|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Quality Education For All Project - Phase 2
Project Costs(US $M)
Loan/Credit (US $M)
Cofinancing (US $M)
Board Approval Date
|Central government administration (32%), Primary education (23%), Secondary education (23%), General education sector (16%), Sub-national government administration (6%)|
|Education for the knowledge economy (29% - P)
Education for all (29% - P)
Gender (14% - S)
financial management and procurement (14% - S)
Decentralization (14% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
||Robert Mark Lacey
||Christopher D. Gerrard
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
This project was the second phase of an Adaptable Program Loan (APL) to support the Government's Ten Year Education and Training Program (2005-2015). No third Phase is as yet in operation. The Program objectives are stated in the Project Appraisal Document (PAD, page 5) as follows:
" The ten-year education sector program (2005-2015), Programme Décennal de l'Education et de la Formation or PDEF, inspired the Letter of Development Policy, which has been discussed with and validated by all key stakeholders, and which includes, among others, the following strategic objectives: Universal completion of elementary (6 grades) and improved access and quality at all other levels; eradication of illiteracy and the promotion of local languages; an expanded role for local communities in education; promotion and improved orientation of vocational training towards the labor market; elimination of inequality between economic groups (rich/poor), between sexes, between and within regions, between rural and urban sectors, at all levels of the education system; inclusion of children with disabilities; and promotion of girls' education."
According to the Development Credit Agreement (DCA, Schedule 1, page 6), the project development objective is "to enhance the quality of the Recipient's education system through the improvement of teaching and learning practices."
According to the PAD (page 7) the project development objective is " to improve teaching and learning practices in the classroom in order to assist the Government in improving education quality, while maintaining its focus on reaching universal primary completion by 2015. The project would do this by:(a) improving both access and retention by expanding the number of middle school places in the system, improving conditions in existing elementary schools, and by supporting additional literacy courses; (b) improving education quality with a focus on elementary education; and (c) strengthening management at central, deconcentrated and decentralized levels to ensure attainment of PDEF objectives."
The Review is based on the statement of objectives in the PAD since it is more monitorable.
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
If yes, did the Board approve the revised objectives/key associated outcome targets?
Date of Board Approval: 11/02/2010
The project had four components:
1. Improving access and improving retention in elementary and middle schools (Cost at Appraisal US$22.3 million, Actual Cost US$24 million).- Construction of middle schools in under-served areas (a total of 28 new Colleges de l'Enseignement Moyen would be built)
- Construction of latrines and water points in elementary schools lacking in such services (a total of 300 latrine blocs with 6 boxes each, and 170 water points will be provided)
- Improve the design of literacy courses and provide these to a total of 50,000 learners, 70 percent of whom will be female.
- Supporting training of school personnel, students, and communities in sanitary awareness, environmental issues, literacy programs and school maintenance strategies.
2. Improving education quality in the elementary classroom (Cost at Appraisal US$51.3 million, Actual Cost US$61.12 million )
- Provision of block grants for quality improvement plans at both deconcentrated (education regions and districts) and school levels
- Provision of pedagogic inputs to schools, in the form of textbooks and other instructional materials, and library and reading materials
- Training of teachers, inspectors, school directors and mentor teachers, with specific attention to the development of training modules and the training of trainers on improving quality in the classroom
- Improve systems of examinations and evaluation of learning achievements; and
- Support for sectoral studies in key related sub-sectors, including vocational training and higher education
3. Strengthening management, monitoring and communication throughout the system (Cost at Appraisal US$3.3 million, Actual Cost, US$ 7.37 million)
- Provide support for results-based management within the Ministry at central and deconcentrated levels
- Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation system, building on a strong data collection mechanism; and build capacity for using results for policy development
- Improve communication across all actors in the system, and poll community views on education via a community scorecard.
4. Operation and maintenance (Cost at Appraisal US$3.1 million, Actual Cost US$5.66 million).
To fund operational, maintenance and management costs of the assets financed by the project.
The project was restructured twice. At the first restructuring, the allocation of funds to Component 1 was left unchanged. Component 2 was increased by US$1.3 million. Component 3 was reduced by US$0.5 million, and Component 4 increased by US$2.6 million (CR Annex 1). There were also some changes to the outcome targets: (i) the target for the primary completion rate in 2009 was reduced from 78% to 65%, (ii) the indicator related to the share of Government budget allocated to education was revised in order to align it with the internationally agreed Education for All (EFA) benchmarking; and (iii) the following targets were dropped: (a) the percentage of primary students who would receive at least the minimum acceptable score in reading, languages, mathematics and science by 2009; (b) 50% of the recurrent education budget would be allocated to primary education in 2009; (c) the transition rate from primary to middle schools would reach 57% in 2009; (d) the success rate on middle school exit examinations would reach 60% by 2009; and (e) middle school teachers would teach on average 20 hours per week by 2009; and (f) instructional hours for education would reach 900 hours by 2009.
At the second restructuring, some minor reallocation of funds between components was made.
