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World Bank gives India $500mn loan to improve education

October 06, 2012


A student write in his notebook. – File photo by AP
A student write in his notebook. – File photo by AP

NEW DELHI: The World Bank on Friday offered India a $500 million loan aimed at improving access to secondary education and enhancing its quality, a statement said.

The government plans to use the funds to construct 11,000 new secondary schools and repair 60,000 existing ones, while upgrading 44,000 primary schools into secondary schools.

The major focus would be on “quality of education... the country needs its young people to get good quality secondary education”, said Onno Ruhl, the World Bank’s country director for India.

While signing the agreement, an Indian government official said secondary education needs “greater attention” because of a poor enrolment rate and low standards of education in schools.

India is home to the world’s highest number of children who, in the next few decades, will enter the work force and begin productive labour – something the government and economists refer to as a “demographic dividend.”