Photo: Honduras Primary Education
Honduras will improve basic education for more than 100,000 students with the help of a $37 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The financing will help students to learn more in basic education schools that serve the country’s poorest population.
The program’s goal of improving educational quality is designed to complement the “Bono 10Mil” program, which provides conditional cash transfers to low-income families that keep their children in school.
The IDB funding will support high quality programs in early childhood development that will close the gap between what children know and what they are capable of learning, prior to entering primary school. In addition, some 100,000 students will benefit from activities to strengthen instruction in math and Spanish with new textbooks and educational materials for students and teachers. Training for teachers will include the use of computers for instructional activities.
These actions will help to reduce the first grade repetition rate, presently at 20 percent, to less than 12 percent in three years.
More than 50,000 students in grades three to six will receive a personal computer to improve their learning and encourage them to graduate from elementary school. In Honduras, the graduation rate of sixth grade students is less than 70 percent. It is expected that this rate will increase by one point for each year of the program to produce a graduation rate of 75 percent.
The 545 beneficiary schools will receive technical equipment for network connections to digital educational resources, computer applications for collaborative work in school (“groupware”), and administrative management support. Teachers in these schools will also receive a computer and technical support.
Studies have suggested that using personal computers in school increase expectations and commitment to education for students and families. These results have been seen in countries such as Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, and Colombia.