Education is the best cure for poverty. Studies from all over the world finds that education increases income, makes people healthier, save children’s lives, promotes jobs, boosts the economy, and fosters peace.
The Norwegian Government’s White Paper on education from 2014 (Meld. St. 25, 2013 – 2014) clearly states that Norway shall be a proactive partner in supporting good quality education for all on a global scale. By signing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Norway has committed herself to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Nepal has made tremendous progress in ensuring free and inclusive education for all during the last decade. In 2017, 97,2% of all children started school, and the figure is more or less the same for girls as for boys. As many as 77,4% of the children who start school continue to grade 8, and among the 15 to 24 year old, 88,6% can read and write.
Despite great achievements, significant challenges remain. Two of the most pressing issues are the low quality of education as well as still high drop-out rates. The latest figure tells us that around 80 000 children are out of school. This includes children that have never enrolled in school, and children that have dropped out. Typically, the out of school children are girls, children with disabilities, and children from other marginalised groups and communities. But even for the children that do go to school, the learning achievements are generally low. This is mainly, but not exclusively, due to lack of teachers, teachers being absent from work, old fashioned and outdated curriculum and methods of teaching.
Norway remains a committed partner to aid with Nepal’s priorities within education.