Kathmandu, November 3, 2016: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $120 million loan and a $500,000 grant to help improve access and quality of secondary education in Nepal.
The loan is part of a multi-donor program to provide $6.5 billion to the School Sector Development Plan, Nepal Governmentâ€™s main education initiative for 2017-2023, that includes setting up of 200 model schools with disaster risk resilient infrastructure, improved education facilities, a full complement of teachers and quality improvements to enhance student learning.
â€œContinued investment in education, particularly secondary education, is critical for Nepal to achieve its goal of becoming an inclusive and prosperous middle-income country by 2030,â€ says Sungsup Ra, Director, Human and Social Development Division in ADBâ€™s South Asia Regional Department. â€œThe project will support government efforts to increase the number of secondary school graduates, who will earn higher wages than non-graduates, and boost the efficiency of the countryâ€™s education system.â€
Although enrollment in basic education is high, few students, especially among marginalized groups such as Dalits and poor girls, progress to secondary education in Nepal. The quality of learning is hampered by a lack of teachers and scarce opportunities for teachersâ€™ professional development. Average achievement scores are particularly low in key subjects like maths and science, and only 47% of students passed the grade 10 examinations in 2015.
As part of the School Sector Development Plan, ADB loan will try to boost quality education by introducing and expanding ICT in classrooms, boosting teachersâ€™ professional development, and promoting activity-based pedagogy for maths, science, and English. The model schools, meanwhile, will have a separate head teacher, a full complement of subject teachers, disaster risk-resilient infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, a library, a science laboratory, ICT facilities, internet connectivity, and e-resources.
The programme seeks to benefit 6.3 million students, 153,200 teachers, and more than 34,000 schools. It is envisaged that 4,500 schools will receive separate individual subject teachers for math, science, and English by 2021. Professional development courses will be provided to 13,500 subject teachers and activity-based math, science, and English kits for grades 6-8 will be made available in 3,000 schools. The model school program will be rolled out in 200 community schools, benefiting 40,000 studentsâ€”half of which will be girlsâ€”with training for 2,000 teachers in new ICT and e-learning resources.
Courtesy: Asian Development Bank