The newly formulated School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) 2016-2023 incorporates unachieved targets of School Sector Reform Program (SSRP) 2009-2016 and places increased emphasis on equitable access and quality education. The Plan is in-line with Nepal’s vision to graduate from the status of least developed country and also aligned with Nepal’s international commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the past decade, education sector in Nepal has seen increased rates of investment for eradicating illiteracy and improving access to quality education at all levels. Matching policy, legal, and institutional reform measures have also been adopted. As a result of these efforts, the number of children enrolled in the first grade with Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) experience has reached 66.3%; literacy 68%; and the Net Enrolment Rate (NER) at the primary level 97.2%. The ratio of girls and boys having a basic education (grade 1-8) has reached parity and NER in the basic and secondary (grade 9-12) levels stand at 92.3% and 43.9 % respectively (Department of Education 2017).
Quality indicators are also improving as the completion rate for basic education level now is 70.7% and students learning achievement in mathematics, English, and Nepali subjects for grade five is 49%, 47% and 46% and grade eight 35%, 48% and 41% respectively (Education Review Office 2016).
Despite these signs of improvement, there are some major problems facing the education sector in Nepal today. These include high dropout and repetition rates at all levels, low pass rates, inadequate access among children from poor and marginalized communities, weak management of schools, low-quality teaching-learning at public schools; ineffective regulation of institutional (private) schools; and lack of a clear policy framework for higher education. Hence, quality is a major concern that needs to be addressed.
Different multilateral and bilateral organizations along with I/NGOs have been contributing to meeting national educational milestones set by the Government of Nepal and providing technical assistance to improve quality. In Nepal, Good Neighbors International (GNI) is one of the leading organizations on child-centered education aiming to design and endorse child-focused school education program having ‘Holistic and humanistic vision of quality education through quality learning environment, learners’ physical safety and psychological and emotional well-being, effective teaching and learning, and community participation’ as the central theme.
Good Neighbors International Nepal’s education program subsumes the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; Good Neighbors International’s Strategic Objective: People enjoy right to quality education; and the national education policy of Nepal (SSDP 2016 – 2023).
Activities under GNI Nepal’s education program are identified and prioritized through Community Needs Assessments and their implementation is guided by following standard operating procedures;
- Early Childhood Education and Development
- Promotion of physical facilities for a child-friendly school
- Educational materials for school education
- Capacity building of teachers and school governing bodies
- Smart classroom with ICT integration
- AWASAR (An opportunity to students for exploring hidden talents through ECAs)
- Ramro Padhai, Ramro Sikai to improve reading skills
- Non-formal Education
Objectives and expected outcomes of GNI Nepal’s child-focused school education program
|To develop child-friendly teaching-learning environment at schools.||Improved learning environment at schools.|
|To provide essential materials to promote education of sponsored students.||Increased enrollment rate and attendance rate of teachers and students|
|To improve internal efficiency of schools and learning achievement of students||Increased promotion, transition, completion and decreased dropout, repetition rates|
|To build capacity of school teachers in order to implement child-centered teaching learning pedagogy.||Well trained and committed teachers so as to improve learning outcomes of students|
|To empower community members to establish sustainable education programs.||Increased literacy rate and empowered community members capable of establishing sustainable education programs|