Economy October 1, 2015 | 7:10 am

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World Bank US$50.0M to boost Dominican Republic’s education

Washington, September30, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved today US$50 million infinancing to support the Government of the Dominican Republic’s efforts toimprove the quality of pre-university education through a National Pact forEducation. The project aims to recruit and train primary and secondary schoolteachers; assess student learning in primary and secondary schools; evaluateearly childhood development services and help decentralize public schoolmanagement.

“This financingfocuses on the Government’s key priorityto provide opportunities for allDominicans by ensuring quality education” said Victor Sánchez Jáquez, Viceminister of Planning under the Dominican Ministry of Education. “This is animportant effort to ensure that the skills learned in the classroom lay thefoundation for future workplace success”.

According to thelatest regional student assessment, on average 78 percent of third gradeDominican students did not achieve a basic level of competence in reading, and90 percent of students performed below the basic math level. From 1989 to 2009,the Dominican Republic was the Latin American country that invested the leastin public education. The recent signing of the National Education Pact madeeducation one of the top priorities for the Dominican society.

“By signing theNational Pact for Education, the DR is not only addressing a key bottleneck toboost inclusive and sustainable growth in the country, but it is also settingan example for the region by focusing on quality of education,” said SophieSirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.

To help improvestudent learning in pre-university education, the Support to the NationalEducation Pact project will:

• Improve the quality of classroominstruction of primary and secondary teachers

• Improve the student assessment system totrack progress and support teacher training programs

• Increase school readiness by improvingthe standards of Early Childhood Development Centers

• Enhance the decentralization of publicschool management and promote community involvement in the education sector

The project will beimplemented by the Ministry of Education (MINERD) and financed under a US$50million Investment Project Financing over five years, with a 24.5 year maturityperiod and an 11-year grace period.

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