|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Bangladesh - Primary Education Development Project Ii
Project Costs(US $M)
Loan/Credit (US $M)
Cofinancing (US $M)
|Asian Development Bank, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UK Department of International Development (DFID), European Commission, Government of the Netherlands, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, SIDA, JICA, UNICEF, Australian Agency for International Dvelopment (AUSAID)
Board Approval Date
|Primary education (65%), Central government administration (27%), Sub-national government administration (8%)|
|Education for all (50% - P)
Gender (25% - S)
Administrative and civil service reform (25% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
|Susan Ann Caceres
||Judyth L. Twigg
||Christopher D. Gerrard
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
The objective is "to reduce poverty through universal primary education and to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development and equity as envisaged in the Millennium Development goals, through the provision of quality primary education to all children in the territory of the Borrower" (Credit Agreement, p. 20).
The overall program objective is "to improve quality, equitable access, and efficiency in primary education through a sub-sector program approach. The program will improve the quality of teaching and learning and raise student achievement; increase access to schooling for the disadvantaged; and strengthen planning and management of primary education, including establishing a national monitoring and evaluation system for primary education" (PAD, p. 3).
The Guidance Note (paragraph 4 Resolution of Differences) given operational staff with respect to packages submitted to the Board states that “If there are differences of views between the lawyer, other reviewers, and/or the Task Team Leader as to the consistency of the project documents with the negotiated legal agreement(s), the negotiated legal agreements(s) prevail absent a reopening of negotiations to address the discrepancy. “ In this case, the objectives in the Credit Agreement are unclear about the intended outcomes and are not measurable, while the PAD clearly expressed the objectives as outcomes that could be evaluated.
For this review, the objectives noted in the PAD will be used, given the reasons noted above.
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
The project contains four components:
1. Quality Improvement through Organizational Development and Capacity Building (appraisal US$ 78.00 million; actual US$64.71 million, of which IDA provided US$13.5 million)
This component includes four subcomponents:
- Enhance the capacity of both the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) and the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) to manage and coordinate the primary education system.
- Enhance the capacity of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) within DPE to strengthen its information systems.
- Enhance field capacity at divisional, district, and Upazila Levels to effectively coordinate, implement, and monitor primary education field-level activities.
- Enhance organizational and management capacity at the school level, specifically Assistant Upazila Education Officers (AUEO), Head Teachers, teachers, and School Management Committees (SMCs), to operate effectively with support of Parent-Teacher Association (PTAs) and communities.
2. Quality Improvement in Schools and Classrooms (appraisal US$ 510.8 million; actual US$373.03 million, of which IDA provided US$76.70 million)
This component is composed of three subcomponents:
- Improve the learning environment by establishing standards for school facilities, restructuring the curriculum, and producing and distributing textbooks.
- Improve the quality of initial and in-service teacher training by improving capacity of the main institutions that have responsibility for training.
- Increase community awareness to participate and support educational activities and encourage parents to participate in school management.
3. Quality Improvement through Infrastructure Development (appraisal US$ 335.37 million; actual US$599.55 million, of which IDA provided US$ 56.30 million)
This component includes improving school infrastructure and constructing and/or renovating classrooms, providing water and sanitation facilities, and constructing and/or renovating other institutions such as the Primary Teacher Training Institute, Upazila Offices and Upazila Resource Centers, MoPME, DPE, and other educational institutions.
4. Improving and Supporting Equitable Access to Quality Schooling (appraisal US$ 26.99 million; actual US$12.20 million, of which IDA provided US$ 3.50 million)
This component has two subcomponents:
- Enhance institutional capacity of DPE at central and decentralized levels to build the capacity to accommodate and mainstream disadvantaged children, including those with special needs, within the formal primary education system.
- Improve access for disadvantaged children to quality schooling by providing financial stipends to poorest families; providing food/dietary supplement programs; implementing strategies for mainstreaming special needs children into primary schools; providing facilities for "Baby Classes" at rural primary schools in partnership with schools and the community, to overcome the opportunity costs associated with keeping elder girl siblings at home to take care of young children by providing a preschool program; and implementing strategies to remove barriers to the full integration of special needs children into primary schools. Strategies to fully integrate special needs children include increasing public awareness, adapting physical facilities, and implementing teacher professional development.
