Bangladesh: Third Primary Education Development Project

Sovereign Project | 42122-013 Status: Active


ADB is helping Bangladesh continue to improve the quality and reach of its primary education system. The program covers pre-primary through Grade V primary education. It will help improve student learning outcomes and completion rates, reduce disparities across all regions, decentralize school governance and management, and institutionalize human resource development.

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Project Name Third Primary Education Development Project
Project Number 42122-013
Country Bangladesh
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 2761-BAN: Third Primary Education Development Project
Concessional ordinary capital resources / Asian Development Fund US$ 320.00 million
Loan: Third Primary Education Development Project
World Bank US$ 300.00 million
Grant: Third Primary Education Development Project- Additional Financing
United Nations Children's Fund US$ 100,000.00
European Union US$ 55.48 million
Global Partnership for Education US$ 100.00 million
Loan 3256-BAN: Third Primary Education Development Project- Additional Financing
Concessional ordinary capital resources / Asian Development Fund US$ 120.00 million
Loan: Third Primary Education Development Project- Additional Financing
World Bank US$ 400.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Education sector development - Pre-primary and primary - Pre-primary and primary - social protection initiatives

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The Third Primary Education Development Project (PEDP III) is a follow-on to the ongoing Second Primary Education Development Program (PEDP II), the first sub-sector wide approach (SWAp) in the education sector in Bangladesh. The Project will contribute to the Government of Bangladesh (government) five year (FY2012-FY2016) Third Primary Education Development Program (the government's program or the Program) covering one year preprimary education to five year primary education. Together with eight other development partners (DPs), the Project will support the government's priorities of improving student learning outcomes and completion rates, and reducing disparities across all regions. The Government's program will focus on achieving key outputs level results and other implementation steps to policy and institutional changes that are essential to meet the Government's objective of providing quality education for all children
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Bangladesh has one of the largest primary school systems in the world, with over 16 million children enrolled in over 80,000 primary schools. Considerable progress has been made in improving access to free and compulsory formal and nonformal primary education. Gross and net enrollment rates in primary education improved from 93.7% and 87.2% in 2005 to 103.5% and 93.9% respectively in 2009. Bangladesh was one of the few countries to achieve gender parity up to the secondary level by 2005. Despite significant progress in access, high internal inefficiencies persist - high student dropout and repetition rates, low completion and high student and teacher absenteeism. Two rounds of national student assessment indicate low student achievements of students in grades 3 and 5, although the results are improving. The Education for All: National Plan of Action II (NPA II), 2007 notes major weaknesses in indicators of classroom achievement and a growing quality divide between rural and urban schools.

The Government's National Education Policy (NEP) envisages to address the above systemic issues. It plans to (i) achieve education for all (EFA) by 2015; and (ii) ensure that every child is able to start primary school by 2011. NEP will help to enhance primary school education by reducing disparities between different types of schools, which will help to upgrade the workforce to meet national economic goals. There is an urgent need to reduce targeted rural and urban poverty by supporting the expansion and improvement of primary school education in disadvantaged locations in rural communities and urban slums, thus generating enhanced employment possibilities. The major internal benefits foreseen are: reduced repetition and dropout, improved completion rates of primary schooling, enhanced net enrolment rates from inclusive interventions for out-of-school children, and improved transition rates to secondary level education, all as a result of improved quality and relevance of education in schools with initial input deficits.

The government's Program will build on PEDP II, which is jointly funded by the Government and 11 development partners (DPs), including ADB as the lead DP. PEDP II established a strong foundation for a SWAp by bringing the government and DPs for the first time under one program from the previously 27 projects including 8 funded by different DPs in primary education. PEDP II has achieved the following: (i) mainstreaming minimum service standards across government administered primary schools through the introduction of primary school quality level (PSQL) standards; (ii) fair, transparent, and efficient teacher recruitment system for government primary schools which was also commended by Transparency International; (iii) introduction of results based management (RBM) which has led to the publication of the Annual Sector Performance Report covering progress on key performance indicators (KPIs) and PSQL indicators; (iv) initiation of the school level improvement plans (SLIPs) including school grants to support decentralized planning to address needs of participating schools; and (v) introduction of the terminal examination at the end of Grade 5, and implementation of the national student assessment every alternate year to assess progress on student achievements in grades 3 and 5.

