|Beneficiary Contribution||Own Contribution||€ 29,200,000|
|Total Grants||€ 800,000|
|Total Loans||€ 70,000,000|
Low levels of human capital - basically knowledge and ability - and poor education infrastructure have been identified as one of the major constraints to growth in Serbia. Serbia has not given education a high priority, reflected in the relatively low GPD allocation of 3.4 %; well below EU levels of 5.2 %. If this gap is maintained it is clear that Serbia will be at a comparative disadvantage when it comes to high-quality value-adding jobs and competing in an increasingly global environment.
Rigid resource allocation mechanisms for schools and colleges are not easily (re-)developed - and insufficient funding from both national and local governments are exacerbating the situation. Added to this is a lack of involvement of the business sector that means courses are not responding to the real relevant need.
Responding to this poor state of affairs, the Serbian government instigated the School Modernisation Programme (2010-2014). This aims at improving the quality of learning conditions for students at all levels of pre-university education, increasing equity in the education system and contributing to a more efficient allocation and investment in physical infrastructure. The programme consists of three components, with components 1 and 3 focusing on renewal and expansion of school infrastructure and building of new schools while component 2 supports the strategic development of the Serbian education system through technical assistance.
To aid this initiative WBIF provided a grant to assist the Ministry of Education and Science in preparing an implementation plan for the Education Sector Strategy, which lays out the vision for education and how to achieve the country's education development goals. Additionally, support is provided for the development and implementation of education management and informational system. The project was also tasked with improving the investment decision-making process in Serbia, relating to large-scale education infrastructure.
The project will contribute to the increase of enrolments in secondary education, and improve the quality of education, leading to more and better graduates entering the labour market with the required skills to be productive. As well as contributing to increased growth and productivity, the project will also contribute, through better access to education for all, to reducing poverty.