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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Uy-basic Ed 2


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
11/16/2004   
PROJ ID:
P041994
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Uy-basic Ed 2
Project Costs(US $M)
 40  40.74
Country:
Uruguay
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 28  28
Sector, Major Sect.:
Central government administration, Pre-primary education, Primary education, Tertiary education,
Law and justice and public administration; Education; Education; Education
Cofinancing (US $M)
   
L/C Number:
L4381      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  99
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
08/31/2003 02/29/2004
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Helen Abadzi
George T. K. Pitman Alain A. Barbu OEDSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
Objectives were to (a) expand coverage and improve quality of preschool and elementary education, and (b) achieve greater social equity by targeting the expansion of the new pedagogical single-shift (full-time) model of teaching within preschool education and primary education to socio-economically disadvantaged population. The specific objectives of the universalization of preschool education component were (a) expanding the coverage of preschool educate to nearly 100% of children of age 4 and 5; and (b) improving the quality of public preschool education. The specific objective of the single shift - full time schools was to expand a new pedagogical model to children from socio-economically disadvantaged families, thus improving the quality of primary education.

b. Components
Universalization of preschool education (US$15.4 million) consisted of sub-components:(a) classroom construction; (b) classroom equipment and learning materials; (c) training; (d) studies; and (e) promotional campaign for parents and families.

Single-shift full-time schooling (US$23.2 million) consisted of sub-components: (a) improving the existing full time schools, (b) classroom equipment and learning materials; (c) training and technical assistance to schools; (d) studies; and (e) promotional campaign.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The project closed after an extension totaling six months, and all funds were disbursed.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Objectives were substantially achieved with some shortcomings, as follows:

Universalization of preschool education. The student enrollment target was exceeded, with 13,318 additional children aged 4-5 enrolling in public preschools, particularly among the disadvantaged children. Thus, 90% of 5-year olds are enrolled compared to 82% in 1996. A total of 109 classrooms were constructed and equipped vis-a-vis a target of 200, but emphasis shifted to rehabilitation, and the target number of students were accommodated. About 29,000 books were bought. A new curriculum was developed, and about 1900 educators were trained in it. All preschool teachers were certified, and 200 extra teachers were employed. Two studies were carried out to find out how best to serve the disadvantaged and bilingual children.

Expansion of full-time schools. Capacity of these schools rose by 30,000 students; around 26,900 new students enrolled. Only 120 new classrooms (11 schools) were constructed and furnished (vs. 280 targeted) due to a lack of counterpart funds; however emphasis shifted to building rehabilitation, and all new students were accommodated in refurbished schools; 30 existing schools were converted to full-day schools and 55 others were rehabilitated. Teaching materials were provided to all classrooms. About 2,993 educators were trained in the full-time school model, exceeding a target of 1,200. A series of studies was carried out to understand best how to serve disadvantaged students and why repetition rates seemed resistant to various efforts.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Research and activities reported noted an improvement in the instructional delivery of schools participating in the full-time school program. Attention to the education of the poor in the early grades has led to substantial increases in achievement test scores. Language scores in 1996 rose from an overall 57% to 66%, while math improved from 35% to 48% over the same period.
The project was truly prepared by the borrower, and there was extensive stakeholder consultation. The process resulted in considerable ownership and institutional development.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

Though improved, the overall repetition rate of 10% did not drop to 5% as expected. It remained at 9.1% in 2003. In particular, the 21.3% national average for grade 1 was reduced to 17.8% in 2003 rather than 10% as expected. The high repetition rates among very disadvantaged schools (33%) were reduced substantially to 21.5% but not to the expected 12%.
The regional financial crisis affected Uruguay and counterpart funds availability, resulting in implementation delays and limited school maintenance. Construction targets were reduced, partly because building costs had been underestimated. Changes of high-level officials resulted in delays in governmental decisionmaking.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
SatisfactorySatisfactory
Institutional Dev.:
SubstantialSubstantial
Sustainability:
LikelyLikely
Bank Performance:
SatisfactorySatisfactory
Borrower Perf.:
Highly SatisfactoryHighly Satisfactory
Quality of ICR:
Satisfactory

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

- Extending the school day is an effective means of teaching disadvantaged children that promotes equity and enables many to catch up with middle-class children.
- Time engaged in learning tasks during school increases achievement and leads to improved mastery of basic skills.
- Involvement of stakeholders and beneficiaries in the early stages of project design promotes ownership and sustainability.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  To study the innovative delivery of preprimary and primary education to the poor (e.g. full-time school).

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is thorough and very detailed (in fact the level of detail is excessive at some points and the document's length substantially exceeds the ICR guidelines). hough the concept of full-time schools is very sensible for poor students, their organizational model could have ben better explained. Finally, table V is not readable.

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