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Govt’s secondary edu project surpasses targets


The Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project (SEQAEP) surpassed the initial targets for students appearing in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam and the secondary school completion rates with around 210,000 poor students appearing in the SSC exam in 125 upazilas.

The SSC pass rate, gender parity and the share of poor in secondary enrollment have improved considerably, said a release of the World Bank.

The World Bank-funded SEQAEP provides incentive awards to students, teachers and schools and extends support to students in English and Mathematics in order to improve academic performance.

Nearly one million poor girls and boys now receive stipend to continue their secondary education, said the release.

So far, some 146,000 poor students have received SSC pass awards, way above the target of 84,000 for the first four years of the project. During this period, nearly 5,000 institutions received SSC institutional awards against the target of 3,566 institutions.

The project emphasizes improvement of secondary education quality through a series of academic support interventions and incentive schemes. It also systematically measures the quality of learning and academic competencies of students.

One set of assessments on English, Maths and Bangla for Grade 8 students has already been completed. The results of these independent assessments will inform the policymakers and the stakeholders and help them adjust quality-related policies and interventions accordingly. The project helps build appropriate capacity to mainstream the assessment system.

Almost 562,000 students have now been brought under a ‘developing reading habit program’ with support from Bishwa Sahitya Kendra. About 109,000 additional classes on English and Mathematics were offered last year to the students in the rural institutions where performance in these subjects was particularly weak in the past.

In view of the exceeding participation of students in the program and consequent fund shortage, the government and the World Bank are discussing the possibility of an additional financing and an extension of the project duration to synchronize with a sector-wise program beginning from 2017 with participation from other development partners.

Meanwhile, the government and the World Bank will conduct several studies on the impact and efficiency of different interventions to inform future policies.