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Lao People's Democratic Republic: Secondary Education Sector Development Program (formerly Basic Education Sector Development Program II)

Sovereign (Public) Project | 40368-022 Status: Closed

ADB is helping the Lao People's Democratic Republic improve access to and enhance the quality of secondary education in the country. The project will expand access to secondary schooling in the poorest districts, prioritizing girls and those from remote ethnic communities. It will improve the delivery of the new curriculum nationwide, and strengthen management of the sector.

Project Details

Project Officer
Chanthy, Khamtanh Southeast Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
Modality
  • Grant
  • Loan
Sector
  • Education
 
Project Name Secondary Education Sector Development Program (formerly Basic Education Sector Development Program II)
Project Number 40368-022
Country Lao People's Democratic Republic
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0257-LAO: Secondary Education Sector Development Program (formerly Basic Education Sector Development Program II)
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 30.00 million
Loan 2777-LAO: Secondary Education Sector Development Program (formerly Basic Education Sector Development Program II)
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 10.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Education sector development - Secondary - Secondary - social protection initiatives

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description

The Secondary Education Sector Development Program (SESDP) is a sector development program (SDP), consisting of (i) a program loan; and (ii) a project grant. The program loan supports key policy reform actions focused on strengthening the secondary education subsector (SES) -- which consists of lower secondary and upper secondary education (LSE and USE) -- throughout the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The project grant finances investments that directly link to and support delivery on those policy actions and ensure they are effectively operationalized. Complementary program and project components collectively address key priorities related to equitable access, quality and relevance, and subsector management in SES. While support under SESDP's program and project components is principally national/nationwide in scope, project investments to expand access principally target 30 selected districts that are simultaneously classified by the government as "poorest"_and "educationally disadvantaged".

The Program design directly supports the Ministry of Education in operationalizing the government's reform agenda and programs to strengthen education (with a focus on SES), including key targets set for SES under the Education Sector Development Framework (ESDF). Aligned with Lao PDR's ongoing SES reform agenda and ESDF's 3 pillars, the Program (including complementary policy program and investment project interventions) will deliver 3 core outputs: (i) expanded access to secondary education; (ii) improved delivery of new secondary education curricula; and (iii) strengthened SES management.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Government of Lao PDR ascribes a high priority to education, as a prerequisite for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. Government and international development partner (IDP) efforts have supported expanded education access, particularly at the primary level (grades 1-5), where state and IDP support has been concentrated. Gains have also been made in SES, with the transition to a 7-year system marking a key milestone: Completed during school years SY2009/10 and SY2010/11, the Ministry of Education (MOE's) extension of LSE from 3 to 4 years and subsequent addition of USE grade 12 aligns Lao PDR's system of primary (5 years), LSE (4 years), and USE (3 years) with the international standard of 12 years of primary and secondary schooling. At the same time, key gaps in terms of equitable access, quality and relevance, and subsector management undermine SES' and the entire education system's contributions to modernization, equity and inclusive growth, poverty reduction, and broader socioeconomic development in Lao PDR.

Access -- With expansion of primary education, SES has become a key bottleneck. From SY2006/07 to SY2009/10, the LSE gross enrolment rate (GER) rose from 53.3% to 60.2%, with the USE GER stagnant at 34.0%. Aggregate figures conceal large socioeconomic and geographic gaps: e.g., in SY2009/10, GERs for girls and boys in LSE were 44.4% and 56.1% in the poorest districts. Particularly in poor, rural, and largely ethnic group areas (where education quality is also lowest), enrolment rates decline steadily at higher grades of SES. Expanding access requires policy and investments to address an array of demand-side issues (e.g., financial and opportunity costs, weak primary school preparation, language and other cultural factors, and disabilities) and supply-side factors (e.g., weak school network coverage of remote areas, and inadequate financial and human resources), as well as quality issues.

