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Building a better future for Nepal's children
With a more stable political situation in recent years, the Nepalese government has been able to turn its attention to the real needs of the country if it is to develop and lift itself out of poverty. They have acknowledged the value and importance of education as one of the essential elements to drive forward this change.
The government therefore made a commitment to provide at least a primary education for all (both boys and girls), with the aim of this leading on to a secondary education as well. The current system consists of some free state schools, supplemented by fee-charging private and boarding schools (for pupils who live too far away to travel daily). However parents were always responsible for providing their children with the necessary school books, stationery and uniforms.
Several particular areas have been identified where assistance is needed if education is to become more inclusive:
Due to the restricted funding in the past, many areas of the existing education system also need to be improved if it is to meet the government’s long-term aims:
However the speed at which these improvements can proceed is obviously dependent upon funding. Whilst the Nepalese government has made a positive commitment to increase the level of spending on education, it still needs on-going support from more developed countries to help it achieve these goals.
Whilst the country sets about making these improvements, there are clearly areas where we can provide some immediate assistance. As mentioned above, one of the obstacles for poorer parents is the cost of providing books and uniforms for their children. We have been able to provide some resources in the villages around Dhading, enabling those children to take the next step in their education.
One of the other ways we have been able to support these villagers is to provide a number of adult literacy classes. To be unable to read or write your own language is such a barrier, preventing many from being able to improve themselves and the lives of their family. Therefore we have been keen to run classes to provide basic literacy, as this is a very real benefit for villagers. For those who are parents, it also means they can then get involved in helping their children to learn as well.