ADB is well-positioned to provide leadership in the education sector in Asia. With over $15 billion in loans and grants to the education sector for more than 50 years, ADB has a long track record in assisting its developing member countries (DMCs) achieve the goal of quality education for all.
ADB provides finance and advisory assistance to its DMCs for education services to tackle key challenges such as
- increasing enrollment (access) particularly of disadvantaged groups
- improving learning outcomes for all (quality and relevance) since many students are not learning despite attending school
- reducing education inequality (equity and inclusiveness) to ensure no one is left behind
- enhancing employability of graduates from different levels of education and training
- improving governance, financing, and efficiency
ADB has supported the decentralization of basic education in Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia and Uzbekistan; the modernization of secondary education in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam including secondary education oriented to labor market needs in the Philippines; human capital and skills development in Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, and Kyrgyz Republic; higher education projects in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Mongolia; distance education in South Pacific countries; and open university systems in Bangladesh.
Strategy 2030 reflects ADB's commitment to increase and align its support in the education sector to meet the changing needs and priorities of its DMCs. The strategy positions education to strongly support learning anytime anywhere with the use of appropriate technologies, addressing remaining poverty, reducing inequalities, and accelerating progress in gender equality.
Drawing lessons from COVID-19 for the new normal, ADB continues to identify key educational challenges in Asia and the Pacific in the coming years, and proposes ways for its DMCs to meet those challenges. ADB stresses the importance of using new and innovative models of education service delivery and financing to enhance learning for all and the employability of graduates.
To achieve these goals, ADB is scaling up its programming of loans, grants, and technical assistance, and strengthening its economic and sector work. Besides assisting comprehensive educational programs in developing countries that bring basic and secondary levels up to international standards, ADB is supporting postsecondary education including vocational and higher education, as well as social protection measures that help girls and disadvantaged students to attend school.
How does ADB influence development in the region through its educational investments?
- ADB, DMCs, and other development stakeholders agree that nations need to reach and maintain a critical level of basic skills to provide the social and economic means for societies to grow and prosper.
- If ADB can help each DMC in Asia to strengthen its own formal and informal education and training system, then each country and the region collectively will stand a better chance of competing in the global economy.
- ADB offers scholarships through the ADB-Japan Fund for Scholarship Program as well as internship and research fellowship opportunities to eligible candidates from DMCs.
- ADB recognizes that universal basic education along with similar efforts for secondary education go hand-in-hand with expansion of post-secondary education, teacher education, and skills training that together rest on the strong foundation of school education. ADB helps each DMC develop a good mix of financing across the various subsectors.
- ADB and the international community stress the importance of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for education ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Video recording: Education CEOs Roundtable - Role of Technology in Education: Optimizing Education’s New Normal Webinar
- Education by 2020: A Sector Operations Plan
- ADB-Japan Fund for Scholarship Program
- Strategy 2030: Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific
With the support of the ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund, Kaysone in Lao PDR is pilot-testing digital tools that will teach students the skills needed by the labor market, increasing business efficiency and enhancing economic growth.