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India, World Bank ink agreement to improve learning for over 50 lakh AP students

The Union overnment, the government of Andhra Pradesh, and the World Bank signed an agreement for 250 million dollars for a project which aims to improve the quality of learning for over 50 lakh students in the state of Andhra Pradesh, said an official statement. 

The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India; Budithi Rajsekhar, Principal Secretary, Department School Education on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh; and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank on November 18.

The agreement will benefit school students from all grades. The beneficiaries are about 40 lakh 6-14 age students in over 45,000 government schools, and over 10 lakh 3-6 years old students enrolled in Anganwadis (Integrated Child Development Centers), and about 1,90,000 teachers, and more than 50,000 Anganwadi workers. 

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, home-based learning opportunities for students are of top priority for the state. Given the low availability of digital devices amongst students, the focus will be on developing physical learning kits and content for television and radio broadcasts. It will help in reducing the learning losses that children are likely to face due to school closures because of the ongoing pandemic, future natural disasters, or other disruptions related to climate change,” the official statement adds.

“The project will introduce a one-year preschool-level course in 3,500 schools in the tribal blocks. It will help address the issue of low learning levels amongst the tribal community,” it adds.

“Providing universal access to quality education is central to India's economic and social development. The Project will support the state of Andhra Pradesh in fulfilling its vision of transforming government schools into vibrant institutions focused on foundational learning for young children, including addressing learning losses for children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance stated.