Lessons identified from PEDP II including those from the Sector Assistance Performance Evaluation (SAPE) done in December 2008 are applied in the government's Program design: (i) carefully analyze the trade-offs between improvements in access and quality since quality improvement is a slower process that requires more direct support to schools and classrooms; (ii) mainstream core activities with built-in flexibility and provision to pilot and upscale implementation to ensure more sustainability; (iii) build on the improvements in governance under PEDP II (improved teacher recruitment, introduction of RBM, introduction of school improvement planning) with a funding modality more closely aligned with the government system, and greater focus on results; (iv) broaden and deepen the government implementation capacity by nurturing leadership at all levels, strengthening coordination at the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) level, and targeting high quality technical assistance (TA); (v) further reduce transaction costs through more stringent partnership arrangements; and (vi) provide adequate flexibility and time for preparation, transitional arrangements, and sequencing of reforms.

The proposed government's program which will be supported by the Project will build on PEDPII achievement and experience. It will (i) broaden the scope to include one year pre-primary and non-formal and second chance primary education; (ii) deepen quality improvement through improved teaching and learning practices in the classroom including improved assessment; (iii) enhance school governance, accountability and community mobilization; (iv) provide targeted support to disadvantaged groups and locations; (v) institutionalize human resource development (HRD) to incentivize the system and enhance capacity; (vi) deepen and institutionalize RBM and monitoring and evaluation mechanism at all levels; (vii) target and ensure effective utilization of TA and capacity support at all levels within an emerging decentralization framework; and (viii) enhance sub-sector management, coordination and greater alignment with the country system.

PEDP III will support the government's program using a project lending modality. This is best suited as: (i) interventions are more of investment nature and incremental steps toward reforms, rather than structural policy reforms, and (ii) the fiduciary environment requires close oversight by ADB, and therefore is not suitable for the use of program lending. However, to align with the salient features of the government's Program under a SWAp, PEDP III has incorporated the following innovative features.

Impact Quality education for all Bangladeshi children

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

An efficient, inclusive, and equitable primary education system delivering effective and relevant child-friendly

learning to all Bangladesh's children from preprimary through Grade 5 primary

Progress Toward Outcome

During the Joint Annual Review Mission / Mid Term Review mission of June / July 2014 overall progress was assessed as satisfactory. The MTR concluded in September 2014. The overall assessment was the program was on track and no major changes were needed. However additional financing was required due to increased number of teachers to be recruited, the increase in the cost of construction, extension for one year and to deepen several reforms.

Additional Financing of USD120 million from ADB became effective on 1 July 2015. ADB extended the program in line with the government extension.

During the Joint Annual Review Mission conducted in May 2016 overall progress of the program was assessed as satisfactory.

After the last DLI assessment 2 additional Year_4 DLIs were achieved as met. ADB disbursed $8,88 million USD for achievement of these 2 DLIs. As of May 2015, 1 Year_3 and 4 Year_4 DLIs are yet to be met as per the DLI schedule and 39 of the planned 45 DLI targets for Year_0 to Year_4 are achieved.

In terms of outcomes in 2015 Net Primary Enrolment was 97.9% for both genders, with a target of 98%, the gender parity index for Gross Enrolment at 1.08 with a target of 1.03, the completion rate at 79.6% with a target of 80%, and the number of input years per graduate at 6.2 with a target 6, showing that except for gender parity the program has almost reached it s outcome targets.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Improved teaching and learning for all.

Reduced disparities and universal access and participation

Decentralized and effective organization of the primary education system

Improved program planning and management

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) Progress towards achieving outputs is satisfactory, as can be seen from achieving DLIs. Recruitment of teachers, approval of career path and construction activities need to pick up to timely achieve DLIs.
Geographical Location All over the country.

