World Bank's STARS for general education; Kerala to be benefitted
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has been selected to the project by World Bank to improve quality and governance of school education. The Ministry of Human Resource Development selected six Indian states for the project including Kerala.
The World Bank on Sunday had announced approval of USD 500 million (about Rs 3,700 crore) loan for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS).
"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," it had said.
The project will be implemented for six years. Rs 950 crore project has been planned for Kerala out of which 60 percent will be borne by the World Bank and 40 percent by the state government. The loan will be taken by MHRD.
At the national level, through the Samagra Shiksha, and in partnership with the states of Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan, STARS will also help improve learning assessment systems, strengthen classroom instruction and remediation, facilitate school-to-work transition, and strengthen governance and decentralised management.
Centre selects Kerala
MHRD decided on Kerala taking into account the performance of the state in education sector. Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan state project director Dr AP Kuttikrishnan said that the details regarding projects included in STARS is yet to be received.
Criticisms have surfaced at national level regarding the intervention of World Bank in general education. It is alleged that the project will increase the participation of private sector in general education. Around 1400 academic experts had written to World Bank not to implement the project without adequate discussions. However, no such guidelines have been issued as of now, Dr Kuttikrishnan added.
The project will be implemented from this academic year. The progress of the project will be evaluated by the World Bank and only if approved, the further funds will be provided.