PROJECT INFORMATION DOCUMENT (PID)
APPRAISAL STAGE / ETAPE D’EVALUATION
Report No.: AB306
Project Name / Education Quality Improvement Project II /
Nom du projet Projet d’amélioration de la qualité du système éducatif tunisien II
Region / Région Middle East and North Africa / Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord
Sector / Secteur Secondary education (80%); Primary education (20%)
Enseignement secondaire (80 %); Enseignement primaire (20 %)
Project ID / P082999
Code du projet
Borrower / Emprunteur Government of Tunisia / République tunisienne
Implementing Agency / Ministry of Education and Training
Agence d’exécution Ministère de l’éducation et de la formation
Boulevard Bab Benat 1031 Tunis TUNISIE
Tel: 216-71-569-799 Fax: 216-71-569-294 http://www.edunet.tn
Environment Category / [X] B
Safeguard Classification / [X] S2
Date PID Prepared / October 1, 2003 /
Date de préparation 1er octobre 2003
Estimated Date of October 23, 2003 /
Appraisal Authorization / 23 octobre 2003
Date estimée d’approbation
Estimated Date of Board February 6, 2004 /
Approval / Date estimée de 6 février 2004
l’approbation du Conseil
1. Country and Sector Background / Contexte sectoriel du pays
Tunisia has a long-standing commitment to social and economic development, and education is one of the
pillars of the Government’s strategy aimed at building up its citizens’ human capital to operate
successfully within a globalized knowledge-based economy. As Tunisia implements its Tenth
Development Plan (2002-2006), pressures on the labor market will intensify, both as a results of steady
demographic growth and as a consequence of stiffer comptetition faced by Tunisian enterprises due to
international integration. To meet the objectives of the Tenth Development Plan, Tunisia will need to
ensure higher growth rates in high-productivity sectors. This clearly has important implications for the
Tunisia’s education sector is on target to meet its obligations under the Millenium Development Goals
(MDGs).1 All students will be completing a full course of primary schooling 2 by 2015, if grade
promotion rates continue advancing at or near the rate observed over the last ten years. To achieve this
will be all the more difficult because repetition will have to be reduced, and drop-out eliminated, amongst
the most vulnerable students (ie. disabled children, children with behavorial problems, children in
difficult family circumstances and children living in extreme poverty). Gender imbalances in education
are limited: female students are slightly under-represented in LBE, but slightly over-represented in UBE,
In Tunisia, lower basic education (LBE) covers Grades 1-6.
secondary and higher education. Even their under-representation in LBE is the result of girls’ lower
repetition rates, not lower enrollment rates.
Despite the overall positive correlation between education and employment in Tunisia, persistent
unemployment amongst young secondary education graduates points to a mismatch between the skills
acquired at school and those sought by employers. Moreover, women have not yet been able to benefit
fully from their improved educational status: in 2001, the labor force participation rate was 76.0% for
men and just 25.8% for women. An international study conducted in 1999 with Grade 8 students in
mathematics and science suggested that learning achievement needs to improve markedly if Tunisia is to
have the skills it needs to compete in the international marketplace: no Tunisian students reached the top
decile of students from 38 countries, and less than 5% featured in the top quintile.
Thirty-five years of declining birthrates are now resulting in a reduction in the LBE student population,
while student numbers (and therefore student diversity) in UBE and secondary education continue to
grow in the medium-term as a result of increasing primary (LBE) completion rates. The challenges for
the Government are therefore: (i) to extend improvements aimed at better learning outcomes to the most
vulnerable children, so as to achieve full LBE completion by 2015; (ii) to respond to the increasing
diversity of the secondary education population by widening the range of education opportunities; (iii) to
enable the secondary school system to be attuned to, and then adapt to, the needs of the Tunisian
economy; and (iv) to take advantage of the “lull” in the size of the LBE student population by focussing
resources in cost-effective ways on quality improvements. These challenges have lead the Government
to place quality improvement at the heart of its education strategy for 2002-2007, entitled “Tomorrow’s
Schools”3. The Ministry of Education and Training (MET) has operationalized this strategy in its Global
Action Plan4 for the period of the Tenth Development Plan (2002-2006). The current project is designed
to support critical parts of the Global Action Plan, and therefore to fit into the Government’s overall
2. Objectives / Objectifs du projet
The current project is the second phase of a two-phase Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP).
