World Bank’s STARS to shine on State

Kerala is among the six States in the country to benefit from the World Bank’s $500 million Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) Programme aimed at improving the quality and governance of school education.

Around 250 million students in the age group of 6 and 17 in 1.5 million schools and over 10 million teachers will benefit from the programme approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on June 24. The programme will also strengthen public school education and support the country’s goal of providing education for all.

The $500-million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years, including a grace period of five years, according to World Bank officials.

Through the Samagra Shiksha, and in partnership with Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan, STARS will help improve learning assessment; strengthen instruction and remediation; facilitate school-to-work transition; and strengthen governance and decentralised management.

Preparing for jobs

Though the number of children going to school has increased from 219 million to 248 million from 2004 to 2019, the learning outcomes of students continue to remain below par. Through STARS, the World Bank will support efforts to address the ‘learning outcome’ challenge and help students prepare better for jobs.

The initiatives include focusing more directly on the delivery of education services at the State, district and sub-district levels by providing customised local-level solutions, addressing demands from stakeholders, especially parents, for greater accountability and inclusion by producing better data to assess the quality of learning; giving special attention to students from vulnerable sections – with over 52% of children in the government-run schools belonging to SC, ST and minority communities; and delivering a curriculum that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the job market.

The programme will support individualised, needs-based training for teachers that will give them an opportunity to have a say in shaping training programmes and making them relevant to their teaching needs.

Labour market needs

Investing more in developing India’s human capital needs by strengthening foundational learning in classes 1 to 3 and preparing them with the cognitive, socio-behavioural and language skills to meet future labour market needs is another initiative.

“We will support by strengthening implementation at the local level, investing in teacher capacity and ensuring that no child of any background is left behind from the right to education,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.

In line with the sustainable development goal for education, the programme will help produce better data on learning levels by improving the National Achievement Survey. The programme will help States implement evidence-based planning to factor in the needs of the most deprived, and strengthen accountability at all levels, said Shabnam Sinha, lead education specialist, and World Bank’s task team leader.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 5:01:22 AM |

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