fbpx 51434-001: Jiangxi Shangrao Early Childhood Education Demonstration Program | Asian Development Bank

China, People's Republic of: Jiangxi Shangrao Early Childhood Education Demonstration Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 51434-001 Status: Approved

The project aims to improve access to quality three-year early childhood education (ECE), especially in rural areas by (i) increasing quality ECE facilities, especially in rural areas; (ii) improving pre- and in-service kindergarten teachers and principal training systems; and (iii) developing models and systems for improving and ensuring the quality of ECE, especially in rural areas. The project will be the first ECE project in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will facilitate access to knowledge and expertise in ECE pedagogy, quality assessments, and research. It will also add value by introducing digital technologies and solutions to enhance access to quality ECE, especially in rural areas, and strengthen institutional capacity and governance. Impact evaluation of specific ECE interventions on child progress and development, and possibly on women's labor force participation, is considered.

Project Details

Project Officer
Maruyama, Asako East Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • China, People's Republic of
Sector
  • Education
 
Project Name Jiangxi Shangrao Early Childhood Education Demonstration Program
Project Number 51434-001
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 3991-PRC: Jiangxi Shangrao Early Childhood Education Demonstration Program
Ordinary capital resources US$ 100.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Pre-primary and primary

Information and communication technology / ICT industries and ICT-enabled services

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The project aims to improve access to quality three-year early childhood education (ECE), especially in rural areas by (i) increasing quality ECE facilities, especially in rural areas; (ii) improving pre- and in-service kindergarten teachers and principal training systems; and (iii) developing models and systems for improving and ensuring the quality of ECE, especially in rural areas. The project will be the first ECE project in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will facilitate access to knowledge and expertise in ECE pedagogy, quality assessments, and research. It will also add value by introducing digital technologies and solutions to enhance access to quality ECE, especially in rural areas, and strengthen institutional capacity and governance. Impact evaluation of specific ECE interventions on child progress and development, and possibly on women's labor force participation, is considered. ADB will further support, through innovative pilots and ECE research, the development of ECE knowledge base for other PRC provinces and ADB developing member countries as regional public goods. The project is aligned with ADB's country partnership strategy for the PRC, 2016-2020 and Strategy 2030.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Shangrao is one of the 11 prefecture-level municipalities comprising Jiangxi Province which forms part of the central region prioritized by the Government of the PRC for coordinated regional development. The province lags in urbanization (54.6% in 2017, below the national average of 59.4%). Of its 64 counties, 25 are classified as national poverty-stricken counties, of which, four are in Shangrao municipality. Among the 11 municipalities, Shangrao ranked the second lowest in gross domestic product per capita (CNY26,996) in 2016, and remains largely rural, with the urbanization rate at 48.9%. Poverty persists particularly in rural areas where the per capita household income is equal to only about one-third of that in urban areas. Income poverty is further compounded by lack of access to basic infrastructure and public services in rural areas, including basic education. To address the challenge, the Jiangxi Provincial Government issued the guidelines in February 2018 for implementing the rural vitalization strategy based on the national guidelines, seeking to coordinate government interventions High-quality ECE brings social and economic benefits especially to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, boosts female employment, and reduces intergenerational inequality and poverty. Yet, access to ECE has been severely constrained in Shangrao because no kindergartens exist in proximity to children's homes, particularly in rural areas. Although gross enrollment ratio (GER) has significantly improved through the implementation of the first (2010-2013), second (2014-2016), and third (2017-2020) action plans for ECE development from 78% for one-year ECE; 70% for two-year ECE; and 60% for three-year ECE in 2010 to 93%, 81%, and 66% respectively in 2017, there remain townships and villages without any kindergarten. Even if there are kindergartens nearby, receiving quality three-year ECE is a challenge due to lack of spaces, teachers, or affordability.

By filling the gap in ECE provision, private kindergartens have proliferated in Shangrao, accounting for 66% (1,751) of all the kindergartens (2,653) in 2017. Private kindergartens are dominant particularly in urban areas (81% of kindergartens in urban areas), though they still operate in rural areas (55% of kindergartens in rural areas). Quality and affordability of private kindergartens vary considerably, with high standard private kindergartens in urban areas charging more than four times higher than public kindergartens, while substandard private kindergartens charging marginally higher. Out of growing concern over the accessibility, affordability, and quality of ECE, local governments started subsidizing private kindergartens which meet the national construction standards for kindergartens under the second action plan.

As the rural vitalization strategy came into force, new targets have been included in the third action plan to construct at least one public kindergarten in each township by 2018, and in each administrative village resided by more than 2,000 people by 2020. As of July 2018, 65 out of 188 townships in Shangrao have no public kindergarten. The number of administrative villages with a population of 2,000 and above having no public kindergarten remains considerable. With the expansion of urban areas, moreover, places at existing kindergartens have increasingly become unavailable in urban areas. The need to construct new kindergartens poses yet another challenge - staffing newly constructed kindergartens by qualified staff, especially qualified ECE teachers and principals. Coordination between pre-service teacher education institutions, local governments, and kindergartens has been insufficient to meet the need for teachers and principals on time. Consequently, qualified ECE teachers in Shangrao account for 43% of all ECE teachers (10,304 in 2017). Furthermore, due to lack of quotas for "public employee" teachers (only about 10% of all the positions, mostly allocated to public kindergartens in urban areas), many ECE teachers work on contractual basis without the benefits enjoyed by "public employee" teachers and prospects of career progression. Rural kindergartens, therefore, face difficulties in attracting qualified ECE teachers.

