TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan’s Minister of Public Education Mr. Sherzod Shermatov and the Deputy Country Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Uzbekistan Resident Mission Mr. Enrico Pinali have signed an agreement for ADB to advise on a public–private partnership (PPP) to help rehabilitate and construct public schools in Sergeli district of the Uzbek capital city, Tashkent, ADB’s Country Office in Uzbekistan said.
The project aims to construct seven new public schools, rehabilitate six schools, and reconstruct another school in Sergeli district in Tashkent.
“ADB is very pleased to support this PPP project in Uzbekistan,” said Mr. Pinali. “ADB will act as the transaction advisor to the Ministry of Public Education and facilitate the selection of a private partner to help manage and maintain the facilities, while education services will be provided by public sector educators.”
The Government of Uzbekistan has set an ambitious plan to improve the quality of education services and modernize the learning environment at educational institutions. It also intends to implement targeted measures to strengthen these institutions through the construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of facilities, bringing in modern equipment including computers and teaching aids, and aligning vocational offerings with the needs of employers.
ADB’s advisory services will help demonstrate how the private sector can participate in the construction and rehabilitation of public schools in Tashkent under strict performance targets for the private operator. Private partners can also help to establish better maintenance standards of the buildings over the long term and attract additional investments and international expertise to support the sector. Lastly, ADB will prepare contract templates for school projects so that this pilot project can be replicated if the government wishes.
Since Uzbekistan joined ADB, the bank has committed 78 loans totaling $8.6 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million. ADB also provided $6 million in equity investment, $218 million in guarantees, and $97.7 million in technical assistance grants. To date in 2019, ADB committed seven loans totaling $1.1 billion to develop horticulture value chain infrastructure and livestock value chains; improve the efficiency of railway transport; increase access to drinking water supply; enhance the delivery of urban infrastructure projects; improve economic management; and help the government reform its housing finance programs and provide families with more affordable mortgage products.