ADB’s $ 200 education project gears to achieve targets | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

ADB’s $ 200 education project gears to achieve targets

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is implementing a program to uplift the education sector of Sri Lanka. The Education Sector Development Program (ESDP) of the Ministry of Education conducted from 2013 to 2019 is funded by ADB. The total project cost in USD 200 million.

The ADB’s key initiative for the education sector is RBL (Results Based Lending) granting targeted funds for existing projects of the Ministry. The main feature of the program is that pre- set results need to be achieved prior to receiving funds. It also focuses on achieving industrial requirements and ensuring the quality of education through skills development. This is Sri Lanka’s as well as ADB’s first RBL program and has achieved 28 Disbursement Link Results (DLR) out of 32. It is still at implementation stage and is to close in February 2019. “With the introduction of the Technology Stream in 2013, the ESDP has been progressing well” said Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sunil Hettiarachchi. Around 286 technology laboratories have been established throughout nine provinces with fifty more yet to be constructed. The financial requirements for equipment and maintenance of the laboratories has been provided by the ADB through the years. The Stream comprises three subjects: Science for Technology, Engineering Technology and Bio System Technology to be followed by Robotics.

This Steam currently accommodates Sinhala and Tamil medium students. However, there are requests from schools that it’s conducted in the English medium as well.

Steps have been taken to strengthen school management and leadership. Training programs have been conducted for 700 principals and 900 deputy principals so far. Teacher training programs have also been carried out for Mathematics, Commerce and Technology streams. The National Institute of Education (NIE) and the Principal Training College in Meepe has assisted with these training programs.

Also 255 schools of 1C status (offering only Arts and or Commerce Streams for A/L) have been upgraded to 1AB status (offering Science Stream along with Arts and Commerce for A/L).

Thus this would encourage students from rural areas to study in Science Stream for their Advanced Level examination. Further, the ESDP program was able to increase the number of A passes for Math by 73% and B passes by 52%. Similarly the number of A passes for Science by 40% and B passes by 42%.

According to Hettiarachchi, numerous facilities are available for students to utilize. They must take decisions wisely. Moreover, awareness programs need to be conducted for parents to make them aware of the educational opportunities available for students. “The ADB is very flexible in decision making. It provides lots of benefits for education. Its staff is also helpful.” he said.