The World Bank Education team met online with CEP PIU staff and discussed the ongoing activities in the frames of the "Education Improvement Project Additional Financing" loan program
On March 24 the World Bank team consisting of Ms. Shizuka Kunimoto (Sr. Economist, TTL for EIP AF), Ms. Renata Freitas Lemos (Senior Economist) initiated an online meeting with the “Center for Education Projects” PIU project staff. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the implementation updates by each activity component as well as to touch base on activity progress in the frames of EIP AF.. The guests were welcomed by Ms, Armine Khachatryan, the Project Manager of “Center for Education Projects” PIU. She stressed the importance and effectiveness of the project both for general and higher education that had been successfully implemented in the frames of EIP and is currently ongoing in the frames of EIP AF a result of a nice cooperation with the World Bank. Currently the "Education Improvement Project Additional Financing" loan program also aimes at further improving the quality of education and creating an educational system in line with the international standards. Emphasizing the joint work, she thanked the World Bank representatives for their consistent support in everyday project related activities.. During the meeting, the parties discussed various project related and organizational issues. The heads of the sub-components of the EIP AF first component “Enhancing the Quality of General Education” and the Head of the EIP AF second component “Mainstreaming of the Competitive Innovation Fund (CIF) for Higher Education Institutions (HEI) into Full Implementation” presented a comprehensive picture of the activities of the PIU in the context of the EIP AF referring to the preparatory stage of the project and to the implemented, ongoing and planned activities. Participants of the meeting referred to a number of issues related to the preschools establishment and micro-projects implementation process. Particularly the Head of the 1.1 sub-component mentioned that Grant agreements had been signed with 25 selected educational institutions from 5 marzes of Armenia, and 6 more agreements will be signed by the end of the month. It is planned that by the start of the new Academic year 31 newly established preschools will be fully operational.Currently the development of the TOR for the selection of the company that will conduct the training of the teachers included in the preschools is in process.Emphasizing the importance of physical conditions and presence of educational resources in high schools, Ms. Kunimoto was interested in the start of the planned rehabilitation activities of the selected 4 high schools. The Head of 1.2 sub-component mentioned that the revision of the design documents for the rehabilitation of 3 high schools had been completed, and the updating of the design documents for the construction of the forth high school was still in process. After the process is finalized, tenders will be announced for the selection of the Contractors and the actual construction activities will be started as soon as the schools are closed for summer holidays.Also WB representatives discussed a number of meetings held within the frames of 1.3 sub-component; In particular, reference was made to the meetings held with individual consultants providing support for the improvement of the Education Management and Information System (EMIS), with the principals of RA schools, with NACET and NCEDI representatives. Proposals and suggestions aimed at improving the system had been provided by all the interested parties. All the suggestions have been documented, a preliminary set of proposals has been developed, which has been submitted to NACET and is in the process of joint discussion.Some issues related to the conducted needs assessment activities in the educational institutions of Armavir region and further provision of science and engineering laboratory equipment, furniture and materials for general education schools were also discussed. The Head of 1.5 sub-component mentioned, that the development of tender documents for the purchase of laboratory equipment and materials necessary for the establishment of physics, chemistry, biology, geography and ICT laboratories, as well as for the purchase of furniture necessary for furnishing the above-stated laboratories is completed. The tenders are currently announced.It was also noted that the process of evaluation of grant applications by consultants was summarized within the framework of CIF. Particularly the Head of Component 2 mentioned, that the evaluation of the project proposals by PRP experts is completed. Their conclusions have been submitted to the SC, based on which the SC will make decision on funding the grant projects.The PIU team also stressed the importance of joint discussions which contributes greatly to effective implementation of the project.