ARMENIA TO GET WORLD BANK LOAN

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YEREVAN, MARCH 25, 2004 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Armenia's Minister of Finance and the Economy Vardan Khachatryan and Roger Robinson, the World Bank's representative in Armenia, signed a $19-million loan program, which aims to overhaul the republican education system and to bring it in conformity with international standards.

Talking to RIA Novosti, people at the Armenian Finance Ministry noted that this loan was the first stage of the World Bank's 10-year program, which costs about $52 million. This program calls for working out a state secondary education system and a knowledge assessment system, as well. Plans are also in place to set up computer centers at 600 local schools, to retrain teachers and to provide social aid to redundant teachers during the personnel reduction process.

This easy-term loan is to be repaid over a 40-year period.

The World Bank has financed 31 programs worth $755 million on Armenian territory ever since bilateral cooperation got underway in 1992.

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