Azerbaijan, WB Sign Agreement on 3rd Credit for Educational Reforms
Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 September / Trend corr. U.Ismayilova/ On 24 September, the Azerbaijani Government and the World Bank (WB) signed a credit agreement on reforming of country's education system worth $45.4mln.
The document was inked by Education Minister Misir Mardanov and WB representative in Azerbaijan Gregory Jedrzejczak.
"The project is a part of the state program on educational reforms, intended for 10 years and operating since 1999. The purpose of the program is to improve the quality of education and to reform the field as a whole. The new project will cover continuation of the work within the 2nd and 3rd stages of the educational reforms," Minister said.
According to Mardanov, WB allocated a soft credit of $25mln through the International Development Association [for 35 years with preferential period of 10 years and 0.75% interest rate]. The remaining expenditures ($20.4) will be met by Azerbaijani Government.
The project will cover reforms in secondary, pre-school and vocational education - assistance in application of new curriculum, upgrading teacher qualification improvement system, introduction of new culture in educational practice and support efforts for preparing children aged 5-6 to school.
Moreover, assistance to the libraries of 500 schools in Azerbaijan is also envisaged.
That will be WB's last soft credit intended for reforming the educational system in Azerbaijan. As in the 2008 fiscal year the quota for soft financing in the education field will expire, the credit for improvement of the reforms in the higher education may be allocated only through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A special project is being developed in this connection.
The Education Sector Development Project for Azerbaijan is intended for sector reforms in the education field. The total cost of the project is $20.99mln, including $18mln of WB credit, which was approved by the WB Board of Directors on 27 May 2003. WB allocated the first credit of $5mln in 1999.
The strategy of the education reform system of Azerbaijan costs $250mln.
Azerbaijan joined WB in 1992.
On 24 September, the official exchange rate totalled 0.8078 AZN/USD.
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