Investment in the education sector has been increased significantly over the years in order to eradicate illiteracy and improve access to good-quality education. Policy, legal, and institutional reform measures have been adopted to enhance equitable access to education at all levels. As a result of these efforts, the number of children enrolled in the first grade with early childhood development experience has reached 54%; literacy 66%; and the net enrolment rate at the primary level, 95.3%. The ratio of girls and boys having basic education (grades 1-8) has just reached parity, and the NER in the basic and secondary (grades 9-12) levels stand at 87% and 31% respectively. The gross enrolment rate in higher education is 13%.
Despite these improvements, there are major problems in the education sector. These include high dropout and repetition rates at all levels of education; low pass rates; inadequate access to education among children from the poor and marginalized communities; weak management of teachers; low-quality education in community (public) schools; ineffective regulation of institutional (private) schools; and lack of a clear policy framework for higher education. Quality of education is another concern that needs to be addressed by the government of Nepal and development partners.
GNI Nepal’s education components and activities aim at improving equitable access, school management and quality of education and are in-line with the School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) of the GoN. This plan came into effect in 2009 and ends in July 2016. Therefore, the government has already developed a new education plan viz. School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) for the next seven years (2016-2023) incorporating the unattained goals of and the lessons learned from previous SSRP.
The new education plan of the government aims to achieve the unmet targets of SSRP and SDG 4: ensuring equitable and inclusive quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities. GNI’s current education program and plans also align with the government’s vision of graduating Nepal from a least developed to developing country. Similarly, they align with the commitment made by Nepal in the Incheon Declaration made at the World Education Forum- “to transform lives through education recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development and in achieving the other proposed SDGs a renewed education agenda that is holistic, ambitious and aspirational, leaving no one behind”. Therefore, GNI Nepal will support the national agenda on education, UNSDG 4 and the UNESCO declaration made at the World Education Forum.
In order to meet national goals of the government of Nepal, different multi-lateral and bilateral organizations, including I/NGOs have been providing their technical assistance to improve quality education in Nepal. To contribute in achieving the educational goal of the government of Nepal, GNI Nepal has been working as a leading organization focusing on child-centered education. Therefore, the aim of GNI Nepal is to design and endorse child-focused school education program with the theme “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”.
GNI Nepal’s education activities are designed based on the quality Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) facilities (priority of SSDP), access and equity (priority of SSRP and SSDP) and efficiency in the system (SSDP theme). GNI Nepal’s activities will help to improve NER, reduce GER, increase attendance rate, decrease dropout rate and improve learning achievement of students. Quality ECED operation, stationery and school uniform support, child-friendly infra-structure construction, library establishment, computer lab and science lab establishment, professional development training for the teachers, early grade reading, strengthening and sensitizing school management committee and parents teachers association are the major activities that will be implemented in the targeted communities and schools.
GNI Nepal’s educational activities are identified and prioritized through Community Needs Assessment (CSA). Such activities are incorporated in eight different Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that are as follows:
- Early Childhood Education and Development Program
- Educational Materials for Academic Progress Program
- Non-formal Education Program
- Child Club for Child Rights Program
- Coaching Class; Learning Achievement Enhancement Program
- Capacity Building Program
- Promotion of Physical Facilities for Child-friendly School Program
- School Extra-Curricular Activities Program