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Education Sector Programme Support 2003 - 2008

Modern education system in Bhutan was initiated in 1960 with the launching of the country’s first Five Year socio-economic development plan. From 400 students in 1960, the system has expanded to over 146,739 students in 2006. Basic Education from Pre-primary to Grade 10 is provided free to all children by the Royal Government of Bhutan.  As in the Health sector, indicators in Education in Bhutan have improved significantly in the last decades, for instance: 
Targets to be achieved by 2007 include:
· Increasing primary school enrolment from 72 to 90 percent
· Improving overall literacy from 54 to 80 percent
· Improving girl/boy ratio at Secondary school from 82/100 to 89/100

Danida has been providing short-term assistance to Education since the mid-1990s. An Environment Education component was an integral part of the Danida Environment Sector Support Programme, and funds were provided to pioneer the integration of Special Education needs in a pilot project at a Lower Secondary School in Thimphu in 2001.

Danida consultancy services helped devise alternative construction methods for schools, which led to Danida funding the pilot phase of the new light gauge steel frame (LGSF) construction technology, which is now being used for the construction of World Bank funded schools under the Education Development Project (EDP).  This has greatly enhanced the rate of access to schools, cutting short the construction period by almost half. The implementation of the new technology will employ over 200 specially trained Bhutanese graduates from the National Technical Training Authority.

Danida’s first major support to the education sector started in November 2003 with a grant of DKK 80.5 million (11.5 million Euros) to support to the Royal Government of Bhutan’s 9th Five Year Plan for Education.

Danish support comprises of two components.  Component 1, using 75% of the funds, provides sector budget support to the Ministry of Education. Component 2 is earmarked for Human Resource Development to help the Ministry of Education provide a comprehensive in-service training programme, mostly through long and short term training programmes abroad. Over and above the overall grant of DKK 80.5 million, Danida is also providing the Ministry of Education with a long-term Technical Assistance package of 6 man-years during the support period. The first long-term adviser took up the post in October 2004 to work in the field of curriculum development with particular attention to learning difficulties and inclusive education. The second long-term adviser was recruited in June 2005 to work in educational planning, and development and application of the Education Management Information System (EMIS). By the end of the plan period, significant improvements in school access and in the quality of education have been achieved. The Education Sector Support Programme was followed by the Social Sector Support Programme (2008-2013) providing sector budget support to the education and health sector.

Please follow this link to read the full programme document.