Safeguard Categories

Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples B

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects

The project is environment category B. A common harmonized

environmental management framework has been prepared. The PEDP III, based on needs

assessment and agreed criteria, will support construction of new schools and dormitories; repair

and maintenance of existing schools; and provision of safe drinking water, sanitation and

drainage facilities. With adequate arrangements for site selection, design, construction, and

operation and maintenance, the PEDP III is not expected to create any significant or long-term

adverse environmental impact. Consistent with government and ADB policy, the Local

Government and Engineering Department will monitor implementation of the environment

management framework semiannually. The department has the capacity to implement the

framework. It will prepare and disclose periodic monitoring reports that describe progress on

implementation of the framework, and compliance issues and corrective actions, if any.

Involuntary Resettlement

The project is category B for involuntary resettlement. Social safeguard

issues may arise from the extension of existing and creation of new physical facilities.

Bangladesh s schools are generally established on designated government-owned land, free

from other temporary or permanent use. The PEDP II did not trigger the Involuntary

Resettlement Policy (1995) because beneficiary communities provided lands, where needed.

Under the PEDP III, local communities are expected to continue to contribute land. Consistent

with government and ADB policy, a harmonized resettlement framework has been prepared

covering school selection guidelines; guidelines for obtaining different types of land;

compensation principles and standards; monitoring and reporting; and consultation,

participation, and disclosure.

Indigenous Peoples

The project is category B for indigenous people. Three districts

Bandarban, Rangamati, and Khagrachari of Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to the largest

proportion of the country s small indigenous population. The rest are dispersed in the plains

districts of greater Sylhet, Mymensingh, and the north and southwest regions, where they

generally live in isolated settlements among the mainstream population. Under the PEDP II, a

plan for expanding education of tribal children was developed for extension and rehabilitation of

existing government schools for out-of-school children; capacity building of indigenous/tribal

institutions; social mobilization to motivate parents to send children to school; supplementary

reading materials development in indigenous language; and recruitment and training of teachers

in the hill tracts. Building on this experience, a harmonized indigenous peoples plan consistent

with government and ADB policies has been prepared, to ensure that program activities in

general and physical works in particular do not adversely affect indigenous

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Long, Xin
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Bangladesh Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
Mirpur-2, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding 20 Jan 2011 to 05 Feb 2011
MRM 26 Apr 2011
Approval 05 Jul 2011
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 15 Jan 2009
Last PDS Update 28 Sep 2016

Loan 2761-BAN

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
05 Jul 2011 15 Sep 2011 05 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2016 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 7,920.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 320.00 05 Jul 2011 301.42 0.00 100%
Counterpart 7,300.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 300.00 05 Jul 2011 301.42 0.00 100%

Loan 3256-BAN

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 May 2015 08 Jun 2015 01 Jul 2015 31 Dec 2017 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 2,185.20 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 120.00 20 May 2015 57.77 0.00 49%
Counterpart 1,665.20 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 400.00 20 May 2015 57.76 0.00 49%

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
Third Primary Education Development Program: Social Monitoring Report (July 2015-March 2016) Social Monitoring Reports Mar 2016
Third Primary Education Development Program: Social Monitoring Report (January–June 2015) Social Monitoring Reports Jun 2015
Third Primary Education Development Program: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-June 2015) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jun 2015
Third Primary Education Development Program: Social Monitoring Report (July - December 2014) Social Monitoring Reports Dec 2014
Third Primary Education Development Program: Biannual Environmental Management Report (July - December 2014) Environmental Monitoring Reports Dec 2014
Third Primary Education Development Project - Additional Financing: Combined Resettlement and Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework Combined Resettlement Framework and Indigenous Peoples Planning Frameworks Sep 2014
Third Primary Education Development Project - Additional Financing: Environmental Assessment and Review Framework Environmental Assessment and Review Framework Aug 2014
Third Primary Education Development Program: Interim Social Safeguard Report (July 2013-April 2014) Social Monitoring Reports Jun 2014
Third Primary Education Development Project: Social Monitoring Report (July - December 2013) Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2013
Primary Education Development Support Program III: Social Management Framework Combined Resettlement Framework and Indigenous Peoples Planning Frameworks Jan 2011
Primary Education Development Program III: Environmental Management Framework Environmental Assessment and Review Framework Jan 2011

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

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