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India & World Bank sign loan agreement; to improve quality of learning

The Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh on November 18, 2021, inked a loan agreement with the World Bank worth $250 million for a project. The project aims at improving the quality of learning for over 50 lakh students in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

The project will be benefiting students from all grades and stages of school education.

About the agreement

The fund will be utilized for educational purposes, which would strengthen schools and the learning of students. Under the project, a one-year preschool-level course in 3,500 schools in the tribal blocks will be introduced. This will help in addressing the issue of low learning levels amongst the tribal community.

Furthermore, due to the Covid19 pandemic, the State is prioritizing home-based learning opportunities for students. It aims to develop physical learning kits and content for television and radio broadcasts, due to the low availability of digital devices amongst students.

The Project will not only meet the digital gap but also reduce learning losses that children are likely to face due to school closures due to multiple reasons.

Benefits of the Agreement

The benefits of the agreement are manifold namely for the students, teachers, and education at large.

Students:

The beneficiaries of the project include about 40 lakh students between the age of six and fourteen in over 45,000 government schools. Further, over 10 lakh children between the age of three and six enrolled in Anganwadis (Integrated Child Development Centers), and about 1,90,000 teachers and more than 50,000 Anganwadi workers will be benefiting from the agreement in the State.

Furthermore, students from marginalized groups, including children with special needs, scheduled tribes, and girls will be given special attention under the project.

Teachers:
Moreover, the Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation Project will also encourage the professional development of teachers; and provide remedial learning courses for children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will also aid in improving teaching practices through classroom-based mentorships, need-based teacher training for teachers of all grades and subjects, Personalized Adaptive Learning (PAL) methods, and other forms of remedial education linked to standardized school-based assessments.

Schools:
The project will help with better maintenance of school facilities, support involvement of parents in school management and monitoring, make data available, and enhance school safety.

Scope

The State of Andhra Pradesh has adopted a new competency-based teaching-learning approach. The collaboration between the World Bank and the Government will foster in developing the institutional capacity of schools for delivering the services, which will benefit the community, by boosting the confidence and improving the learning environment.

It will strengthen the foundation years of students as the project focuses on foundational learning through short-term in-service training courses for Anganwadi workers and early grade (Grade 1 and 2) teachers and the supply of pedagogically appropriate Teaching Learning Material (TLM) across these centres and schools.

Such attention to foundational learning will improve the readiness of schools in preparing children with the cognitive, socio-behavioral, and language skills needed for future labour markets.

Other MoUs

The Government of India and the World Bank have continued to work together for various projects. Earlier in August 2021, the Government of India, the Central Water Commission, and the World Bank had signed a $250 million project, to support India’s long-term dam safety program and improve the safety and performance of existing dams across the various States of India.

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