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La Educación
Número: (123-125) I,III
Año: 1996


A study of the impact of the project is currently the subject of a research exercise of the Ministry of Education. There are no published evaluation reports at this time; however, the reports of the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) meetings could shed some light on some of the successes and problems of implementation currently being experienced.

One significant strength of the BPED Project, and a difference in its development from others in the past, is the involvement of key persons at the development and implementation levels. The project planners ensured their involvement early in the development stage through their participation on the various task forces that prepared working documents for the project. This is an important factor to be considered since it brings ownership and commitment to the project and determines the level of success at the implementation level. Each head of the various components now sit on PIC, which meets quarterly to discuss successes, problems, and projections.

There have been significant gains in each of the components within the first two years of the project. The new full time teacher education program has been implemented at the training college, the distance program was launched in August 1994, a new administrative structure is in place and appointments are complete. In the development component, some of the new guides have been produced and in-service training programs held for teachers. The BNSE is going through the process of revision and a junior achievement test is being developed; almost all schools targeted under the SFIP have been repaired or expanded.

Notwithstanding these accomplishments, there is cause for concern about the likely success of the project in some areas. Each component has experienced setbacks resulting from personnel changes, changes in project management, changes in the implementation schedule resulting from overzealous planning, low level of coordination between the components (many activities overlap and at times conflicting plans were developed), slow response to request for support materials (resulting from financial constraints), and a lack of clearly established and documented policies in project management. Scarce financial resources is at the core of many of the above problems. The project is financed by a loan from the World Bank, a grant from the United Kingdom Overseas Development Agency, and from local funds. The current economic conditions prohibit the level of spending that was anticipated in the planning of the project, and activities that should eventually be financed under the recurrent budget have had to be reduced. The expected rate of return for a project with this magnitude of financial input (25M BZE) is high, and many have high expectations for its impact on the system. The success will be measured by observable changes in the system after project funds dries up and by activities which become ongoing programs in the system. This will happen only if greater efforts are made to ensure that activities that should eventually become a part of recurrent expenditure are gradually included in the annual budgets for recurrent expenditure.

One of the measures of the success of the teacher education component will be the demonstrated increase in the number of trained teachers in the primary school system, which is targeted at 65% by 1995 and 80% by 1998. At the present rate of output it seems likely that this target can be met. However, this can only happen if the government’s recent policy to allow only pre-trained teachers into the profession is enforced, since this is considered to be the primary cause of the slow rate of increase of trained teachers in the primary schools. The table below uses the figures recorded in the 1992 Education Statistical Digest as the baseline to show the increase over the years. At that time there were 1,776 teachers in the profession (not including teachers in training), with 841 (47%) trained under the old scheme. Estimating an annual rate of increase in the pupil population to be 2.5%, and a teacher-to-pupil ratio of 1 to 26, then the system would need to have 2,054 teachers with 1,644 trained to meet the 80% target by 1998. The college’s output of graduates for the period 1992-94 is 449. Of that number, 145 are from the new Level 1 program. The table below shows the annual graduation figures from the various programs estimating a completion rate of 80% for the full time program and 75% for the distance program.

At the rate outlined in the table above, the number of teachers trained to Level 11 or to the third year in the 2+1 program would be approximately 1,515 (74%) by 1998. If the Level 1 graduates are added to the list, this number would increase to 1921 (93%) [N.B. Estimates are calculated starting from 1994. Others are real figures.]