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Croatia and IDB Sign 5 Million Euro Agreement to Promote Extended School Day in the Region

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Croatian Ministry of Finance signed an agreement to improve the quality and equity of education in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting countries in the design and implementation of extended school-day policies.

This marks Croatia’s inaugural donation to a multilateral development bank. Through a generous contribution of 5 million euros, Croatia aims to enhance and diversify learning opportunities, support data-driven decision-making, and foster innovative pedagogical strategies. Concurrently, the donation underscores a commitment to promoting gender equality within educational initiatives.

The educational systems in Latin America and the Caribbean are grappling with several challenges, including low learning quality, unequal opportunities for low-income students, small completion rates, and a gap between what’s being taught and the demands of the 21st-century job market. To address these issues, extending the school day could provide an opportunity to reimagine schools as more than just learning centers, but also as spaces that foster the comprehensive growth of students and support their life trajectories.

Additionally, research has shown that extending the school day has several benefits, including accelerating the learning of both basic and 21st-century skills, reducing the risk of school dropout, promoting a lower incidence of teenage pregnancy, crime and risky behaviors. Furthermore, it plays a key role in fostering gender equality because girls and young women can dedicate more time to study while in school and it also can increase the participation of women in the labor force.

“We are honored that Croatia chose to partner with the IDB for their first-ever role as donors to a multilateral development bank. Croatia’s focus on education sends a powerful message and highlights our efforts to increase human capital development in the region, which is critical to helping reduce poverty and inequality, increase productivity, and accelerate economic growth,” said IDB President Ilan Goldfajn.

Croatian Minister of Finance, Marko Primorac, stated “Croatia has been a member of the IDB for 30 years, and throughout these three decades, our commitment to the IDB's mission and the development goals of the LAC region has remained unwavering. Our unique position as both a donor country within the IDB and a client country in other international financial institutions has given us different perspectives on development and we have seen first-hand the results of strategic investments, the importance of collaboration, and the need for adaptable policies. We believe education is one of the keys to unlocking opportunities and addressing various socio-economic issues in LAC region and IDB is the best partner for channeling our support”.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.


Planes,Maria Soledad

Planes,Maria Soledad


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