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project Costs: Total project costs were US$ 1.06 billion. In addition to the actual costs of each component noted above, PEDP II Program Management was US$15.53 million (appraisal value was US$27.68 million). According to the project team, resources from Organizational Development and Capacity Building (Component 1), Quality Improvements in Schools and Classrooms (Component 2), and Supporting Equitable Access (Component 4) were shifted to the Infrastructure Development (Component 3) to respond to: (1) an emergency cyclone that destroyed hundreds of schools, and (2) a survey that documented greater school needs than was estimated at preparation. Of the original Credit (US$150 million), the undisbursed balance after the final disbursement in October 2011 was US$13.24 million, most of which was from exchange rate gain from the weakened US dollar versus the SDR and weakened Bangladesh Taka. Taking into account the exchange rate gain, the project disbursed 91.73 percent of the planned amount (ICR, p. 9).
Financing: The Bank provided US$145.3 million. The Asian Development Bank, Canadian International Development Agency, UK Department for International Development, European Commission, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Norway, Swedish International Development Agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency, United Nations International Children's Fund, and Australian Agency for International Development provided US$ 539.72 million.
Borrower Contribution: It was anticipated that the borrower would contribute US$297 million at appraisal. Actual contributions were higher, with the government providing US$380 million to finance the stipend program.
Dates: Effectiveness began May 2004 and the project was expected to end on June 30, 2010. It closed one year later on June 30, 2011 to allow time for the Government to finish implementing activities to achieve the development objectives and facilitate a transition for the follow-up project (PEDPIII).
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:
Substantial. The project's objectives are substantially relevant to the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (2011-2014), current at project closure, which has the strategic goal of improving social service delivery with an expected outcome of improved student learning based on quality education services, as well as targeted operations for reaching out-of-school children (CAS p.26, p. 28). At the time of appraisal, while it was clear that Bangladesh had made significant progress in access to primary education and improving gender parity, there still remained significant challenges with education quality and with attending to the needs of the disadvantaged. Primary school dropout rates were nearly 50%, repetition rates reached as high as 14% in some primary grades, and children from remote rural areas had limited access to schools (ICR p. 1). The project was also directly aligned with the Government's priorities as outlined in its National Plan of Education for All (2001-2015) and primary education Macro Plan, both of which aimed to tackle poverty through closing gaps in access to schooling by making education compulsory and accessible.
b. Relevance of Design:
Modest. The PAD (p. 34-38) contains a detailed Results Framework, with objectives linked to outcome indicators and components logically tied to objectives. The project focused on inputs that are necessary conditions for education quality. The project promoted equity by targeting children living in remote areas, disadvantaged children, and those with special needs. However, the Bank's Panel on Quality Enhancement Review found several design weaknesses (ICR, p. 4-5). First, there was inadequate preparation, since the accelerated approval timeline did not ensure sufficient participation of key implementing line units of the Directorate of Primary Education, as well as Ministries outside of education. Second, the design avoided difficult policy issues and so did not tackle critical policy constraints to reform. Third, the design lacked a strategy for achieving outcomes, with a large number of non-prioritized activities. Targets were not attainable during the time frame of the project.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
Improve quality of primary education: Substantial
Outputs related to civil works:
- 397 Upazila Resource Centers (URC) were constructed or renovated.
- 456 Upazila Education Offices were repaired.
- 965 extensions to Primary Education Institutions and DPE's divisional district and Upazila levels were completed.
- 53 Primary Teaching Institutes (PTI) had facilities extended.
- A primary curriculum wing was constructed at the National Curriculum Textbook Board.
- The number of new classrooms/hostels constructed was 40,870 by 2010, not meeting the target of 41,000.
- The percentage of government primary schools having separate toilets for girls was 37% in 2010, not meeting the target of 60%. 4,746 student toilets were built.
- The percentage of government primary schools having arsenic free water was 71% in 2010, exceeding the target of 60%.
- The percentage of government primary schools having working tube-wells was 80% in 2010, exceeding the target of 60%. 17, 262 wells were built
- 18,398 teachers' toilets were constructed.
Outputs related to training/professional development:
- 45,000 newly recruited teachers received training.
- 429,330 existing teachers received training.
- 105,000 teachers were trained under the C-in-Ed (new preservice) program.
- 40,000 existing head teachers received training.
- 5,765 new head teachers received training. The ICR reported that this was 58% of all of the new head teachers hired (ICR p. 12).
- Training of trainers for URCs and PTIs was completed.
