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Dominican Republic gets $100 million IDB credit line to improve education
The Dominican Republic will improve performance and effectiveness in elementary and secondary education with a $100 million conditional credit line for investment projects (CCLIP) approved by the Inter-American Development Bank, which includes an initial $50 million loan. Under the program, large elementary and secondary schools will increase instruction time, improve grade advancement rates, alleviate classroom overcrowding in low-income districts, and boost reading, writing, and mathematics learning achievements in the first cycle of elementary schools. In order to achieve these goals, the funds will finance construction of 34 fully-equipped secondary schools, each with an average 14 classrooms; refurbishing work at more than 200 elementary schools; and stocking of 3,000 individual classroom libraries with 80 book titles each. They will also help provide training for 10,000 teachers at preschool level and grades 1, 2, and 3, and for hundreds of district specialists and school principals in math teaching, early literacy, strengthening of curriculum contents, and educational assessment. The Bank's loan will also support management and administration training for school authorities. Specific targets for the first operation in support of the government's 10-year Education Plan include:  
  • Lengthening the school day from 2.5 hours to 3.3 hours on average. 
  • Raising promotion rates in elementary school grades 1, 2 and 3 from 70 percent, 68 percent, and 67 percent, respectively, to 73.5 percent, 71.4 percent, and 70.3 percent.
  • Improving student performance in reading and math in the first cycle by the end of 2012.
  • Reducing class size from 45 pupils to 40 in the 150 most overcrowded secondary schools.
  • Cutting the number of large schools (500 students or more) with night shifts from 41 to 34. 

The loan is for a 25-year term, including a five-year grace period, at a LIBOR-based interest rate. The Government of the Dominican Republic will provide $10 million in local counterpart funds.
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