Quality -- Low SES enrolment and high rates of repetition and especially dropout partly reflect quality gaps: The national LSE dropout rate was 13% in SY2009/10, and is much higher in many poor and ethnic areas. In 7 of the poorest provinces, only 11% to 25% of children are expected to reach and complete grade 11. Particularly for LSE, rapid rises in primary school graduates in recent years and limited resourcing have strained capacities to provide access to good quality education. As part of comprehensive SES reforms, MOE has developed new LSE and USE curricula and new LSE textbooks and teacher guides, and commenced the cohort-based phase-in of the new SES curriculum starting in SY2010/11. Follow-on policy and investment support will be critical to fully operationalize these reforms and realize gains from (and meet the jump in LSE enrolment and other challenges linked to) the addition of a fourth year of LSE in SY2009/10, and the potential of new LSE and USE curricula to better feed-in to subsequent learning and employment. Priorities include bolstering (i) systems and institutions providing pre- and in-service training and support to SES teachers; (ii) mechanisms for teacher deployment to poor, rural, and largely ethnic group areas (particularly in subjects like science and math); and (iii) investment in facilities and teaching and learning materials (ranging from textbooks to laboratory facilities).

Subsector management -- Interlinked with access and quality issues, gaps in subsector management undermine learning outcomes and SES' internal and external efficiency. Low investment poses an overarching issue for the education sector, and SES is particularly under-resourced, with ADB the only IDP providing comprehensive support. Financing gaps compound other urgent SES management challenges including in (i) institutional capacity, including the need for further rationalization alongside decentralization; (ii) human resources and technical and managerial capacities; (iii) planning and budgeting, as well as management information systems (MIS); (iv) assessment of teachers and of student learning outcomes, as well as broader quality control; and (v) enhanced mobilization of private sector actors.

To address these gaps and challenges, there is strong justification for a comprehensive SDP approach that aligns directly with the ESDF and other government strategies and policies. Approved by the Prime Minister in 2009, ESDF provides a roadmap for operationalizing the National Education System Reform Strategy, 2006-2015 and a unified framework to guide all government and IDP efforts. Dialogue toward ADB's next country partnership strategy for Lao PDR has identified education as a core sector, and the government has called on ADB to provide sustained support for SES via the proposed sector development program (the Program). This modality allows for comprehensive program and project support to advance progress within SES under all 3 ESDF pillars: (i) assuring equitable access, (ii) improving quality and relevance, and (iii) strengthening sector governance and performance management. The proposed Program builds directly on and dovetails with the ongoing Basic Education Sector Development Program (BESDP). In particular, it will continue BESDP's support for the phase-in of new curricula for LSE (starting SY2010/11) and USE (from SY2014/15), with policy and investment support to ensure full realization of the benefits of the new 7-year SES.

Impact Improved educational attainment in the Lao PDR
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Enhanced equity, quality, and efficiency of secondary education in the Lao PDR
Progress Toward Outcome

Ongoing implementation.

The tranche 1 Progress Report approved by ADB's President on 3 June 2014

(and circulated to the Board of Directors for information) recognized Lao PDR's achievements in introducing block grants as a tool to advance equity of access, the quality of education provision, as well as effective decentralization by ensuring that schools and other education institutions have access to adequate resources to support locally determined recurrent costs.

The second tranche is now scheduled for release in Q4 2018.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Expanded access to secondary education

Improved delivery of new SES curricula

Strengthened SES management

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

Not yet due.

Not yet due.

The tranche 1 Progress Report approved by ADB's President on 3 June 2014

(and circulated to the Board of Directors for information) recognized Lao PDR's achievements in

introducing block grants as a tool to advance equity of access, the quality of education

provision, as well as effective decentralization by ensuring that schools and other education institutions have access to adequate resources to support locally determined recurrent costs.

The Progress Report additionally recognized that MOES has put in place and operationalized a

de facto policy on block grants for schools and education institutions at all levels within the MOE

system, although this has not yet been consolidated into a singular comprehensive and

dedicated policy document. At the same time, MOES recognizes that this de facto policy is

divided across multiple policy-related documents covering different aspects and subsectors, and

that lack of a consolidated and dedicated policy document providing cohesive and

comprehensive coverage of block grants within all subsectors of education has undermined the

efficiency of block grant implementation.5 MOES has thus committed to complete during 2014

the development of a consolidated, comprehensive, and dedicated policy document on block

grants, as well as a revised and comprehensive operational manual to provide clear and

detailed guidelines on the management of block grants, covering all levels of schools and other

education institutions under MOES and incorporating a strengthened regulatory framework.6

A consensus was reached for the continued support for

this process be a high priority for addition under the program's project component.

Not yet due.

Please refer to progress/status below.

