The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan yesterday signed the agreement for a $75 million loan for the Sindh Secondary Education Improvement Project, approved by ADB on 25 October 2019.
The project is being financed through ADB’s Concessional Ordinary Capital Resources, which is offered at very low interest charges. This signifies ADB’s strong commitment to reengage with Pakistan in the sector. There are a number of additional education projects planned over the next three years, including in the technical and vocational education and training sector.
Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the loan agreement, which will help improve education quality, accessibility, and gender equity of the secondary education system and infrastructure in Sindh. Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhyar witnessed the ceremony.
“Education is critical to Pakistan’s continued development and ADB is committed to supporting Pakistan as it moves towards more equitable and inclusive education,” said Ms. Yang. “I am pleased to sign this loan agreement. This project will help to improve education outcomes in Sindh, a province with important strategic endowments and development potential.”
The project will construct around 160 secondary school blocks on existing public school sites in some of the most deprived districts of southern Sindh. By focusing on access to education for girls, the project will help to bridge the gender and regional gaps in the province. The new blocks will feature gender-segregated sanitation facilities and prayer rooms, and be fitted with solar power.
The project will train teachers through an innovative classroom-based training and mentoring program and help to improve the transparency and content of the province’s public examination system. A key outcome in the project is for the newly built secondary school blocks to be managed by private sector operators—unlocking critical quality improvements, efficiencies, and value for money for the Government of Sindh.
The project will also improve teaching capacity in five key subjects: English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics, through the introduction of a teacher training and mentoring program using information and communications technology and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment in selected schools.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.