The El Salvador Strengthening Basic Education project worked to improve social investment and transparency in the education sector and strengthen basic education opportunities. The project used a systems approach to create a positive cycle of interventions at all levels — from schools to the Ministry of Education — to ensure education reform was integrated across political, institutional and technical dimensions.
The project developed national Spanish-language curricula materials for grades 1–6, including student textbooks and workbooks, teachers’ guides and four introductory teacher training modules on competencies and continuous assessment.
The project strengthened school management to better support student learning. This involved developing school planning tools, training principals and assistant principals, reorganizing department-level administrative processes, and supporting the integration of networks of schools created under the ministry’s Whole School System program.
To support accountability and transparency, the project developed a national education accounts (NEA) system to track investment in education and recently integrated the accounts into the ministry’s information system. The project also helped the ministry develop an information system that integrates 16 databases and provides geographic information through the Google Earth program to public schools.
The project helped the Ministry of Education strengthen relationships with the private sector. More than 10 partnerships with local and international organizations were established under the project, and $4.1 million was secured in cost-sharing.
Through research, analysis and support for informed dialogue on the sustainability of the national education goals, the project contributed to policy reform. The project worked with two different administrations fostering policy dialogue and supporting the implementation of their national education plans and helped the government develop the National Social Education Plan for 2009–2014.