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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Education Sector Support Project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Education Sector Support Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 360.91  340.19
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 244  216.71
Sector, Major Sect.:
Central government administration, Primary education, Tertiary education,
Law and justice and public administration; Education; Education
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/2002 12/31/2004
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Helen Abadzi
Fernando Manibog Alain A. Barbu OEDSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The overall objective was to assist the Borrower in: (a) mitigating the adverse impact of the regional economic crisis on its education sector; and (b) attain medium-term economic recovery by developing and enhancing student technical skills. Specifically, the project sought to: (a) improve access to Basic Education, primarily in poor and underdeveloped areas through the construction of new education facilities; (b) improve the quality of Basic Education by upgrading teacher qualifications and teaching skills, and the development of instructional materials, and strengthening of existing pilot school-to-work programs; (c) increase student capacity of polytechnics through the construction and equipping of a new polytechnic institute in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and the upgrading, expansion, and equipping of six existing project polytechnics to create additional capacity; (d) improve the quality and relevance of Polytechnic Education through the provision of staff training, and the revision and development of teaching curricula and materials; (e) strengthen the information, planning and management systems of the polytechnics; (f) improve the national Education Management Information System, and expand its usage, especially in the states of Sabah and Sarawak; (g) enhance Ministry of Education management and capacity to conduct policy and data analysis, and strategic planning; (h) improve Higher Education through the training of university lecturers, and the review and recommendation of appropriate funding methodologies for Higher Education, the study of student enrollment expansion and its potential impact on education quality, and the development of information technology strategies; and (i) enhance the Borrower’s project management capacity by increasing the number of staff at the project management level and providing equipment.

b. Components
(a) Basic Education (US$127.80m at appraisal, US$161.8m actual) to improve access and quality, primarily in poor and undeveloped areas, through construction of 35 primary schools, 25 secondary schools, 600 staff houses and student hostels to accommodate about 2,700 students and provision of equipment and furniture; to upgrade teacher qualifications and skills through training, the development of curricula and instructional materials, and the strengthening of the existing pilot school-to-work programs.

(b) Polytechnic Education (US$172.2m at appraisal, US$162.5m actual) to increase student capacity of polytechnics by: (i) constructing and equipping a new polytechnic institute at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, with a design capacity of about 3600 students; and (ii) upgrading, expanding, and equipping of six project polytechnics to create a total of about 15,000 new student places. Activities included improving the quality and relevance of polytechnic education by training about 1,130 polytechnic staff; the revision of existing, and development of new curricula and materials; and strengthening the information, planning and management systems of polytechnics through the provision of consultant services and equipment.
(c) Institutional Strengthening (US$15.6m at appraisal, US$12m actual) to improve and expand the use of the existing Education Management Information System, enhance the management and academic/technical capacity of the Ministry of Education to conduct policy and data analysis, and strategic planning. improve training of education staff, funding, policy development, and information technology, improve project management capacity.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
After extensions totaling 30 months, the project closed on December 31, 2004; US$27.29m were canceled.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

(a) Improved access to basic education (fully achieved); all 34 primary schools planned for poor areas of Sabah and Sarawak (97% of the target of 34) were completed, as were all the planned 26 secondary schools. The project also built 447 teacher’s quarters (75% of target) in 44 locations and about 2700 student hostel units (98% of target) in 16 locations. All construction was judged to be of good to excellent quality by Ministry of Education architects.
(b) Improve the quality of Basic Education (fully achieved). About 11,175 teachers and administrator received training on computer education and other information-technology oriented courses. Nearly all targets for teacher training were met or exceeded, ranging from 87% to 200%.
(c) Increase student capacity of polytechnics (fully achieved). A new polytechnic was completed in Kota Kinabalu to accommodate 3600 students. Six other existing polytechnics were also upgraded, expanded and re-equipped, and 15,000-18,600 places were added.
(d) Improve the quality and relevance of Polytechnic Education (fully achieved). The project produced 465 teacher graduates with a Masters Degree, 394 staff completed undergraduate degrees, and about 73 staff also completed Diploma programs. Finally, about 454 staff completed various short-term training courses to improve the skills of career guidance and counseling, administrator/heads of departments, and the upgrading of teacher skills in new technologies. Overall, the project trained 1,386 staff in a variety of administrative, pedagogical and technical areas. This exceeds the planned target of 1,130 staff trained (about 123% of target). Also, the curricula for 762 existing subjects were fully updated. A total of 299 new curriculum modules were also developed (200% of target).
(e) Strengthen the information, planning and management systems of the polytechnics (fully achieved). Information systems and all three planned student graduate tracer studies (2002, 2003, and 2004) were completed and disseminated (100% of target), as were sector studies and a long-term master plan.
(f) Improve the national Education Management Information System (fully achieved). The existing Management Information System of the Ministry of Education was successfully upgraded and its usage has been expanded into the educational institutions located in Sabah and Sarawak. Associated with this effort, 774 staff participated in Training-of-Trainers programs (114% of original target); localized verification workshops were conducted for 31,605 staff (175% of target); and policy seminars and other related workshops were conducted for 828 staff (127% of target).
(g) Enhance Ministry of Education management and capacity (fully achieved). To enhance Ministry staff in terms of management skills, academic qualifications, policy-oriented data analysis, and strategic planning, the project provided a number of staff development programs. Most targets for advanced degrees were met or exceeded (77% to 158% of numerical targets).
(h) Improve Higher Education through the training of university lecturers (partially achieved). About 70 faculty members were identified to receive overseas medical training. By the end of the project, 54 faculty members have completed their training in various medical fields (77% of target).
(i) Enhance the Borrower’s project management (fully achieved). A project coordination unit was established and overall functioned satisfactorily.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

A school-to-work pilot program was established to reach very poor students and offer them relevant skill training and employment. It supported 25 schools and an eventual expansion to 100 schools in 2000. In that one year, the program produced 2,654 beneficiaries out of a target of 3,000 under-achiever secondary students (about 89% of target).
  • As a result of project inputs, enrollment rates increased by 40,061 students, particularly in very poor areas. Nationally, access improved by about 9% for primary students and by about 16% for secondary students. Primary school teachers with diplomas increased by about 11.4%. Tracer studies indicated improvements in employer satisfaction with polytechnic program quality and graduates.

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

The project was somewhat negatively affected by the aftermath of the Asian economic crisis in 1997-1998. Financial instability made it difficult to estimate future costs and foreign exchange requirements. Some activities were implemented more slowly, including construction, procurement of goods and services, and overseas training commitments. International training proved more expensive than expected, and some questions arose regarding the appropriateness of teachers chosen for training. Monitoring and evaluation activities were not clearly designed at project start and had to be retrofitted.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
Highly LikelyHighly Likely
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Highly SatisfactoryHighly Satisfactory
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Lack of familiarity with various Bank guidelines and documentation requirements is a frequent reason for slow implementation and delays. Borrower staff need training early on to anticipate and resolve potential conflicts between Bank guidelines and local procurement procedures.
  • In large-scale staff development programs, international training may be found to be too costly to implement on a large scale, and some inappropriate staff may be selected. Care should be taken to ensure that specific
selection criteria are well established, and that the subsequent selection process closely follows the
established criteria.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR gives a satisfactory account of the implementation experience and problems.

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