MOES has recognized the need for a systematic and comprehensive communication strategy to support reform processes; strengthen communication across MOES departments, institutions, and administrative levels; and enhance external communication to communities and other stakeholders. With support under the program's project, MOES has developed a Communication Strategy (2013 2020) to Support the Education Reform Agenda. Among other dimensions, the strategy emphasizes the role of actors at different levels to disseminate and promote reforms and interventions (e.g., stipend programs) to support improvement of learning outcomes for the poorest children, girls, and ethnic group children as a key priority.

Not yet due.

MOES has recognized that to date, investments in ICT in the Lao PDR education sector (as in many neighboring countries) have been ad hoc not guided by a clear policy that assesses possible ICT interventions against clearly defined education sector objectives, and reflects a balanced understanding of (i) the potential of forms of ICT (if embedded in broader approaches) as a tool to support education; (ii) ICT's limitations and substantial resource implications, including capital and (especially) recurrent costs, as well as human resource requirements; and (iii) potential pitfalls of hardware-driven approaches to ICT in education, including in terms of non-sustainability and undermining equity. In view of this, with support under the program's project, MOES (coordinated by the DSE) has developed a Policy on Information Communication Technology for Lao Education (ICT4LE) for Grades 1 12. In December 2013, MOES issued a decree approving and promulgating the policy, to be utilized by the DSE, the Department of Preschool and Primary Education, MOES ICT Center, and other national and local entities to guide future ICT investments in grade 1 12 education nationwide. The policy is a pioneering example within ADB's developing member countries of a policy that emphasizes the need for ICT investments to be dictated by educational objectives; use technology that is appropriate to the context; and clearly prioritize equity and sustainability, including calling for the conduct of total cost of ownership analysis prior to the consideration of any potential ICT investment. As a policy action linked to the second tranche, the project under the program will support MOES to develop a related strategy to identify specific approaches and investments in ICT for education.

Not yet due.

Please refer to progress/status below.

Construction of 12 new LSE schools have been completed in 2013 (Batch 1) and are operational. It included construction of LSE school buildings as well as separate, sex-segregated toilet blocks.

Batch 2 contracts for the construction of remaining 18 LSE schools (including 2 sex-segregated toilet blocks and 60 dormitories) and 15 USE schools (including sex-segregated toilet blocks and 15 dormitories) have been awarded and completed.

Construction (in 2 batches) was fully completed, with the final Batch 1 site 100% completed in April 2014, and the final Batch 2 site completed by July 2015 and put into use by SY2015/16, and all retention payments have been paid.

Batch 2 contracts for the construction of remaining 18 LSE schools (including 2 sex-segregated toilet blocks and 60 dormitories) and 15 USE schools (including sex-segregated toilet blocks and 15 dormitories) have been awarded and completed.

Construction of USE classroom blocks (included in Batch 2 civil works) has also been 100% completed alongside activity area 1A1.

As with other civil works, sex-segregated dormitories (along with separate toilet blocks) were completed and turned over at all 60 LSE sites (and 15 USE sites) prior to the start of SY2015/16 (in the last sites).

As with other civil works, sex-segregated dormitories (along with separate toilet blocks) were completed and turned over at all 60 LSE sites (and 15 USE sites) prior to the start of SY2015/16 (in the last sites).

The USE (M5-M7) stipend program also commenced from SY2014/15 and was completed in SY2016/17. According to the updated database, a total of 1,095 M7 beneficiaries completed USE (i.e., 91.3% out of 1200), including 562 girls (50.8%) and 1,010 ethnic group students (92.2%).

The USE component of the SAGP includes only 2 cycles, which have been completed pending final reporting and liquidation. As of the Mission, DOF has completed liquidation of 14 of 15 USE SAGP cycle 2 access grants, and is reviewing materials from the 1 remaining with 1 school.

