A Glance on School Education in Nepal:

There are many complex challenges to the Nepalese educational system. The main hardship to building a sustainable infrastructure is an adverse geographical landscape of Nepal. Most of the population lives in rural areas where no basic infrastructure likes roads, clean water, or schools exist. A child born in rural part of Nepal faces some of the worst living conditions in the world. Majority of Nepalese live in poverty on earning of less than US$1 a day. More than 80% children live in villages, almost 50% are malnourished, and 40 belong to extremely poor families. Even though the country's educational system has come a long way in a very short time, there is still much to be done. Many government schools are not in good physical shape while those that exist are extremely under funded, especially in the countryside. Although primary education is free, government schools are often inadequate and overcrowded with hundreds of students in each class. Many schools in remote areas are very basic and even sometimes unsafe. Often these schools have even lack of blackboard and very little furniture. Even supplementary materials like libraries, children's books, and computer labs are rare.

Although all government schools receive some financial support from the government for teachers' salaries, villagers have to pay for other expenses themselves. As a result, most schools do not have a library nor do they provide books other than textbooks. The few books that they have are usually in black and white - no color - and are not children's books. Schools often provide books left by travelers that are written in English or other foreign languages rather than in Nepali. In many cases, the few books that schools have are so valuable that teachers lock them up, unavailable to curious children. Without creative, colorful books, children do not learn to love reading or explore the world through a book. Many government schools also want to provide computer education, yet very few can afford computer labs. Most Nepalese children in rural areas have never seen a computer. Yet, adequate computer knowledge and skills are major factors in determining potential future employment opportunities.

Individual family situations and cultural bias further complicate the effort to educate students. Typically, young children walk several miles every day just to attend school. Students are unable to make the trip regularly because of poor weather such as the rains of the monsoon season and other reasons. Girls often have less access to education than boys. While 35% of males are illiterate, 57% of females cannot read or write. There is a saying in Nepal that educating your daughter is like fertilizing your neighbor's crops. Because the Nepalese tradition considers females as tradable assets, parents have difficulty rationalizing their personal development. While girls suffer the most, all the children of Nepal suffer from the many obstacles to their learning. Government has bought different Educational programs to eliminate its illiteracy. Government efforts in education have now-a-days approved as a key to increase literacy rate as well as to make aware the parents for the education of their children.

There is a substantial increase in government allocation to education, which has benefited the government aided schools. Community schools have been financed by the government grants in aid supporting the externally funded programs. However, there is remarkable contribution of private sectors in education as well.

A child being out of school is one of the crucial problems of the nation. The nation cannot be developed well until and unless it can bring all of its citizens under education. This is why; the concerned stakeholders in Nepal should identify the children out of school who are non-schooling due to poverty, geographical complicity, socio-cultural factors, disability, language, school environment and so on. To find the practical attributes and develop the more effective education strategy - government should cope to identify the following facts:

-  Out-of-school children who are non-schooling,

-explore the affecting factors of non-schooling,

- find the practical measures for bringing them to formal and non-formal education system,

-suggest possible measures for addressing the issues to ensure access and quality of education and

- work with non-governmental organizations

Author: Krishna B.Raut
( The president of the Apex Mission Nepal-AMIN)

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