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project cost. The total project cost in dollar terms was US$98.15 million compared to US$85.60 at appraisal. Nearly all this difference can be explained by exchange rate fluctuations.
Financing. The Credit was denominated in Special Drawing Rights. Due to exchange rate fluctuations, the dollar equivalent of the Credit as approved was exceeded by US$ 60,000, while the Borrower contribution rose by 20% in dollar terms. The project also benefited from a Project Preparation Facility (PPF) which was reimbursed. USAID provided parallel co-financing for rural middle schools. Capacity building components were supported by Japanese Grant funds of US$4.0 million. All project funds were fully disbursed.
Borrower contribution. The Borrower contribution in dollar terms rose from US$51.60 million at appraisal to US$62.3 million at closure.
Dates. The closing date was extended twice. The first extension of 14 months (from October 30 2010 to December 31 2011) was granted at the time of the October 2010 restructuring "in the light of the time needed to implement activities and use the credit resources" (ICR, page 36). A further six months extension was granted in December 2011. The project closed on June 30, 2012, 20 months later than the original date.
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:
The project development objective was relevant at the time of appraisal and remained so at closure. It supported the Government's goal of implementing a ten-year mandatory basic education program. The objectives are relevant to the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for 2007-10, and for the CAS dated May, 2010, covering the period until 2013. The CASs both identified the need for the Government to further increase resources to education and health in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals. The objectives are also aligned with Senegal's Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2006-2010.
b. Relevance of Design:
The objectives are clearly stated and measurable. There was a logical causal chain between the activities financed by the project and the intended achievement of the objectives. For example, construction of junior secondary schools would contribute to achieving the access and transition goals, the construction of latrines and water points would contribute to gender equity, as girls are more likely to go to schools which have satisfactory and appropriate sanitary arrangements and available water. Pedagogic inputs would be expected to have a favorable impact on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, as would training teachers. Administrative changes supported by the project would be expected to contribute to both greater efficiency of service delivery and accountability for quality at the local level, impacting the quality of the education service in the long term. One shortcoming of design was inadequate provision for capacity building at the local level. Although training for central government was appropriately provided for, activities to support regional and local education offices were insufficient.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
The extent to which the project’s objective was achieved -- to improve teaching and learning practices in the classroom in order to assist the Government in improving education quality, while maintaining its focus on reaching universal primary completion by 2015 –- is rated substantial.
- 28 secondary schools were constructed with places for 2,800 students, with some delays according to the ICR.
- The project supported upgrades in infrastructure at a number of elementary schools, mostly sanitary blocks and water points. Fewer were constructed than envisaged due to the challenges and costs of reaching remote areas.
- 1,473 block grants averaging US$3,000 each had been made by 2009 to elementary schools, surpassing the target of 1,000. There were also 86 grants to secondary schools (no target). The grants were used to finance school projects encompassing a variety of activities aimed at enhancing the quality of learning in the beneficiary schools, such as acquisition and elaboration of didactic material, development of reading activities and student competitions, and organization of remedial courses and provision of additional teaching time for students with difficulties. Some school projects involved the acquisition of furniture and improvements to the infrastructure.
- Literacy courses financed by the project reached 53,250 beneficiaries, 90% of whom were women.
- The project financed the purchase and distribution of 1,812,000 pedagogical manuals and reading books to improve classroom practices at the primary level. Delays in the acquisition of manuals and a shortage of trained teachers restricted the use of the manuals and negatively affected their impact during the implementation period. At the secondary level, the project supported the acquisition of 200,000 pedagogical manuals and 202,000 mathematics textbooks. The project provided resources to 779 schools to establish 3,116 reading corners in 4 classes. Elementary fourth and fifth grade courses were equipped with 30 books each.
- 28,162 staff in regional inspection structures were trained in the use of didactic materials, the observation of the use of these materials and other topics.
- Activities relating to the improvement of the assessment system were completed, although the ICR does not specify what these were. The project supported two rounds of national learning assessment evaluations in 2010 and 2012 for several grades. These were not, however, comparable due to changes in the curricula.
- Studies in key related sub-sectors, including vocational training and higher education, were undertaken.
- The project supported the regular publication of annual statistical reports by 2009, and the data unit at the Ministry of Education developed a results-based management tool. Progress was made on the elaboration of a single personnel database and on redefinition of the functions of a decentralized system.
- Performance management frameworks were developed and implemented in all directorates by 2009 in support of the Government’s efforts to move to results-based performance. The ICR (page 30) reports that by project closure, all Directorates and Inspectorates of the Ministry of Education had signed performance contracts. The purpose is to contribute to a change in culture favoring greater accountability and capacity to implement results-based management at all levels, though this is a longer term goal. The project supported the development of an information system to monitor the implementation of the performance contracts.
- Other contributions to improved management included: (a) training on Information Technology and management tools; (b) upgrading of the hardware and software used by the Ministry of Education, contributing to better tracking and use of resources; (c) an analysis of Ministry of Education activities to better define roles and responsibilities; and (d) training and staffing needs for regional and district levels of administration were identified, although no activities had been implemented by project closure.
