The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $250 million loan to Brazil to expand the coverage and improve the quality of secondary education.
The project is part of a two-phase plan, to be carried out by the Department of Secondary and Technical Education (SEMTEC)*, that is to eventually receive a total of $1 billion in investments.
The IDB is expected to eventually provide $500 million in financing, an amount that will be matched by Brazilian counterpart resources.
Among the benefits of the program will be a reduction in grade repeater and dropout rates and improvements in learning performance as measured by achievement tests.
The program is designed to encourage individual states, by offering them matching grants, to undertake reforms and investments to improve and expand secondary education.
Among the benefits of the program will be the strengthening of SEMTEC as well as information and evaluation systems to improve the formulation and implementation of secondary education policies.
In addition, a secondary tele-education course will be prepared and produced, and technical assistance and training will be provided at the state level.
The current IDB $250 million loan, to be matched by $250 million in counterpart funds, is for a 25-year term, with a 4 year grace period, at the variable interest rate, now 6.84 percent.
In recent years the IDB has helped finance two other major secondary education reform projects in Brazil. In 1996 the Bank approved a $100 million loan to support secondary education in the state of Parana, and in 1997 it provided a $250 million loan to help reform the technical and vocational educational system.