The purpose of EQIP is to support the Government’s efforts (a) to achieve near-universal completion of
basic education (Grades 1 through 9); (b) to provide a greater number of students (from a wider range of
backgrounds) with opportunities for post-basic education; and (c) to modernize the sector in ways that
improve the quality of outputs and the efficiency with which they are produced. The first phase of the
two-phase program covers a four-year period (2001-2004), supporting the implementation of the
Government's basic education strategy, as spelled out in its original Sector Policy Letter. It also supports
the development of a strategy to manage the consequences of enrollment expansion at the post-basic
levels, as set out in the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-2006). All four measures set up to trigger the second
phase of the APL have been put in place, the latest at the start of the new school year, in September 2003:
(i) the roll-out of the APC program to Grades 3 and 4 in all primary schools; (ii) the roll-out of “double
grade” system (degrés) in Grades 1 through 4 in all primary schools; (iii) the extension of self-assessment
system, as defined within each school charter (projet d'établissement) in at least 25 percent of schools;
and (iv) the development of a sector-wide strategy to manage student flows, covering the impact of
decreasing student numbers at the lower basic level, and access to post-basic education whether general,
vocational or higher.
Ministry of Education and Training (2002). La Nouvelle Réforme du système scolaire tunisien – Programme pour
la mise en œuvre du projet « Ecole de demain » 2002-2007. Tunis: Ministry of Education and Training.
Ministry of Education and Training (2003). Plan d’operation global 2002-2006. Tunis: Ministry of Education and
The main objective of EQIP II is to promote excellence in teaching and learning throughout the school
sector, while continuing the push for the inclusion of all children at all levels of the basic education
system. Progress against this objective is measured by age-based school enrollement rates, disaggregated
by gender. Intermediate objectives, each associated with a project component, are shown below, along
with the corresponding indicators.
Project Development Objective Outcome Indicators
Promote excellence in teaching and learning Enrollment rate (by gender and age group: 6-11 year-
throughout the school sector, while continuing the push olds, 6-16 year olds, 12-18 year olds)
for the inclusion of all children at all levels of the basic
Intermediate Results Results Indicators
Component A (Inclusive Basic Education): Component A:
Increased number of students successfully completing Basic education completion rate (by gender)
Component B (Diversity in Secondary Education): Component B:
Increased number of students successfully completing Secondary education completion rate (by gender)
Component C (School Sector Management): Component C:
Greater local autonomy in school management Share of non-salary operational budget managed at
school level (by level [LBE, UBE, SEC])
Component D (Strengthening Core Systems): Component D:
Availability of tools needed to achieve Components A- Computer-student ratio (by level [LBE, UBE, SEC])
3. Rationale for Bank Involvement / Argumentaire en faveur d’une intervention de la Banque
The Bank has a long tradition of support for Tunisia’s education sector, with Tunisia taking the Bank’s
first ever education loan, in 1963. The most recent CAS (2000) proposed Bank support for the
Government in three major directions: (a) consolidating long-term development, mainly through human
resource development, natural resources management, transport, rural development and municipal
development; (b) supporting economic reform to enhance competitiveness and increase employment, and
(c) promoting new initiatives that strengthen local institutions, launch new development niches, and
mobilize external finance. A new CAS is currently in preparation; it will likely emphasize the same
elements for the Bank’s continued support of reform in Tunisia, around the common theme of developing
a knowledge-based economy. The current project will contribute directly to (a), and indirectly to (b)
through human resources development activities that inter alia improve the quality of the labor force.
