The Equal Access to Quality Education in Ukraine Project was officially launched today, according to a WB press-release, forwarded to UNIAN.  The project, aimed at reforming secondary education system of Ukraine, will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.  The World Bank provided $86,59 mln loan for this project.

The Project will help Ukraine achieve equal access to quality education and improved efficiency of the education system by raising knowledge and professional competencies of teachers and school directors, supporting efforts to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in secondary schools and strengthening the policy development and management capacities of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The project envisages enhancement of the professional quality of teachers through trainings and developing an adequate system of evaluation and certification of competence for teachers, improving the programs offered at pedagogical universities, establishing professional standards for school directors, improvement of curricula, developing guidelines and requirements for new text-books, analytical assessment of current policies, upgrading school libraries, support for the computerization of schools, support to Ukraine Government’s initiative in introducing national external assessments, development and stetting up education management and information system major.  All these components will have specific emphasis on the rural school.  Specifically, major funds will go for rehabilitation of school building in rural areas and optimization of schools network and support to innovative initiatives of schools.

“Promoting education is central to the Bank’s mission of poverty reduction,” said Paul Bermingham, World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. “Equal access to education is vital to competing in today’s advanced knowledge-driven global markets.  As with all World Bank assistance, lending is only one part of a broader package of services. The Bank complements its finance with policy advice, analysis, sharing of global knowledge and best practice, technical assistance and capacity building, and support for consensus-building. These non-financial services are crucial to ensuring that countries make effective use of aid.”

The four-year Project is the first phase of an Adaptable Program Loan (APL) to support Ukraine’s reform initiatives in the education sector, which, if the project proves to be successful, envisages overall up to $250-300 mln in loan over a 10-year Program supporting Ukrainian Government in modernization of general secondary education.  The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a US$86.59 million loan for implementation of the Equal Access to Quality Education in Ukraine on May 24, 2005.  The loan will be at the Bank`s standard interest rate for LIBOR-based, single currency dollar loans, repayable in 20 years, including a 5-year grace period.