- The number of hours of instructional time for students was increased from 700 to 806 hours per year (more instructional time is known to be a factor in improving learning outcomes). Although this is a significant increase, the number of hours remained below the target of 900.
- The project also supported the development of a results-oriented Medium Term Expenditure Framework for the education sector in order to achieve a better link between budget allocations and sector priorities.
Intermediate Outcomes: Improved Access and Retention
The evidence produced by the ICR to measure achievement of the intermediate objectives of improved access and retention consists of national level indicators:
- With regard to access, the ICR (page 26) states that the intermediate outcome indicators were mostly achieved or surpassed. The gross enrollment rate at the primary level increased from 79 percent in 2005 to 94.7 percent in 2012, slightly below the 96 percent target indicated in the PAD. The gross intake rate in the first year of the primary level increased to 106 percent in 2011-2012, exceeding the target by 3 percent. The gender parity index was 1.1 in 2012 in favor of girls, compared to 0.97 in 2005.
- Concerning retention, the primary completion rate improved significantly from 48.7 percent in 2004 to reach 66.9 percent in 2011-2012, surpassing the 65 percent target. The transition rate between primary and secondary education also surpassed the project targets at project closure (59.6 percent versus a target of 57 percent). This indicates an increase in retention as children can only transition between school levels if retained in the system. By contrast, dropout rates at the primary level, although improving from 13 percent to 9 percent, fell short of the revised target set at restructuring (5 percent).
- While the extent to which these national level improvements can be attributed to the project is unclear (there is no indication of the proportion of total national schools or students which benefited directly from the project), the ICR makes a reasonably convincing case that, without project-financed improvements, the achievements would have been less. The construction of 28 new secondary schools contributed directly to the improved transition rate. The provision of better learning materials together with improved teaching practices, as well as improvements in infrastructure at both primary and secondary levels, can reasonably be inferred to have encouraged both higher enrollment and retention rates (for example, it is highly likely that the provision of proper sanitary facilities would lead to greater willingness on the part of families to enroll girl students in the schools and keep them there). Summer courses and special attention to students facing difficulties would also be expected to bolster retention rates.
Outcome: Improved Education Quality
Here also the evidence provided is partly at a national level, though it is also drawn from sample surveys of the impact of school projects on the quality of learning:
- Repetition rates at the primary level were significantly reduced from 13.9 percent at the beginning of the Project to 3.2 percent by project completion (versus a target of 6.3 percent).
- The improvements in dropout and transition rates mentioned above under intermediate outcomes are also indicators of enhanced education quality.
- Once again, the ICR makes a reasonable case for partial attribution of these results to the project. It argues that without project interventions at the national level (for example, provision of pedagogical material, training programs, and improvement of the learning assessment system), at the regional level (regional training plans, regional quality plans), and at the local level (the development and implementation of school projects, training of principal, teachers, and School Management Committees), which took place on a fairly substantial scale, it is reasonable to infer that the cited improvements in quality indicators would have been lower.
- With regard to the surveys, the ICR (page 29) reports that “evaluations of the impact of the school projects on the quality of learning (which were undertaken in 2009 and 2011) on a representative sample of schools showed a positive impact on students’ achievements.” These evaluations showed enhanced achievements in mathematics and French, notably in the early grades. Grade 3 students in schools which received the school project grants performed substantially better in these subjects than Grade 3 students in control schools. In the south of the country. As the ICR puts it, “this observed difference in performance was large amounting to over 30 percent of a standard deviation for mathematics and over 40 percent for French…..The report concluded that a well-targeted program improving resources for schools (as a permanent increase in school spending) would likely have an important effect on student performance.” Little information is provided in the ICR concerning the quality or methodology of the surveys, though they were financed by the project, and appear to have involved the use of control groups.
- According to the ICR Data Sheet (ICR, page 8), the percentage of children at the elementary level receiving the minimum acceptable scores in reading, languages, mathematics and science had risen from 51 percent for French and 56 percent for mathematics in 2004, to 75 percent in 2009. It is unclear if this result (which is not mentioned again in the ICR) comes from one of the surveys or from elsewhere. In any event, it seems a major change in a short time frame, particularly since the regional training and quality programs were apparently not focused on classroom teachers and did not include specific techniques to improve reading and comprehension.
- The Summary of the Borrower’s ICR (ICR, page 51) presents the results of project-supported remedial courses which took place over the summer of 2010 and 2011 for students with academic difficulties. In 2010, 11,802 students, and in 2011, 12,144 students in Grade 4 equivalent, received courses in reading and mathematics. Learning assessments at the beginning and end of the program show that in 2010, the success rate went from 40% to 66% and from 51% to 75% respectively in French and mathematics respectively. In 2011, similar positive results were observed.
Progress Towards Meeting Program Goals
It is apparent from the above that progress was made during project implementation towards the realization of the universal education objectives of the Ten Year Education and Training Program (2005-2015). Although the program is not complete, there were no triggers for a third phase of the APL, and no such phase was in operation at the time of preparation of the ICR.
Efficiency is rated modest.
* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated