Dominican Republic to scale up efforts in improving learning

The World Bank approved an additional financing of US$100 million to help the government improve the quality of education and learning in the Dominican Republic.

“This additional support from the World Bank will boost the most profound education reform led by President Danilo Medina and contribute to help produce better educational outcomes, improve opportunities for employment and lifetime earnings for all Dominicans,” said Dominican Republic Education Minister, Arq. Andrés Navarro.

The Dominican Republic has committed to a National Education Pact and is implementing a comprehensive plan of reforms, including the extended school day, improvements in teacher training and qualifications, as well as the modernization of the Ministry of Education (MINERD). Improving student learning outcomes is the main challenge facing the Caribbean nation’s education system. Dominican students ranked last among the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, and only 27% of third grade students achieve a satisfactory level of learning in mathematics according to a diagnostic by MINERD.

“Investing in improving the quality of education is critical to build human capital for all Dominicans and be able to compete in an increasingly globalized economy and respond to the changing nature of work and new technologies,” said Alessandro Legrottaglie, World Bank Country Manager. “With this additional financing we reaffirm our commitment to help the Dominican Republic provide quality education to help the next generations realize their full potential.”

The additional financing will support the Government in deepening its education reform in three key areas: further increasing the quality of teacher recruitment and training, institutionalizing the collection and use of student learning data, and decentralizing the management of public schools.

It will build on the existing Support to the National Education Pact project, which launched a competitive selection system to raise academic standards of newly recruited teachers and improve education quality, and conducted a complete learning diagnostic of all third grade students to better inform education planning and adjust teacher training. In addition, the World Bank is providing technical assistance on strengthening statistical systems, leveraging technology to have a higher impact in learning, as well as on strengthening risk management in schools as part of the WB’s global Safe Schools Program.

The Dominican Republic has recently expressed interest in joining the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, an ambitious effort to accelerate more and better investments in people. The goal is to create a world in which all children arrive in school well-nourished and ready to learn; where they can expect to learn in the classroom; and are able to enter the job market as healthy, skilled and productive adults.

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