(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
VIENNA, 4th July, 2018 (WAM) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has signed a US$50 million public sector loan agreement with Sri Lanka to support the country's Technological Education Development Programme, which aims to improve the provision of technology disciplines in more than 300 secondary schools.
The agreement was signed by Suleiman J Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General, and Dr. Ranepura Hewage Samantha Samaratunga, Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media of Sri Lanka.
At the signing ceremony, Al-Herbish said that quality education underpins progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which OFID has committed to. He also noted the loan agreement builds on a long-established partnership between OFID and Sri Lanka, which began over 40 years ago. OFID's approvals to Sri Lanka total more than $430 million across all of the organisation's lending windows. Also, a number of national and regional grants have helped boost living standards and promote socio-economic development.
Dr. Samaratunga also described how OFID had been a strategically important partner of Sri Lanka for many years. He explained the importance of vocational training in science, technology, research and other areas in helping to boost Sri Lanka's development Sri Lanka's educational programme includes the construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing facilities, as well as upgrading/purchasing equipment. Also envisaged is a capacity-building component for teachers, education officers and curriculum developers. By helping develop pathways from secondary education to vocational training, the programme is expected to boost youth employability in productive disciplines.
It is expected that that approximately 10,000 students per year will benefit from the programme, as well as 1,600 administrators and teachers.
WAM/Rola Alghoul/Rasha Abubaker