The GER for girls in LSE appears to have reached roughly 0.79 for girls (and 0.85 for boys) in SY2016/17, versus a baseline of 0.55 in SY09/10 and already surpassing the target of 0.75 by 2023; (ii) the ratio of girls to boys enrolled in SES has risen from 0.81 in SY09/10 to just above 0.90 in SY2016/17, moving towards the impact target of 1.0 by 2023; and (iii) the ratio of total SES to primary enrolment has risen from 0.47 in SY09/10 to nearly 0.83 in SY2016/17, surpassing the impact target of 0.6.

dormitory handbook signed by Minister on Feb. 2018

In SY 2016/2017, the share of female dormers staying in SESDP dormitories is at 44% (902 out of 2,068), showing reluctance of parents to send their young girl to stay in dormitories. Of these, 95% (1,971) are ethnic and 39% (804) are beneficiaries of the SSP program. Total dormitory occupancy is 72%, with the highest (104%) in Vientiane and lowest (54%) in Savannakhet.

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) approved on 31 December 2013 (Decree No. 5775 on Approval and Utilization of Beneficiary Selection Criteria and Interim Guidelines for Implementing MOES Needs-Based and Merit-Based Stipend Program at all Post Primary Levels) the noted selection criteria and interim implementation guidelines, which include targets for female and ethnic group students.

The SESDP Team supported MOES to consider options for an interim MOES-resourced, needs-based stipend program for disadvantaged SES students based on merit-based stipend sections of the Beneficiary Selection Criteria and Interim Guidelines for Implementing MOES Needs-Based and Merit-Based Stipend Programs at all Post-Primary Levels (approved by the Minister in December 2013). It was expected that this program would be included in MOES' FY2016/17 budget and could be launched in SY2016/17 in order to meet the original tranche 2 timeline. However, due to the need for a series of high-level discussions involving MOES, MOF, Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), to seek necessary approvals to add a new budget line into the national budget. MOES had noted that funds could only be proposed for the FY2018 budget for FY2017, with stipend payments released in late January or February 2018 (midway through SY2017/18).

Fund for 1,538 LSE students stipends beneficiaries were transfer to all school in December 2017

As of January 2017, 75 schools out of 75 school beneficiaries submitted their SIP and liquidation. The transfer of money for the second cycle for the 75 schools was completed on 7 February 2017. All schools received the money to implement planned activities for the cycle 2.

56. As of early January 2018, the PMU received 46 schools proposals for the third cycle. The first payment for the 3rd cycle was processed for 46 schools, in 30 districts and 15 provinces amounting to Kip 390,080,000. Request for payment was submitted to DOF on January 3, 2018.

Geographical Location Muang Beng, Muang Boualapha, Muang Dakchung, Muang Gnot-Ou, Muang Houamuang, Muang Khaleum, Muang Khamkeut, Muang Khoun, Muang Long, Muang Meung, Muang Na Kay, Muang Nale, Muang Namo, Muang Nga, Muang Ngoy, Muang Nong, Muang Pha Oudom, Muang Phin, Muang Phouvong, Muang Samouay, Muang Sangthong, Muang Sanxai, Muang Viangphoukha, Muang Viengxay, Muang Vilabouli, Muang Xaignabouli, Muang Xam-Tai, Muang Xepon, Samphanh
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The Program is classified as category C for environment, in accordance with ADB's Safeguards Policy Statement (2010), as it is likely to have minimal or no adverse environmental impacts. Civil works involved only small-scale construction of lower secondary schools and upper secondary facilities, with all sites were on government-owned land and situated in non-sensitive areas.
Involuntary Resettlement The Program is classified as category C for involuntary resettlement, having no involuntary resettlement impacts. As noted above, all civil works have been small-scale and on government-owned land.
Indigenous Peoples For indigenous peoples (termed _ethnic groups_ in Lao PDR), the Program is classified as category B, with considerable beneficial impacts for ethnic groups. Both SESDP's policy loan and project grant focus on addressing access and equity issues related to children from poor ethnic groups, particularly girls. Of the 30 districts targeted under output 1, 20 have mostly ethnic populations, and all 3 SESDP outputs emphasize improving access, quality, and SES management in poor, remote, and largely ethnic group areas. An Ethnic Group Plan (EGP) has been prepared in order to (i) outline the potential impacts of the Program (particularly the project) on ethnic groups, (ii) specify actions to address the impacts, and (iii) help improve the distribution of benefits to ethnic groups. The EGP supports integration of ethnic groups' needs and interests into each of the project outputs, and ensures effective participation and access to the benefits of the project. Key targets and/or features of the EGP include ensuring: (i) ethnic groups receive (a) 80% of dormitory spaces, scholarships, and remedial learning opportunities; (b) 80% of slots for a pilot teacher placement scheme and for teacher qualification upgrade grants; and (c) preferential access to in-service training (including as trainers); (ii) all textbooks and other materials developed under the project are ethnicity-sensitive; and (iii) institutional analysis, school network mapping, M&E, and other analytical work include ethnic group issues and criteria.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design In-depth dialogue with relevant government agencies throughout the Program design process; workshops/roundtables with agencies/departments at the central and provincial levels, international development partners, and private sector/nongovernment actors; compilation of existing data and conduct of focused studies; informal focused group discussions at both the institution and village/community levels; and direct consultations with school staff and students in target areas.
During Project Implementation In addition to international development partners, non-government entities (including private schools and non-profits) are being involved in SESDP-supported work to develop and/or operationalize new policies, such as on engaging private sector provision of and/or support to secondary education in Lao PDR. SESDP is also attempting to expand the role of communities in school management through strengthening pupil-parent committees, involvement of communities in SESDP initiatives like and access grants and the identification of needy students to receive stipends, as well as broader capacity building and support to promote community involvement in school improvement planning and school-based management.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

