Significant shortfalls persist in both school participation and student achievement in Punjab. To address these challenges, the Government of Punjab is implementing the Punjab Education Sector Reform Program, which aims to improve schooling outcomes through institutional development and strengthening, improved monitoring, and enhanced governance and accountability. Over 850,000 additional students, more than half of them girls, are now enrolled in low cost private schools supported under government subsidies tied to minimum school quality standards. Some 400,000 female students receive quarterly stipends tied to school attendance. The new results-based project will build on these achievements and support the second phase of the reform program over the period 2012-2015.
“With a target school-aged population of over 12 million children, 30 percent of who remain out of school and with relatively low levels of learning, continuation of our support to the government’s reform program is critical,” said RachidBenmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan adding that second phase of the program aims to take the next evolutionary step and zero in on improving service delivery performance at the school level. A key focus will be improving teacher quality and performance, which is critical for better school quality, and, thereby helping retain students in school and attract new children to school”.
The Second Punjab Education Sector Project is a credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. It carries a 0.75 percent service charge, and 1.25 percent interest rate, a grace period of 5 years, and a maturity of 25 years.