The World Bank Team Discussed " Education Improvement Additional Financing " Loan Program Ongoing Activities with the Center for Education Projects PIU STAFF
On November 8, within the framework of the visit to Armenia, the World Bank delegation met the "Education Project Center" PIU staff. Senior Economist, Task Team Leader Ms. Renata Freitas Lemos, Education Specialist Anna Berdzenadze, Social Development Specialist Sonya Msryan, World Bank Consultants Anna Malkhasyan and Sona Koshetsyan were a part of the mission. World Bank Procurement Specialist Armine Aydinyan and Program Analyst Irina Tevosyan also participated in the meetings in online format. The discussion of the activities performed within the frames of the World Bank-funded "Education Improvement Additional Financing" loan program, particularly the review of the answers provided earlier in writing to the questions for each sub-component and component 2; the review of the progress on indicators was the focus center of the meeting. The guests were welcomed by Grisha Hovhannisyan, Acting Director of the Center for Education Project PIU. Mr. Hovhannisyan noted that as a result of cooperation with the World Bank in the field of education, important and effective programs have been implemented and are still being implemented, from general to Higher Education,. Even today, the " Education Improvement Additional Financing " loan program is aimed at further improving the quality of education, creating an educational system meeting international standards. Emphasizing the cooperation, he thanked the World Bank representatives for the provision of consistent support in the field of education. During the meeting, the sides touched upon various working and organizational issues.
It should be mentioned that on November 7-8, f the World Bank representatives visited several educational institutions in Armavir and Aragatsotn regions of RA.
Particularly they visited functioning preschools established during 2023 in Armavir and Aragatsotn regions, general education schools in Armavir where furniture and laboratory equipment was partially provided, schools in Aragatsotn where laboratory equipment will be provided next year, and also one high school in Aragatsotn which will be completely rehabilitated in the frames of the project by December 2025.
The objective of the visits was to meet with principals, teachers, and students to understand how resources were utilized by them, what challenges they were currently facing. During the meeting, the Heads of the 4 sub-components of Component 1. Enhancing the Quality of General Education and the Head of the component 2 “Mainstreaming of the Competitive Innovation Fund (CIF) for Higher Education Institutions into full implementation “ presented a comprehensive picture of the activities of the PIU in the context of the "Education Improvement Additional Financing" loan project. They also referred to the preparatory stage of the program, pointed out the implemented, ongoing and planned works. The sides discussed a number of issues related to the implementation of micro-projects, the start of major reconstruction/construction activities in four high schools planned under the loan project, activities conducted towards the improvement of Education Management Information System (EMIS). They also discussed a number of issues related to the provision of natural science and engineering laboratory equipment, furniture and materials to general education schools, the implementation of grant projects within the framework of the CIFcomponent in the field of higher education.
Furthermore, the sides touched upon some issues related to the financing gap which was caused by the exchange rate fluctuations.
In the course of the meeting, three options of solution were proposed, which are currently under discussion.
The Center of Education Projects PIU staff has stressed that such collaborative discussions with the World Bank delegation were an essential prerequisite for the further effective progress of the program.