Research suggests that benefits of ECE are contingent on quality and that low quality ECE is even detrimental to child development. The key to the quality of ECE is knowledge and skills of ECE teachers to understand the needs of each child and effectively interact with them. To maintain and upgrade knowledge and skills, teachers, including those who fulfill the qualification requirements, need to be engaged regularly in continuous professional development. Equally important is the management and pedagogical leadership of kindergarten principals. As part of its efforts to improve the quality of ECE, Shangrao started supporting, under the third action plan, ECE teachers and principals to receive further education and training and to get certified within the national ECE teacher certification system. It also plans to strengthen pre- and in-service training systems for ECE teachers and principals in collaboration with the Shangrao ECE Normal College, the major pre-service ECE teacher education institution in Shangrao. It is further planned to pilot a township-centered village kindergarten network model, where a township center kindergarten equipped with quality ECE resources and qualified teachers and principal is expected to provide ECE resources and support for village kindergartens in the network. Such township-village kindergarten networks would be essential to implement national curriculum guidelines for ECE, which most teachers, especially in rural areas, find difficult to implement.

Children in rural areas are more disadvantaged than those in urban areas because they are often left behind by their parents who migrate to work elsewhere and are taken care of by their grandparents or other care givers. Although parental engagement in ECE proves crucial in child development and learning, children left behind in rural areas lack such parental care and support. Given the circumstances, community integration and engagement in ECE has come to be considered as an alternative, especially in conjunction with the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy.

In March 2018, Shangrao entered into a partnership agreement with Shanghai to receive support for ECE development. ECE teachers and principals in Shangrao are provided opportunities to conduct observations and receive training at high-quality kindergartens in Shanghai. The agreement includes the secondment of professors from the East China Normal University in Shanghai, one of several leading ECE research institutions in the PRC, to the Shangrao Municipal Bureau of Education to provide technical and academic support. Some innovative ideas to improve access to quality three-year ECE in Shangrao, especially in rural areas, are proposed, which, however, require further elaboration, planning, and implementation.

Impact Universal coverage of quality 3-year ECE achieved
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Children receiving quality 3-year ECE increased
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Provision of affordable 3-year ECE increased

Systems for preparation and professional development of ECE teachers, principals, and childcare staff established

Models and mechanisms for improving the quality of ECE developed

Systems for assessing, monitoring, and ensuring the quality of ECE strengthened

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Shangrao
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects Outputs 1 and 2 will involve civil works on public or collective lands or within existing kindergarten premises that may have some temporary and site-specific environmental impacts. Outputs 3 and 4 will not trigger environmental impacts. Considering the nature and size of the kindergarten facilities to be included under the program, the environmental impacts are deemed insignificant. Any physical activities that may be classified category A for the ADB environment safeguards are excluded from the RBL program.
Involuntary Resettlement Outputs 1 and 2 will involve civil works on public or collective lands or within existing kindergarten premises that may have potential involuntary resettlement impacts. Outputs 3 and 4 will not trigger involuntary resettlement impacts. Considering the nature and size of the kindergarten facilities to be included under the program, the social impacts are deemed insignificant. Any physical activities that may be classified category A for the ADB involuntary resettlement safeguards are excluded from the RBL program.
Indigenous Peoples The ethnic minority population of Shangrao is well integrated into the majority Han population and has no specific issues with access to ECE, except for the She ethnic minority group for whom distance from home to kindergartens and the language may be barriers. While no adverse impacts on the She ethnic minority population are expected, the program action plan includes actions to enhance the benefits for the She ethnic minority population.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Relevant government agencies, kindergartens, teachers, principals, childcare staff, and parents of children were consulted in the process of designing the project.
During Project Implementation Relevant government agencies, kindergartens, teachers, principals, childcare staff, and parents of children will be involved in implementing the project. The program will rely on the communication and information disclosure arrangements for ECE in Shangrao. Shangrao Bureau of Education has its website and WeChat public account and disseminates news, policies and guidelines, and reports. Shangrao Municipal Government will create a page of its website to disseminate information on the program including relevant ADB guidelines and policies and procurement- related information.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services To be determined during project processing.
Procurement To be determined during project processing.
Responsible ADB Officer Maruyama, Asako
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Shangrao Municipal Government
Administration Center, Middle Fenhuang Avenue, Shangrao, Juangxi, China
Timetable
Concept Clearance 15 Sep 2018
Fact Finding 08 May 2020 to 30 May 2020
MRM 01 Jul 2020
Approval 13 Oct 2020
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 14 Oct 2020

Loan 3991-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
13 Oct 2020 - - 30 Jun 2026 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 750.80 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 100.00 13 Oct 2020 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 650.80 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 13 Oct 2020 0.00 0.00 0%

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Procurement Plan

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