World Bank approves USD100Mn to help Sri Lanka modernize education system

Apr 27, 2018 (LBO) – World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Thursday approved a 100 million US dollars credit to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to strengthen and modernize its education system.

The General Education Modernization Project (GEM) will modernize and diversify the curriculum of general education in keeping with the transformation taking place in Sri Lanka’s society and economy.

Greater emphasis will be on strategic subjects that are key for economic development such as English and Mathematics.

World Bank said the project will help broaden choices at the GCE A-level grades so that students have the flexibility in selecting subjects from among the arts, management, science, technology, and vocational streams.

Learning material for English language and Mathematics will be developed digitally and the focus will be on children from schools located in more disadvantaged regions.

“Sri Lanka has made impressive progress in expanding access to education. However, to reach the status of an Upper Middle-Income Country, it needs to further improve the overall learning outcomes,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

“Sri Lanka’s education policy makers recognize that a high-quality general education system will enable students to meet the demands of 21st century jobs,”

“We are happy to partner with the government to ensure that all children have the opportunity to gain foundational skills, especially in Mathematics and English, needed to participate in Sri Lanka’s economic growth.”

The project will benefit school students both at the primary (grades 1-5) and at the secondary (grades 6-13) levels. Technical education and vocational training institutes, academic and managerial staff of the schools will also benefit from this project.

The World Bank has been a longstanding partner of Sri Lanka in the education sector.

“GEM will support the government to modernize the primary and secondary education system in line with international standards established in middle-income and high-income education systems,” said Harsha Aturupane, Lead Economist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

“Successful implementation of the overall general education reform program and the key priorities supported by GEM should lead to improved learning outcomes and higher socio-emotional skills among students.”

The General Education Modernization Project, approved today, will build on the experience and lessons learned from TSEP and strengthen the World Bank’s support to the general education sector.