The World Bank approved a $500 million Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS) to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states (Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan). Some 250 million students (between the age of 6 and 17) in 1.5 million schools, and over 10 million teachers will benefit from the program.
The STARS program builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank (since 1994), for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing ‘Education for All’. Prior to STARS, the Bank had provided a total assistance of more than $3 billion towards this goal.
STARS will support India’s renewed focus on addressing the ‘learning outcome’ challenge and help students better prepare for the jobs of the future-through a series of reform initiatives. These include:
- Focusing more directly on the delivery of education services at the state, district and sub district levels by providing customized local-level solutions towards school improvement.
- 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% (as a weighted average) of children in the government-run schools in the six project states belonging to vulnerable sections, such as Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and minority communities; and delivering a curriculum that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the job market.
- Equipping teachers to manage this transformation by recognizing that teachers are central to achieving better learning outcomes. The program will support individualized, needs-based training for teachers that will give them an opportunity to have a say in shaping training programs and making them relevant to their teaching needs.
- Investing more in developing India’s human capital needs by strengthening foundational learning for children in classes 1 to 3 and preparing them with the cognitive, socio-behavioral and language skills to meet future labor market needs.
[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].