Outputs related to curriculum development:
- Revisions were started for the grade 1-5 curriculum to make it competency-based. This work will be completed by PEDPIII, the follow-up project.
- 366 million textbooks were printed and distributed to schools between 2004-2011.
- The teacher pre-service curriculum was revised.
Outputs related to investments in quality:
- Public expenditure as a percentage of GNP was increased from 1.93% to 2.3% in 2010, not meeting the target of at least 2.8%. The ICR indicates that the Government could not reach the target due to the food crisis in 2008 and subsequent financial crisis.
- Primary education expenditures as a percentage of total education expenditure increased from 37.11% in 2005 to 45% in 2010, meeting the target of 45%.
- 65% of all government primary schools and registered non-government primary schools had a class size of 40 in 2010. The ICR (p. 11) indicated that this was the result of the project's provision of an additional 40,870 classrooms. The project team reported that no target was established.
- The percentage of government primary schools operating as on a single shift model increased from 12% in 2005 to 20% in 2010, not meeting the target of 28%.
- There was an improvement in the primary pupil-teacher ratio from 54:1 in 2005 to 46:1 in 2010 within government primary schools, meeting the target of 48:1.
- 10,578 new teacher posts were created.
- 14,200 new assistant posts were created.
- 707 new officer posts for UEO Office and PTI were created.
- 50% of newly recruited teachers had a higher academic qualification (e.g. Bachelors degree or higher).
- The number of contact hours between students and teachers in grades 3, 4, 5 increased from 750 to 800 hours, meeting the target of 750 hours. However, the Social Sector Performance Survey revealed that primary schools on average were open 228 days rather than the official requirement of 242. The same survey also revealed that the number of contact hours between students and teachers in Grades 1 and 2 was only 456 (ICR pp. 12, 31).
- A Cell for School Learning Improvement Plans within DPE was established, and monitoring of School Learning Improvement Plans was done in 326 out of 502 Upazilas.
- The completion rate for Grade 5 boys and girls increased from 52% in 2005 to 60.2% in 2010, meeting the target of 55%, with a gender parity ratio of 1.
- The Grade 5 student literacy level measured by National Assessment increased from 53% in 2002 to 69% in 2008, meeting the target of 58%. The ICR (p. v) indicates that the test instrument changed and so comparisons between years cannot be made, but the ICR points out that the final result exceeds the target.
- The Grade 5 student numeracy level measured by National Assessment increased from 53% in 2002 to 63% in 2008, meeting the target of 57%. The ICR (p. v) indicates that the test instrument changed and so comparisons between years cannot be made, but the ICR points out that the final result exceeds the target.
- The number of students taking part and passing the Primary Scholarship Examination (PSE) increased from 32.2% of students participating in the exam and 70.4% passing in 2006, to 32.9% of students participating in the PSE and 79.5% passing in 2007.
- The number of students taking part and passing the National Terminal Examination (NTE), which replaced the PSE, increased from 1.82 million students taking the exam and 88.4% passing in all subjects in 2009, to 1.94 million students taking the NTE and 92.34% passing in all subjects in 2010.
Improve equitable access to primary education: Substantial
- The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) increased from 93.7% in 2005 to 107.7% in 2010, meeting the target of 98% with gender parity.
- The Net Enrollment (NER) increased from 87.2% in 2005 to 94.8% in 2010, meeting the target of 90% with gender parity.
- The number of students with disabilities attending schools increased from 8,800 in 2005 to 15,000 in 2010. The number of children with disabilities, particularly those with physical handicaps, increased (ICR p. iv).
- The number of students receiving stipends increased from 4.3 million in 2005 to 7.9 million in 2010, meeting the target of maintaining the 2005 level.
- The Access and Inclusive Cell was established within the DPE Policy and Operations Department.
- The Inclusive Education Framework and Action Plans were developed by DPE.
- DPE field offices were trained in inclusive education.
- Pre-primary education for children 3-5 years old was provided in 26,300 primary schools under MoPME jurisdiction. The ICR (p. 15) noted that fewer than 15% of children aged 3-5 participated. The project team reported that the Ministry approved a Framework for universal pre-primary education in March 2008.
- A food/dietary support pilot program was established by the DPE in food insecure areas and single shift schools to encourage attendance.
- There was no difference in the 2010 net enrollment between urban/rural and boys/girls. The ICR did not provide data based on ethnicity.