All consultants have been recruited according to ADB s Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.

A consulting firm for project implementation support has been recruited, consisting of a team of 19 international consultants (totaling 151 person-months) and 22 national consultants (totaling 340.0 person-months), using QCBS method with a standard quality cost ratio of 80:20 where full technical proposals (FTPs) have been required for submission.

Procurement

All procurement of goods and works to be financed under the grant will be undertaken in accordance with ADB s Procurement Guidelines,21 (2010, as amended from time to time) and the procurement plan prepared and agreed between the Government and ADB.

Under the project, international competitive bidding (ICB) procedures will be used for civil works contracts estimated to cost $1,500,000 or more, and supply contracts valued at $500,000. Contracts for works of more than $100,000 but less than $1,500,000 will follow national competitive bidding (NCB) procedures. Supply contracts for goods estimated below $500,000 but above $100,000 will be awarded on the basis of NCB. Items costing $100,000 or less will be procured through shopping.

Before the start of any procurement, ADB and the Government will review the public procurement laws of the central and state governments to ensure consistency with ADB s Procurement Guidelines.

Responsible ADB Officer Chanthy, Khamtanh
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Lao Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education and Sports
Lane Xang Avenue
Vientiane
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Timetable
Concept Clearance 28 Jun 2010
Fact Finding 09 May 2011 to 24 May 2011
MRM 01 Jul 2011
Approval 20 Sep 2011
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Sep 2018

Grant 0257-LAO

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Sep 2011 15 Nov 2011 09 Jan 2012 30 Jun 2019 31 Dec 2019 09 Jul 2020
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 32.36 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 30.00 20 Sep 2011 30.00 0.00 100%
Counterpart 2.36 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 20 Sep 2011 30.00 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Loan 2777-LAO

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Sep 2011 15 Nov 2011 09 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2016 31 Dec 2018 18 Dec 2018
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 10.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 10.00 20 Sep 2011 9.24 0.00 100%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 20 Sep 2011 9.24 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

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.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

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.

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.

Title Document Type Document Date
Secondary Education Sector Development Program: Indigenous Peoples Plan (Ethnic Group Plan) (as of Board approval) Indigenous Peoples Plans/Indigenous Peoples Development Plans Aug 2011

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) 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.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Research consultant 1 Individual - Consulting Closed 04 May 2019 18 May 2019
Research consultant 2 Individual - Consulting Closed 04 May 2019 18 May 2019
Project Impact Asssessment - International team leader Individual - Consulting Closed 04 May 2019 18 May 2019

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
PMU CONTRACTUAL STAFF Grant 0257 19 Mar 2019 VARIOUS VARIOUS LAO PEOPLE'S DEM REP Ministry of Education and Sports CONSULTANCY 151,500.00
SIGNED CONTRACT FOR PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION CONSULTING SERVICES (INCLUSIVE OF TAXES/DUTIES AS Grant 0257 20 Feb 2019 INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT UNIT 407 AB SANDOVAL BLDG. SHAW BLVD. COR. ORANBO DRIVE PASIG CITY PHILIPPINES Ministry of Education and Sports CONSULTANCY 5,319,778.64

Procurement Plan