"The loan agreement for World Bank (IDA) assistance of USD 1,006.20 million for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan III has been signed between the government of India and the World Bank here today," an official statement said.
    
The agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Michael Haney, World Bank's Operation's Advisor in India.
    
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is the flagship programme for universalising elementary education.
    
The overall goals of the programme include universal access and retention, reducing gender and social category gaps in elementary education and enhancement of learning levels of children.
    
The World Bank assistance to Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan-III will primarily focus on qualitative improvement in the learning process of the children, said Mitash. He said the project will also focus on children with special needs. This will also steer smooth and effective implementation of the whole Sarva Siksha Abhiyan project.

The assistance from the World Bank will be in the form of credit under IDA 16 at a concessional rate from the International Development Assistance (IDA)
    
In association with the World Bank, the objective of the project is to improve education outcomes of elementary school children in the country.
    
"It will help in bringing qualitative improvements in the programme by leveraging the World Bank's global knowledge. The project will directly benefit about 200 million children enrolled in elementary schools and 4.5 million teachers in the sector."
    
The project also include development of grade and subject specific learning indicators to measure children's progress in acquiring expected knowledge and skills at different grade level. It will also strengthen monitoring and evaluation for teachers' accountability.
    
The project would be implemented in three years. Ministry of Human Resource Development is the programme implementing agency.

(Agencies)

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