4. Description / Description du projet
EQIP II comprises four components, each with two to four subcomponents. The first two components
focus directly on the issue of quality in the classroom: Component A in basic education, and Component
B in secondary education. Component C aims at modernizing the management of the school sector, at the
central, provincial and school levels, in ways that improve schools’ abilities to deliver quality education.
Component D seeks to enhance the performance of the core systems – training, ICT, assessment and
infrastructure – that will enable the MET to better implement the kinds of activities includes in the first
Project Components and Sub-Components
A : Inclusive Basic Education A1 : Teaching for Improved Learning Outcomes
A2 : Equal Schooling Opportunities
B : Diversity in Secondary Education B1 : Diversifying the Secondary Education Curriculum
B2 : Career Information and Guidance
C : School Sector Management C1 : School-Level Management
C2 : System-Level Management
D : Strengthening Core Systems D1 : Staff Training
D2 : Information and Communication Technologies
D3 : Assessment and Evaluation
D4 : School Infrastructure
Project activities will include: technical assistance; training for teachers, managers and education
specialists; purchase of equipment; and civil works (eg. construction of new schools, and rehabilitation of
existing schools). For details of component activities, see Annex 4.
5. Financing / Plan de financement
Borrower / Emprunteur 217.63
IBRD / BIRD 184.60
6. Implementation / Modalités d’exécution du projet
The project will be executed by the MET, which has decades of implementation experience in Bank-
financed projects. As in the on-going EQIP I, the MEF will integrate project implementation into the
day-to-day management activities of existing departments. The relevant structures within the MET will be
responsible for the implementation of the project activities within their mandate.
EQIP II will rely on the organizational structure put in place for EQIP I (see organizational chart in
Annex 6). This structure has proved its worth, with the latest PSR rating Project Management “highly
satisfactory”. The General Administration Department (direction générale des services communs
[DGSC]) will be in charge of all procurement (i.e. civil works, equipment and services), as well as
financial management, financial monitoring and output monitoring. In this capacity, the DGSC will
prepare and then monitor procurement plans, and produce the management reports. The General
Administrator (directeur général des services communs) will be the Project Director.
As with EQIP I, civil works activities will be implemented at the provincial level. In each province, the
regional office of the MET will collaborate with the regional office of the Ministry of Public Works and
Housing, under the control of the Provincial Governor’s Office. The functional relationship between the
two ministries is well established both at central and regional levels.
7. Sustainability / Pérennité du projet
As with other projects in the education sector in Tunisia (both past and ongoing), the Government
initiated the preparation process, and there is a clear commitment to the project development objectives
articulated above. The mainstreaming of project activities into the MET's core business, and the
consultative process followed thus far, ensure that the main activities (as well as their underlying
rationale) extend deep into the MET structure at central, regional and even local levels. The risks related
to the sustainability of the project are therefore minimal.
The long-term, programmatic approach of an APL testifies to a long-standing commitment by the Bank to
stand by agreed sectoral strategies. Moreover, by relying on the existing MET structures, EQIP II does
not create artificial, exogenous units, but rather contributes to strengthening existing institutions and
improving their implementation capacity.
8. Lessons Learned from Past Operations in the Country & Sector / Enseignements tirés des
opérations antérieures au pays et dans le secteur
MET has solid implementation capacity. Experience with EQIP I (and with the Bank’s previous lending
operation) shows that the MET has the capacity to handle a large and complex project. EQIP I
supervision reports have consistently rated project implementation satisfactory, and the latest report rated
project management highly satisfactory.
Implementation benefits from including opportunities for capacity building in project management.
Project management training is an essential part of successful implementation. Existing staff need
opportunities to refresh their skills and knowledge, and to acquire new skills and knowledge. New staff
members need to learn the basic of project management in the context of Bank-financed operations. With
EQIP I, the Bank was able to use non-project sources of financing to offer limited training, but more is
needed. This dimension of project implementation must be built into the project itself.
