic benefits, and these will help to strengthen stakeholder ownership. The program also includes capacity building for provincial staff and school heads, which will also help strengthen stakeholder participation. Grievance redressed mechanisms will be based on government's existing systems, and access to these will be included in the program (Ministry of Education website).
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Results-based lending modality/implementation will rely on DMCs' program systems, including for procurement of goods, works, and services.
Procurement Results-based lending modality/implementation will rely on DMCs' program systems, including for procurement of goods, works, and services.
Responsible ADB Officer Jayasundara, Herathbanda
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Sri Lanka Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education
[email protected]
Ground Floor
Isurupaya, Battaramulla
Sri Lanka
Concept Clearance 28 Jun 2012
Fact Finding 09 Jan 2013 to 07 Feb 2013
MRM 11 Apr 2013
Approval 27 Jun 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 15 Mar 2017

Loan 3008-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
27 Jun 2013 19 Aug 2013 23 Aug 2013 28 Feb 2019 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 4,801.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 100.00 27 Jun 2013 70.50 0.00 71%
Counterpart 4,601.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 100.00 27 Jun 2013 70.50 0.00 71%

Loan 3009-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
27 Jun 2013 19 Aug 2013 23 Aug 2013 28 Feb 2019 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 100.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 100.00 27 Jun 2013 69.09 0.00 71%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 27 Jun 2013 69.09 0.00 71%

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.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

Title Document Type Document Date
Sri Lanka: Education Sector Development Program Papers and Briefs May 2015

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

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