The Asian Development Bank announced a loan ofUS$55 million December 1 aimed at achieving universal quality secondary education by 2010. The project is a follow-up to the Lower Secondary Education Development Project, which started in September 1997, and which is due for completion by this end of the year through a US$50-million soft loan by the regional lender.
The ADB said the project will directly benefit about 366,000 students, of which 266,000 are disadvantaged and 100,000 are school dropouts who return to class, as well as about 72,500 teachers and education administrators.
“The (new) project will help the Ministry of Education and Training complete the introduction of the new curriculum and textbooks, as well as related in-service teacher’s training,” the bank’s statement says.
It will improve facilities and equipment of lower secondary schools, enhance the teaching of foreign languages and the use of InfoTech, support vocational and continuing education, and improve teaching contents and methods.
The project will also promote access to lower secondary education in disadvantaged areas by constructing and upgrading school facilities and focusing on the poorest areas, the regional bank says.
This loan, which covers two-thirds of the total project cost ofUS$80 million, comes from the bank’s Asian Development Fund, and carries a 32-yearterm, including a grace period of eight years. Interest is charged at 1.0% per annum during the grace period and 1.5% an annum after.
The Vietnamese government will contribute US$25 million toward the project. The government is targeting a nationwide net enrolment rate of 80% by 2005 and 90% by 2010 for lower secondary education.