- The World Bank approved a $191 million credit to Bangladesh and an $18 million grant to Afghanistan.
- Women will be given more access to quality education to get better jobs and become great leaders.
- A South Asian Higher Education Portal will be established for other countries to access it.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank approved a $191 million credit to Bangladesh and an $18 million grant to Afghanistan. The program, called the Higher Education Acceleration Transformation Project, will help strengthen the higher education sector for a better response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This project supports regional collaboration in the higher education sector, as well as student mobility, credit transfer schemes, and university twinning arrangements. With it, more women will be able to access quality higher education, leading to an increase in female labor force participation. Globally, the South Asia region has the 2nd lowest female labor force participation rate. Through the project, not only will women get better education, but they will also have access to better jobs and become great leaders in the near future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the higher education sector in South Asia, causing fewer enrollments and more drop-outs by students.
“For our collective future, higher education is a necessity, not a choice. As Bangladesh aspires to achieve an upper-middle-income status, the country needs to invest in its youth to create a skilled and globally competitive workforce,” said Mercy Tembon, the World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
A South Asian Higher Education Portal will also be established, making other students from South Asian countries access the portal. Regional cooperation among various National Research and Education networks (NRENs) will be strengthened with this project.
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