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Education

Most developing countries in Asia and the Pacific have increased primary education enrollment rates in the last three decades, but daunting challenges remain. ADB is assisting its developing member countries achieve the goal of quality education for all.

Contribution to Operational Priorities

To address operational priorities, ADB offers integrated solutions combining expertise across a range of sectors and themes. These solutions will be delivered through an appropriate mix of public and private sector operations that are best suited to the specific needs on the ground.

The following are the education sector's contributions to ADB's operational priorities.

Accelerating progress in gender equality

  • Focus on girls’ completion of quality secondary and post-secondary education (for their transformative impacts).
  • Explore early childhood development programs including girls.
  • Reduce the number of females who are not in employment, education, or training; and support young women’s school-to-work transition.
  • Support more young women in nontraditional TVET, STEM, and infrastructure sectors to reduce gender streaming of the labor market.
  • Promote entrepreneurship, financial literacy, leadership, computer skills, and other soft skills for women and girls.
  • Support school curriculum and teacher training on gender-based violence, menstrual hygiene, and sexual education (targeting adolescent girls and boys).

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Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability

  • Ensure that the curriculum across education levels reflects the importance of sustainability and that teachers and other officials are trained accordingly.
  • Support environment-friendly and climate- and disaster-resilient new social infrastructure and retrofit existing education buildings to enhance efficiency and to demonstrate such practices.
  • Target skills development of new entrants and existing workers for green jobs with relevant partners.

Making cities more livable

  • Promote university–industry links and provide cross-sector support for skill development in different sectors and small and medium-sized enterprises in partnership with industries.
  • Encourage entrepreneurship through handholding and acceleration support.
  • Develop learning hubs in partnership with industries to support different types of skills (e.g., cognitive, noncognitive, and occupational).
  • Encourage lifelong learning through technical and vocational education and training.
  • Promote workforce development.

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Promoting rural development and food security

  • Enhance productivity and modernize agriculture, and develop skills linked to the agriculture value chain.
  • Ensure equity and improve the quality of rural education institutions and connectivity.
  • Develop entrepreneurship opportunities and cross-sector skills through partnerships.

Strengthening governance and institutional capacity

  • Develop service delivery standards in the education sector; enhance administrative efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of educational services.
  • Create a pipeline of investments geared toward improving the access and quality of education; ensure these investments are aimed at building people’s capacity to increase productivity and improve the quality of life.
  • Strengthen the capacity of educational institutions to effectively formulate, plan, implement, and monitor programs and projects.
  • Promote local school-based management within the context of transparency and accountability. School policies and guidelines must clearly reflect intended outcomes and must be anchored on community context.
  • Support decentralization of educational services from national to subnational agencies requires clear delineation of functions, mandates, and financing arrangements.
  • Encourage key stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes, and provide an enabling environment for citizen feedback.
  • Ensure the timely and corruption-free delivery of quality goods and services at national and subnational levels.
  • Improve the availability of timely and quality data for planning, implementing, and monitoring programs and projects in the education sector.

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Fostering regional cooperation and integration

The education sector will support RCI in the following areas: mutual recognition of qualifications and standards (education and skills) and common approaches to technical areas (student assessment, labor market assessment, benchmarking standards).


Policy on Education

ADB is committed to helping developing member countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, including the achievement of universal primary education, and gender equality in primary, secondary, and tertiary education. ADB supports education at all levels. Its policies and activities directly contribute to overall programs for poverty reduction.

ADB’s education policy gives particular attention to increasing equity and access; improving quality; strengthening management; mobilizing resources; strengthening partnerships; and applying new and innovative technologies, especially information and communication technology (ICT).

Education policies and strategies:

Priority areas

Good quality, inclusive education is essential to building human capital and a well-skilled labor force to underpin a modern, competitive economy. For this reason, ADB has identified education as a core area of operations. The Education Sector Operations Plan identifies key challenges confronting the developing countries of Asia and the Pacific, and presents ADB’s response to assisting countries in meeting those challenges.

In line with its long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, ADB will:

  • Increase and continue to align its support in the education sector to meet the changing needs and priorities of its developing member countries (DMCs). ADB will scale up its programming of loans, grants, and technical assistance, and strengthen economic sector work.
  • Emphasize strengthening quality, inclusiveness, and relevant skills at all levels of education. ADB will assist countries to move beyond a narrow focus on school enrollment at the basic level of education, to boosting quality and moving toward universal secondary education. ADB will also support broad policy reforms and capacity development, as well as the strengthening of social protection measures that help girls and disadvantaged students to attend school. Support to postsecondary education will help DMCs diversify and expand higher education, and ensure that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) contributes to filling labor market gaps and meeting the needs of informal sector workers.
  • Adjust subsector priorities while recognizing major differences in education needs across countries. ADB will support comprehensive educational programs to improve basic and secondary education to meet international development targets. Decentralized approaches and partnerships with local communities will receive increasing support. In response to growing demand from students completing secondary education, and labor market requirements, a larger share of ADB’s education sector portfolio will be dedicated to postsecondary education.
  • Utilize new and innovative models of service delivery and financing. ADB will use public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to improve the quality and cost-efficiency of education. It will also help DMCs rationalize education planning and financing. ADB will design projects so that they are attractive for private investment, while meeting objectives of government and other stakeholders. Further, ADB will support DMC efforts to increase the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education service delivery.
  • Promote regional cooperation and cross-border collaboration. ADB will facilitate labor mobility by supporting regional cooperation initiatives for the harmonization of education and skills qualifications. Supporting regional cooperation is a unique institutional strength of ADB as a regional development bank.

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Results of ADB-supported Operations in the Education Sector

Results achieved are aggregate amounts of outputs and outcomes from operations reported in project completion reports and extended annual review reports circulated for the year.

The table below shows the results of ADB-supported operations in the energy sector from 2010-2017.

Results Indicators

 27,513,370 students benefiting from new or improved educational facilities

27,513,370: Total number of students benefiting from new or upgraded physical educational facilities.

 13,756,856 female students benefiting from new or improved educational facilities

13,756,856: Total number of female students benefiting from new or upgraded physical educational facilities.

 13,748,058 male students benefiting from new or improved educational facilities

13,748,058: Total number of male students benefiting from new or upgraded physical educational facilities.

 46,327,953 students educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems

46,327,953: Total number of students benefiting from improved quality assurance systems under the projects.

 23,667,092 female students educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems

23,667,092: Total number of female students benefiting from improved quality assurance systems under the projects.

 22,614,686 male students educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems

22,614,686: Total number of male students benefiting from improved quality assurance systems under the projects.

 405,380 students educated and trained under improved quality assurance systems, TVET

405,380: Total number of students benefiting from improved quality assurance systems under the projects (TVET).

 2,627,737 kilometers teachers trained with quality or competency standards

2,627,737: Number of teachers trained who are likely to improve teaching practices and support improvements in curriculum, textbooks, or pedagogy.

 1,018,211 female teacher trained with quality or competency standards

1,018,211: Number of female teachers trained who are likely to improve teaching practices and support improvements in curriculum, textbooks, or pedagogy.

 1,604,120 male teacher trained with quality or competency standards

1,604,120: Number of male teachers trained who are likely to improve teaching practices and support improvements in curriculum, textbooks, or pedagogy.

 12,450 teachers trained with quality or competency standards, TVET

12,450: Number of teachers trained who are likely to improve teaching practices and support improvements in curriculum, textbooks, or pedagogy, as part of technical and vocational education and training (TVET), under the projects.

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