The World Bank recently approved USD $500 million (approximately Rs 3,700 crore) loan for strengthening and improving the quality of school education system in India.
The Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved the loan for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS) in six Indian states comprising Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh.
Confirming the same, the World Bank in a statement said, "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."
Alongside the 'Samagra Shiksha' programme at the national level, the STARS will also help enhance the learning assessment systems, facilitate school-to-work transition, strengthen classroom instruction and remediation, and strengthen governance and decentralised management, according to the World Bank's press statement.
The international funding agency has recognised India making significant strides in improving access to basic education across the country.
Acknowledging India's efforts to significantly improve its learning infrastructure in meeting the demands of the labour market, and fuel its future growth, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India said, "STARS will support India's response to this challenge by strengthening implementation at the local level, investing in teacher capacity and ensuring that no child of any background is left behind from the right to education."
Talking about the STARS India programme, Shabnam Sinha, Lead Education Specialist, and World Bank's Task Team Leader for STARS project said, "STARS will support the Government of India's vision to provide greater flexibility to States for school education planning and budgeting."
This will help States' implement evidence-based planning to factor in the needs of the most deprived, strengthen accountability at all levels, and thereby adopt a holistic approach to improve education outcomes, she added.
The STARS programme between India and the World Bank is built on a long sustained partnership since 1994 aimed at strengthening the public school education system in attaining country's 'Education for All' objective.