Title: Improve Education with Fast-Track Funding
Keywords: education, Fast Track Initiative, Nicaragua
Summary: Parliamentarians wishing to revamp their country's primary education system should consider the Education For All - Fast Track Initiative. Under the initiative, the world's major donors for education aid have agreed to streamline and accelerate funding if a government commits to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education. Nicaragua has assembled what is considered a best-practice strategy that qualified for fast track funding: the Ministry of Education's Common Work Plan.
Challenge. Only 40 percent of the children who enter Nicaragua's school system complete primary school. Of those who reach 6th grade, 30 percent can demonstrate acceptable competency in Spanish and only 12 percent in mathematics. Less than half of the students who enter secondary school graduate in the standard five years. The numbers are worse for children from lower-income and rural demographics.
Solution. The Ministry of Education has devised a Common Work Plan (CPT for the initials in Spanish) that spells out education policies for 2005-08. Based on a diagnostic study, the plan identifies the school system's weaknesses and plots out policies and strategies to meet short-, medium-, and long-term benchmarks for addressing them.
Policies and actions. The ministry developed the CPT with input from key education actors and international donors. The plan has three major policy axes: transforming the quality of education; stimulating access, adaptability, and equity; and improving accountability and efficiency. Each policy axis has several priority action lines, an implementation strategy, and annual targets for certain indicators.
Nicaragua?s National Assembly has had to pass some legal reforms to lay the groundwork for the plan. In 2002, the new Education Participation Law obliged the Education Ministry to decentralize the school system, creating Municipal Education Councils that administer and finance local schools. Under the CPT, all 153 municipalities in Nicaragua must be managing their local education system by 2008, up from the 20 that did in 2004. The Assembly also passed an educational career law that spells out rules for hiring and firing teachers.
Where and when: Nicaragua, 2005-08
Initiated by: Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Effectiveness: The Common Work Program only began in 2005, so it has not yet achieved concrete results. But the plan is a model for countries that might wish to participate in the fast track initiative. For 2008, at the end of its program, Nicaragua is aiming to increase the net rates of enrollment for preschool, primary, and secondary schools by 5.63 percent, 6.12 percent, and 6.81 percent, respectively. It is also aiming to decrease the dropout rate by 2.36 percent for preschool, 0.67 percent for primary, and 3.7 percent for secondary.
Education For All Fast Track Initiative
Nicaragua�s National Education Plan (in Spanish) which includes the CPT
Idea posted by: World Bank The
Date posted: 2005-11-24
Contact to learn more:
World Bank Development Dialogue Policy Team
Additional content: No attachments found
Return to the Ideas about Education and culture