This technical cooperation, financed by the Japan Special Fund, will reduce the impact of COVID-19 on learning for vulnerable young people in both countries, and will extend good practices to the Mesoamerican region.
The discontinuity of educational services, due to COVID-19, will have a negative impact on student dropout and learning, especially for the most vulnerable young people in Mesoamerica. To reduce this impact, the Japan Special Fund, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), donated $1 million through a non-reimbursable technical cooperation that will support school re-enrollment and the recovery of learning outcomes.
It is estimated, based on the effects on education of previous economic crises, that close to one million young people will not return to school in Mesoamerica, which represents at least a 19.4% increase in student absenteeism. Furthermore, four out of five young people who do not return to school are poor or vulnerable middle class.
Through this grant, the IDB will support Honduras and El Salvador, over the next 24 months, in their back-to-school efforts, ensuring safe environments for learning and seeking to reduce the impact of the pandemic on learning losses and school dropout of children and young people.
With the support of the Executive Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Central America and the Dominican Republic (SE-COMISCA), this technical cooperation will finance the purchase of biosafety supplies so that schools can reopen safely with the minimum sanitary conditions required.
The cooperation will also support the educational authorities to develop a strategy and plan of monetary and non-monetary incentives to motivate children and young people to return to the classroom and promote their permanence in the educational system. Likewise, it will train school personnel to implement pedagogical strategies aimed at closing the learning gaps that occurred during the closure of schools, focusing on the most vulnerable students.
The tools and knowledge built through this project will be shared with the rest of the Mesoamerican countries through the participation of all key institutions of regional cooperation in Health and Education (COMISCA, CECC/SICA and Proyecto Mesoamérica). In this way, the Bank ratifies its commitment to continue supporting education in the region.
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.
About the Japan Special Fund
In 1988, the Government of Japan established the Japan Special Fund (JSF) to promote social and economic growth in IDB borrowing member countries. Along with its Poverty Reduction program, the JSF provides funding for technical cooperation activities. By the end of 2019, the Government of Japan had contributed to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean through these funds with 601 technical cooperation projects, for a total of $361 million, in all the borrowing member countries of the IDB.