Long-term policy development benefits from mid-term knowledge transfer. "Soft" activities (such as
assessment and research) are as important as the “hard” activities, although they represent a smaller part
than civil works and equipment in project costs. Despite the size of the budget associated with them,
technical assistance activities can have a significant impact on policy decisions downstream, allowing
dialogue to develop within the Government to ensure both ownership and sustainability. It is important
therefore to include technical assistance that enables Government to learn from others, collect
information, analyze options and debate policies well in advance of policy decision timelines.
Even when the political backing for education reform is strong, the Bank needs to focus policy dialogue
on issues of fiscal sustainability. The education reform agenda enjoys strong support at the highest
echelons of Government, and this support is reflected in the substantial share of public expenditure
allocated to the sector. Despite this, new challenges facing the school system in particular and the
education sector in general – most importantly, rapid increase in student numbers at the higher levels –
require the Government to look for cost-effective solutions that guarantee the fiscal sustainability of its
ambitious reform program.
9. Safeguard Policies / Directives en matière de protection des populations vulnérables et des
Safeguard Policies Triggered by the Project Yes No
Environmental Assessment (OP/BP/GP 4.01) [X] 
Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04)  [X]
Pest Management (OP 4.09)  [X]
Cultural Property (OPN 11.03, being revised as OP 4.11)  [X]
Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12)  [X]
Indigenous Peoples (OD 4.20, being revised as OP 4.10)  [X]
Forests (OP/BP 4.36)  [X]
Safety of Dams (OP/BP 4.37)  [X]
Projects in Disputed Areas (OP/BP/GP 7.60)*  [X]
Projects on International Waterways (OP/BP/GP 7.50)  [X]
Directives susceptibles d’être appliquées au projet Oui Non
Evaluation environmentale (OP/BP/GP 4-01) [X] 
Habitats naturels (OP/BP 4-04)  [X]
Contrôle des organismes nuisibles (OP 4-09)  [X]
Patrimoine culturel (OPN 11-03, en cours de révision OP 4-11)  [X]
Déplacement involontaire de populations (OP/BP 4-12)  [X]
Populations autochtones (OD 4-20, en cours de révision OP 4-10)  [X]
Régions forestières (OP/BP 4-36)  [X]
Sécurité des barrages (OP/BP 4-37)  [X]
Zones en litige (OP/BP/GP 7-60)*  [X]
Voies navigables d’intérêt international (OP/BP/GP 7-50)  [X]
Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01). In order to comply with OP 4.01, an environmental assessment
review procedure was developed for EQIP I, jointly with National Environmental Protection Agency
(Agence nationale pour la protection de l’environnement) and MET, to ensure adequate treatment of
environmental concerns in the construction of new schools under the project. This procedure will be
applied to EQIP II, with some refinement resulting from lessons learned during the first phase. As a first
step, the MET will screen sites, to identify any that carry potential safeguard issues. Each school
construction identified as carrying potential safeguard issues will then be subjected to an environmental
assessment which will include appropriate consultation with the affected people, if any. In most cases,
school sites have already been selected as part of an urban planning and land use scheme. In those cases
where no scheme exists, the selection process will be initiated by local authorities, and its acceptability
validated through the environmental review procedure described above. The Bank will finance only those
schools satisfactorily cleared under the environmental review procedure. During construction activities,
compliance monitoring to ensure implementation of the recommended mitigation measures will be the
primary responsibility of the supervision architects, with oversight responsibility by the local
representatives from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.
Land Acquisition. The recent expropriation law has introduced major improvements in land acquisition.
The Safeguards Cluster mission in April 2003 noted that if publicly owned land (terres domaniales ou
publiques) was not available for a school site, the Government either bought land at the going market
By supporting the proposed project, the Bank does not intend to prejudice the final determination of the parties' claims on the
En apportant un appui au projet proposé, la Banque n’entend en aucun cas influer sur la détermination finale des
revendications des parties en matière de zones en litige.
price through an open procedure, or accepted land as a voluntary donation from a private owner (who, for
personal or economic reasons, sees an advantage in donate land for educational purposes). The
Government does not accept a donation of land that could negatively impact an individual’s livelihood.
