Haiti

Haiti: World Bank approves US$25 million grant to support Education for All program

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Press Release No:2007/344/LAC

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2007 – The World Bank's Board of Directors today approved a US$25 million grant to Haiti in order to increase access to primary education for poor children aged 6-12, while improving equity, quality and governance of the education sector.

The Education for All Project will support the Government's National Education Strategy by expanding access to primary education, improving educational quality, and strengthening the capacity, transparency and accountability of the Ministry of Education. The US$25 million International Development Association (IDA) funded-grant is the first of three program grants to support primary education in Haiti over the next 8 years.

"This project directly supports the Haitian Government's efforts to strengthen governance and deliver visible benefits to the Haitian people," said Caroline Anstey, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. "Expanding access to education in Haiti is not only essential to improve human development and reduce poverty, but also to increase hope among the population, particularly among the poor, whose children will be the main beneficiaries of this program."

Haiti's education sector suffers from weaknesses in virtually all aspects, including access, equity, quality and institutional capacity. Approximately 500,000 children aged 6-11 do not attend school of any kind, and only about half of all six year olds enroll in first grade. Eighty percent of all primary level students attend non-public schools, financed by parents, religious associations, NGOs and other sources. The main constraint to rapid expanded access to primary education is parents' inability to pay for school fees.

The project will support the implementation of the national "Education For All" strategy in three specific areas:

1. Ensuring educational access for 135,000 poor children aged 6-12 who are currently out of school

- Providing student subsidies (US$90 per student) to the National Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) to be disbursed to management committees of accredited schools, so that poor students currently not-enrolled in school could attend primary schools free of charge.

- Increasing the number of new trained teachers from 450 to 2,400 per year, through provision of pre-service teacher training to recent secondary school graduates with 12 years of education in both public and accredited private teacher education institutes.

- Financing training and technical assistance for members of school management committees to increase their capacity to prepare funding proposals, manage funds transferred from the MENFP, supervise school-level quality improvement projects and school feeding programs, and increase transparency and accountability in school management.

2. Improving the quality of primary education

- Developing pilot learning programs adapted for multi-grade classrooms, which are particularly suited for rural areas or in schools with large numbers of over-age students (benefiting 8,000 students in 200 classrooms).

- Financing school feeding on a daily basis to approximately 25,000 school children, in both public and private schools.

- Enhancing the quality of learning through better provision of Creole language textbooks for Grades 1 and 2, and through the introduction of a simple reading assessment of students at the end of Grade 2.

3. Improving governance of MENFP

- Increasing the capacity of the Ministry of Education to manage public funds in a transparent and fully accountable manner through intensive capacity building of the Department of Administrative Affairs (DAA), the National Education Partnership Office (NEPO), the National School Feeding Program (NSFP), and the Department for Private Education and Partnership (DAEPP).

"This project is parallel-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank, which will add US$10 million in grant funding," said Sam Carlson, World Bank task team leader for the project. "In addition, it is hoped that Haiti's newly revised national strategy to achieve Education For All will be endorsed and supported by the Education For All Fast-Track Initiative, as Haiti's needs exceed existing financing possibilities."

The "Education For All" Fast-Track Initiative (FTI) was established in 2002, in response to more than 77 million children, including 44 million girls worldwide out of school, to help low-income countries achieve a free, universal basic education by 2015. Haiti expects to qualify for the Education For All Fast-Track Initiative by the end of FY07.

For more information on this project, please visit:
http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=64283627&piPK=73230&theSitePK=40941&menuPK=228424&Projectid=P099918

For more information on the World Bank's work in Haiti, please visit
http://www.worldbank.org/ht

For more project information on this project, please visit: http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?Projectid=P099918&theSitePK=40941&pagePK=64283627&menuPK=228424&piPK=73230

Contacts

In Washington: Stevan Jackson (202) 458-5054
sjackson@worldbank.org

Patricia da Camara (202) 473-4019
pdacamara@worldbank.org