Dec 02, Colombo: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) yesterday signed a US$ 400 million loan agreement to support the country in transforming its secondary education system to align with the demand for highly skilled and agile workers who can compete in the rapidly changing global economy.
The Government’s Development Policy Framework, “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor” envisages harnessing the power of the country’s youth, who account for almost one fourth of the total population, and engaging them as proactive partners in the country’s sustainable development process.
Accordingly, the Government of Sri Lanka entered into a budgetary support loan worth of USD 400 million with ADB, under the Results Based Lending (RBL) financial modality to finance the Secondary Education Sector Improvement Program (SESIP).
In this connection, S R Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Chen Chen, Country Director of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission on behalf of ADB, signed the Loan Agreement to obtain USD 400 million on 1st December 2020 at the Ministry of Finance.
The loan, which was borrowed at an annual interest rate of LIBOR + 0.5% has a repayment period of 26 years including a 5 years grace period.
The proposed Secondary Education Sector Improvement Program (SESIP) will support the Government’s General Education Sector Development Plan, 2020–2025 in strengthening the country’s secondary education system. SESIP will institutionalize systems for enhancing secondary students’ learning outcomes through (i) enhancing the quality and relevance of secondary science, technology, mathematics, and commerce (STMC) programs; (ii) strengthening provincial and school capacity to implement education reforms; and (iii) strengthening sector management capacity.
The outcome of the Program will be the transformation of the education system as a basic foundation for human resource development for a knowledge-based modern global economy in line with the national policy framework. The SESIP also focuses on the new strategies such as online learning and teaching, blended learning; distance mode education in line with the Government’s plan to address the COVID 19 disruptions.
The Ministry of Education will be the Executing Agency for the above Program, whereas the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Education Promotion, State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-School and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and School Services and nine Provincial Education Departments (PEA) will be the implementing agencies to the Program.