A land acquisition assessment procedure (évaluation des conditions d’acquisition de terrains) was
developed for EQIP I. Land acquisition assessments conducted during the first phase of the project show
that there are no issues related to social safeguards, in particular involuntary resettlement and land
acquisition. Land for the construction of school is either acquired from the public patrimony with no
claims on it, or purchased from the public market, or voluntarily donated by the communities. The
results of applying this procedure to EQIP I showed that private owners in fact benefited from donating
land for school construction, as a new school brings with it improvements to the surrounding area (e.g.
roads, water, and sewerage), which raise the value of remaining land owned by the donor. For this
reason, OP/BP 4.12 will not be triggered. This issue will be further addressed during pre-appraisal
mission by conducting additional random land acquisition assessments. Furthermore, it is proposed that
during implementation, for each sub-project, prior to construction, a land acquisition assessment be
conducted to ascertain that acquisition has not impactly negatively on any persons or groups and that
there are no issues related to OP/BP 4.12.
Disclosure. A short description of environmental procedures will be disclosed in-country and in the
Bank’s Infoshop; the site-specific environmental assessments will be disclosed in-country.
10. List of Factual Technical Documents / Documents techniques consignés au dossier du projet
Ministry of Education & UNICEF (1999). Actes du Colloque international – « L’Approche par
compétences au service d’une éducation de qualité pour tous ». Tunis: Ministry of Education & UNICEF.
Ministry of Education & UNICEF (2001). Actes des Journées internationales de réflexion et d’échanges
sur le Programme d’éducation prioritaire « PEP ». Tunis: Ministry of Education & UNICEF.
Ministry of Education & World Bank (1998). Actes des Journées d’études sur l’Ecole de demain. Tunis et
Washington, DC: Ministry of Education & World Bank.
Ministry of Education and Training (2002). Loi d’orientation de l’éducation et de l’enseignement scolaire
– Loi n°. 2002-80 du 23 juillet 2002. Tunis: Ministry of Education and Training.
Ministry of Education and Training (2002). La Nouvelle Réforme du système scolaire tunisien –
Programme pour la mise en œuvre du projet « Ecole de demain » 2002-2007. Tunis: Ministry of
Education and Training.
Ministry of Education and Training (2002). Rapport sur le projet d’école. Unpublished: Centre national
d’innovation pédagogique et de recherche en éducation (11 pages).
Ministry of Education and Training (2003). Plan d’operation global 2002-2006. Tunis: Ministry of
Education and Training.
Ministry of Education and Training (2003). Statistiques de l’enseignement scolaire et de la formation
professionnelle. Tunis: Ministry of Education and Training.
Website: http://www.edunet.tn/ressources/infos/statistiques/fr/index.html (extracts)
Ministry of Education and Training (2003). Régulation et orientation des flux des élèves. Report
prepared by the Montreal School Board for the Ministry of Education and Training.
United Nations Development Program (n.d.). La Tunisie et les objectifs internationaux du
développement. Tunis: UNDP.
World Bank (1998). L’Enseignement supérieur tunisien – Enjeux et avenir. Washington, DC: World
World Bank (2000). Le Système éducatif tunisien – Orientations stratégiques. Washington, DC: World
World Bank (2000). Highly Selective Promotion Practices in Education – The Case of Tunisia.
Washington, DC: World Bank.
World Bank (2003). Republic of Tunisia – Employment Strategy. Washington, DC: World Bank. (2
11. Contact point / Personne-contact
Contact: Jeffrey Waite
Title: Sr Education Spec.
Tel: (202) 458-0842
Fax: (202) 477-8642
12. For more information contact / Pour de plus amples renseignements, SVP contactez :
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20433
Tel: (202) 458-5454
Fax: (202) 522-1500