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IDB loan will support the Productive Community Secondary Education model in Bolivia

Program in humanities and technical studies to be financed with a $40 million IDB loan

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a loan for $40 million to finance the 2010 “Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez” Education Law in Bolivia, which requires that secondary education be obligatory and that it follow a humanistic and technical model, among other things.

The new Productive Community Secondary Education (ESCP, after its initials in Spanish) model will train students in socio-productive skills. Diplomas will be earned in one of the following eight subjects: agriculture and livestock, industry, commerce, services, tourism, the arts, health, and physical education and sport.

The IDB will support the implementation of three secondary school models: Experimental Technology Centers in urban areas, Comprehensive Education in Technical Studies and the Humanities in rural areas and mid-sized towns, and technology workshops in lightly population areas.

The loan will also finance teacher training and support for management of the ESCP. The program will benefit 55 towns in nine departments, and will include impact evaluations.

"The program is innovative and well suited to the local realities of Bolivia," says Aimee Verdisco, IDB project team leader. "The fact that most of the participating municipalities are rural will help to improve the equity of education and close the gap between urban and rural areas," she said.

In recent decades, access to primary education in Bolivia has improved significantly, with enrollment of more than 80 percent. These gains have produced anexplosion of demand for secondary education, where enrollment has doubled in the last 10 years.

The IDB financing consists of $8 million from the Fund for Special Operations with an amortization and grace period of 40 years and an interest rate of 0.25 percent; and $32 million from the ordinary capital for a 30-year term, a five-and-a-half year grace period, and an interest ratebased on LIBOR.