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World Bank supports India

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The World Bank has approved a USD 600 million credit to support the Government of India's ongoing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a nationwide centrally sponsored education program designed to provide all children aged 6 to 14 with quality education.

The Second Elementary Education Project aims to improve quality and access to this critical social service. The project also aims to promote equity by enabling hard-to-reach children to attend school. The project will create better learning conditions for all children and provide capacity building and academic support to state and sub-state education structures. In the area of oversight, the project will help monitor learning outcomes and support research and evaluation of quality initiatives. The second phase of the project is supported by the development partners to the government's ongoing and evolving SSA program. In the next phase, the project will focus on quality with equity.

In addition to capacity building and monitoring, the project will also support plans to enable the hard-to-reach children to attend school.

The areas where access to education remains low, it will also provide teachers and construction of primary and upper primary schools. It will also support provision of free textbooks and grants to private aided schools to encourage them to subsidize enrollment of students. Total cost of the SSA II is estimated at US$10.7 billion, of which the states of India will contribute close to 36.9 percent, the Government of India will contribute around 53.7 percent and development partners 9.4 percent. The credit is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary lending arm.

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