The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 500 million loan to help India's government improve school education and reduce the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on students' learning.
The loan will help the Ministry of Education (MOE) implement the Integrated Scheme for School Education (Samagra Shiksha) and the new Exemplar School Initiative to improve education quality by concentrating on inclusive and equitable learning outcomes. In the states of Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand, around 1,800 government schools will be transformed into exemplar schools. Exemplar schools will demonstrate high-quality learning spaces and competent teaching, and will serve as a model for other government schools across India to follow.
The loan will help scale up fundamental learning for elementary students and boost the relevance of secondary education by incorporating science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) and integrated vocational education, in addition to supporting the Exemplar School Initiative. In each of the five states, the learning interventions will be applied throughout a larger number of cluster-level schools.