- There was a decrease in income disparity rate of enrollment. In 2005 the net enrollment rate of the two bottom income deciles was 58%, increasing to 72% in 2010, meeting the target of reduction in income disparity rate of enrollment by 10 percent in identified districts.
- The ICR notes that implementation of the integrated approach focusing on gender, special needs/disability, and tribal and vulnerable children was rolled over to PEDPIII (p. 35).
Improve efficiency of primary education: Modest
- The Organizational and Institutional Capacity Review was completed and approved by MoPME.
- The Human Resource Development Paper was prepared and approved by MoPME.
- The Organizational Development and Capacity Building Guide was prepared.
- Annual Sector Performance Reports were published in 2009 and 2010.
- Annual School Censuses were conducted from 2005-2010.
- PEDPII Annual Progress Reports were produced for Joint Reviews of Government and Development Partners.
- The percentage of School Management Committees (SMC) having at least 1 member trained was 75%, meeting the target of 50%.
- 38% of School Management Committees (SMC) had at least 3 members trained.
- Vacant positions at all levels were filled, but not at a level that met the target of 90% of vacancies filled by December 2009. At end of the project there was a range in the extent to which vacancies were filled, from 46% of URC Assistant Instructors positions filled to 100% of National Curriculum Textbook Board (NCTB) staff positions filled.
- URC, DPEO field offices and the MISC were equipped with computers and intranet/internet facilities.
- 276,500 MoPME, DPE, District, Upazila, URC, and SMC staff were trained to build capacity to devolve significant management responsibilities to decentralized levels.
- The repetition rate for Grade 1 decreased from 12.6% for boys and 12% for girls in 2005, to 11.8% for boys and 10.9% for girls in 2010, not meeting the target of less than 10%.
- The repetition rate for Grade 2 increased from 11.1% for boys and 10.8% for girls in 2005, to 12.4% for boys and 11.8% for girls in 2010, not meeting the target of less than 10%.
- The repetition rate for Grade 3 increased from 13.8% for boys and 13.6% for girls in 2005, to 14.3% for boys and 13.9% for girls in 2010, not meeting the target of less than 10%
- The repetition rate for Grade 4 increased from 11.5% for boys and 11.3% for girls in 2005, to 16.5% for boys and 16.4% for girls in 2010, not meeting the target of less than 10%.
- The repetition rate for Grade 5 increased from 6.3% for boys and 5.2% for girls in 2005, to 6.8% for boys and 7.3% for girls in 2010, not meeting the target of less than 5%.
The ICR (p. v) notes that the increase in the number of first time school-goers may partially explain the increase in repetition rate.
- The drop-out rate in primary education decreased from 47.2% in 2005 to 39.8% in 2010, not meeting the target of 37%.
- The primary cycle efficiency (defined as the total number of student years divided by total number of graduates) slightly decreased from 8.1 years in 2005 to 8.0 years in 2010, not meeting the target of 7.5 years.
- The percentage of student absenteeism for all grades of primary school decreased from 22% in 2005 to 16.6% in 2010, meeting the target of 18%.
Substantial: The PAD computed the Internal Economic Rate of Return to be 13.9%. Sensitivity analysis using different assumptions of the external and internal efficiency of the system indicated that the rate of return could vary between six and 21 percent. The analysis also demonstrated that the proportion of public expenditures targeted to the poor would increased from 56% to nearly 67% at the end of the program (PAD, pp. 20, 58). The assumptions and methodology utilized were appropriate; however, there was no specification of the benefits, making it impossible to analyze the calculations.
The ICR presents a retrospective assessment of benefits and costs associated with the project. The internal rate of return is 23%, and the net present value of economic benefits is US$ 5.47 billion. The Government has committed to providing resources to accommodate increases in primary education spending. The ICR also reported that the project attained cost-effectiveness in the large-scale production and distribution of textbooks, since a 35% cost reduction was realized (ICR, p. 18). The assumptions and methodology utilized were appropriate.
The ICR also reports that, as a result of the eleven development partners harmonizing their efforts, transaction costs for the Government were reduced. Instead of managing 32 discrete projects and responding to different agendas of separate development agencies, the Government only had to manage one program, with components that had been aligned by the partners (ICR, p. 20). Thus, with donor harmonization, the Government was able to obtain more efficiency and value for money.
a. If available, enter the Economic Rate of Return (ERR)/Financial Rate of Return at appraisal and the re-estimated value at evaluation:
* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated