World Bank approves US$10 million education grant to halt decline in higher secondary enrollment

The World Bank has approved a US$10 million grant to the Maldivian government to expand and strengthen the education system.

In a statement, the World Bank noted that the country’s education system faced key challenges including a “sharp drop” in enrollment at higher secondary level.

“The higher secondary education net enrollment rate is a mere 19 percent, with boys’ net enrollment at 20 percent and girls’ net enrollment at 19 percent,” the World Bank stated.

“It is important that the education development program also addresses the quality of education through several strategic initiatives. In this regard, the project will support the development of a system of regular National Assessments of Learning Outcomes, which can inform policy formulation and program development” said World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Diarietou Gaye.

The US$10 million project will include professional development for teachers and a quality assurance program at school level.

“School-based management activities and the annual school feedback form (ASFF) program will be also implemented at the school level,” the statement read.

“The school heads and senior management teams will be responsible for the organisation and management of these activities. The principals and senior management teams will lead the internal self-evaluations of the quality assurance process. They will also lead the needs assessments of teacher skills and competencies in relation to the school development plans, and organise the professional development programs required. The school heads and senior management teams will also be responsible for implementing the ASFF program,” the World Bank stated.

The Maldives has 220 public schools spread across the country’s 200 inhabited islands, with 6000 teachers serving a 62,000 students. Approximately 1700 students attend private schools.

In a statement. President Mohamed Waheed meanwhile observed that many schools in the Maldives had very small student populations, “an issue of great concern for the nation.”

Speaking during a visit to Maduvvari on Meemu Atoll, Waheed said the average number of students per classroom was 3-4, and that in some schools the entire student body consisted of no more than eight.

Given the state of these schools, “a lot of very urgent reform measures are needed to improve teaching techniques and obtain better results,” the statement read.

System in crisis

The O’Level pass rate in the Maldives has steadily increased from 27 percent in 2008 to 37 percent in 2011. Beyond a general claim that the O’Level pass rate for 2012 was the “highest on record”, the Education Ministry has so far withheld the figures for 2012, citing “difficulties in analysis”.

Education leaders have repeatedly highlighted as one of the country’s greatest social challenges that fact that two-thirds of students leave the education system at age 16, with little possibility of employment until they reach 18,

Outside the rare apprenticeship program offered by the resort industry – such as one run for more than 10 years by the Four Seasons group – the Maldives has little in the way of vocational training programs.

With the large trade and construction sectors dominated by a massive and poorly-paid imported workforce, options for young Maldivians are extremely limited, especially if isolated on an island in a remote part of the country.

Young Maldivian women face further challenges, as they are largely excluded from the country’s largest employer – the fishing industry – and despite the opportunities, few work in the resort industry due to persistent social stigma.

In a 2011 report on the issue, one father told Minivan News: “If my daughter would not have the possibility of going home every night, I would not let her work in the resort, it is not safe […] if a woman will not come home at night after work, and she would maybe have a relationship with a man in the resort, which could result in a pregnancy… this would have very bad impact on the family and would not be tolerated.”

More recently, Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Regional Vice President and General Manager, Armando Kraenzlin told Minivan News that the number of females in the company’s apprenticeship program had declined over the last 10 years, to just two in the 2014 intake.

“We never had many [female] participants – five to seven per batch – but it used to be easier [to recruit women] about 10 years ago. Unfortunately, numbers have dropped,” he said, at the program’s class of 2013 graduation.

Education Minister Dr Asim Ahmed said the prospect of their female children living and working on a resort was a difficult concept for parents.

“The culture here is for children to grow up and grow old in same house. In the Maldives, you go to work [at a resort] and live there. It’s a very difficult thing to get your head around,” he said.

Ahmed explained the need for women and parents to be more aware about the conditions of female employees working at resorts, particularly in terms of accommodation arrangements.

“It is important parents buy into this and believe resort work is beneficial and reliable [for their daughters]. The other challenge is we have to provide child care and other facilities that will release the women to go and work,” he added.


12 thoughts on “World Bank approves US$10 million education grant to halt decline in higher secondary enrollment”

  1. For the love of God, spend this on western education. Not on growing donkey beards and camel drools.

  2. For the love of GOD didnt I kill u andhiri andhiri? are u communicating from the purgatory? Anyways donkeys dnt grow beards and camel drool is yucky. Why dont u grow a beard instead of ur donkey?

  3. this proves that waheed is better leader than Nasheed,

    Nasheed even could not get a single grant and he only managed to get loan at the highest possible interest .

    These are some of the difference between these two guys.

