IDB approves $15 million in Panama to Improve Early Childhood Education

The program seeks to improve the efficiency, quality, and inclusiveness of the education sector.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved the granting of a non-reimbursable $15 million to increase the learning and skills of students, nationals, and foreigners in Panama's public education system. The project estimates that it will directly benefit more than 25 thousand students and indirectly more than 200 thousand students registered in schools throughout the country. The initiative aims to break down the specific barriers to access, learning, and integration faced by migrant, refugee, and host community girls, boys, and adolescents.
The operation supports the construction of a more inclusive and intercultural educational system through teacher training and support, educational resources, diagnostic-formative evaluation, and community participation, leveraging the use of information technologies for digital transformation. Likewise, it seeks to promote the coexistence and development of civic and socio-emotional competencies both for migrant and refugee minors and for students from host communities through comprehensive and continuous pedagogical support and the equipping and maintenance of school infrastructure.
The program also foresees the collection of data on school climate and socio-emotional competencies to determine the current state of well-being of the student community and identify risks and needs to improve learning environments and school coexistence.
Panama is one of the countries eligible to access the resources of the Non-Reimbursable Facility to Support Countries that Receive Sudden and Large-Magnitude Migratory Flows of $100 million that the IDB created with its resources.
Between 2017 and 2019, Panama has received more than 75,000 migrants and refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean, equivalent to 1.8% of its population. Currently, almost 6% of the people in Panama are foreigners, coming mainly from Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Haiti. Half of the migrants are Venezuelans, and it is estimated that 9% of them are children and adolescents.
The project's main beneficiaries will be migrant, refugee, and host community students from Panama's official primary and pre-middle schools. Comprehensive pedagogical tools and support will also be provided for teachers, directors, and officials of the Ministry of Education. Likewise, the inhabitants of host communities who do not have access to formal education but who can access services in community centers and shelters will benefit.
Promoting social progress for vulnerable populations is one of the routes that the IDB Group has identified in its Vision 2025 to achieve an inclusive and sustainable recovery for the region. This effort is also aligned with the IDB's Country Strategy 2021-2024 in Panama, which seeks to contribute to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, with basic services being a priority area.

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.

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