  4. Without a wink, dump it at some bank in NZ, perhaps or spend it to secure the faith of the unfaithful who are keeping him under scrutiny and guard all day and night!

    That will do a lot of good to the kids to who this fund was granted to! Then request the MMA to supply this much off the already gobbled budget!

    The World Bank again will grant more with pleasure!

  5. Hi Andre,
    You seems to know very little about Maldive? Your western countries are perhaps over developed. Older generation with 60 yrs and above makes 75% of population. Production rate had decreased. Economy hit the bottom. Better look for help in making more old age homes and grave yards. At the end it will look nice.

  6. @ Kuribee

    The work that resulted in this grant was led by President Nasheed as you can see from the National Development Plan 2008-2013 supported by the hard work of Minister of State of Education Dr Ahmed Ali Manik working very closely with President Nasheed, chair of the National Planning Council and Dr Waheed chair of the Higher Education Council.

    Read the MDP Manifesto, Kuribee which was later packaged as MDP-Ithihaadh Manifesto just before the Presidential Elections and you will see the vision of MDP for higher education of our people.

    No truth speaking Maldivian will deny the rapid expansion of higher secondary education in the Maldives since President Nasheed took office.

    Be critical of President Nasheed by all means as you are so clearly driven to do so, Kuribee, but stick to the facts.

  7. @Kuribee
    From your analysis, I would say Gayoom is better than Nasheed or Waheed because he got more free loans and aid from most Arab countries. What a great leader!!!!!

    Look at the issue properly my friend. Our education system is a mess and this started many years ago when the ministry of education started getting cheap teachers at a cost of a 'good cut' through use of agents (the same thing happening with laborers from Bangladesh.

    How old are you by the way? If you were from batch taught by respected teachers from Sri lanka like Desanayake (Majeediya maths teacher) you would have a better sight on the whole issue. You know why? because Maldives and Sri Lanka use the same British curriculum system so their teachers are well educated and trained to teach Cambridge syllabus.

    Have a good look or talk with 90% of the Indian teachers from Kerala or Tamil Nadu. They never did the British or Cambridge system. India has its own, well respected educational system. It is a clash of technique and approach. I may respect teachers like BENNY SIR, the best Indian literature teacher whose student (Aminiya) came 2nd worldwide, and 90% of all his students passed with high grades. Check his background!!!-UK

    The 10 million will end up in pockets of a few lawmakers. We dont even have professionals in our own society to manage the educational system and that proves how badly off we are. So what will money help?

    95% of maldivian students between grade 4-6 will get A report every year but when they start grade 7 and above, they get U in most cases because the system cheated them when they were in primary. Thats the reality, so when people talk of enrolling more into secondary, where the hell will you get capable students when most are failures?????

    Religion and quick marriages has also played a role in dropping the girls from advancing in education. We are doomed, the systems are doomed and that is because of the law makers, the rich and the extreme religious freaks.

    Money cannot improve education in Maldives. First we need to change our mind set, terrible mind set!

  8. @Kuribee on Thu, 2nd May 2013 5:49 PM

    "this proves that waheed is better leader than Nasheed,"

    Nah, both are fools. It was all my work as the Father of Education. I will make sure that the kids get a decent education.

    Andre Andreas, never fear, old boy. Rest assured that no goat, donkey or any other variety of farm animal beards will be tolerated when I'm in charge. A strict diet of mathematics, sciences and the odd bit of history will be just about right for these kids.

    They wouldn't even know if they ran into a camel. Let this generation say goodbye to camel piss drinking and all that shit.

  9. Nasheed had done nothing to improve education system, except trying to bring Israel consultant to help him to incorporate their vision.

    What is written in MDP manifesto was just a paper and Nasheed naver followed it.

    Nasheed was a dictator and he never bothered to follow what was written there and he did things as per his wish not as per the people's wish.

    If Nasheed had tried to rule the country as what is written in the Manifesto, I am sure he still be in power .

  10. @ Kuribee

    It is precisely because President Nasheed , " tried to rule the country as what is written in the Manifesto" that he was removed from power in the Coup that was not the Coup.

  11. Kuribee,

    You are a testament to our brilliant educational sector. I notice your comments are lucid, rational, and thought provoking. I fear the World Bank may reconsider granting us this loan after reading some of your cogent thoughts.

    In any case, thank you for the words of wisdom. Keep up the good work and don't listen to these bleating benighted fools who try to put you down by repeating the same old mantra. Forgive them though, unlike you, they are indoctrinated into the bigoted beliefs of this scoundrel Nasheed.

    One request though, please do not procreate, there is only so much of awesomeness we can take.

  12. @peasant Your comment is a gem. You can male an extremely good author.


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