Ensure no child is out of school, local levels told

Kathmandu, July 3

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has directed all district coordination offices and local levels to declare within September 16 that no child of school-going age living in their concerned rural municipalities and municipalities are ‘out of school’.

It is part of the second phase of Student Enrolment Campaign, 2018 which kicked off on June 19. According to an action plan circulated to the DCOs and local levels by Federal Affairs Section of the MoFAGA, the concerned DAOs and local levels in association with Education Development and Coordination Unit will have to declare that all children of school-going age are enrolled in schools.

The MoFAGA informed that all regional education directorates had called a meeting of chiefs of EDCI under the chairmanship of minister of social development in the concerned provinces on June 19 to ensure enrolment of all children in schools.  It requires the EDCIs to make a formal request to the local levels to declare that no child in their areas are ‘out of school’ within September 16 by holding a meeting in the presence of representatives from political parties, I/NGOs and mediapersons, among others. The deadline for the meeting is tomorrow.

The local levels will collect the details of children of school-going age and ensure their enrolment in the nearest school with necessary arrangement of textbooks for them. The DCOs and local levels have also been requested to create an environment for dropouts and others who have not been enrolled to resume studies by announcing incentive package like school meals programme, extra-curricular activities, safe drinking water, gender sensitive toilets and library, among others.

According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, a total of 330,213 new students were enrolled in schools across the country as part of the government’s first phase of Student Enrolment Campaign launched on April 15. However, as many as 71,283 children of school going age are still out of school.

The key barriers to education for children included poverty, social exclusion linked to caste/ethnicity, disability, migration, child labour, child marriage, trafficking, harmful social norms and gender biases, poor school infrastructure and staffing, language barriers, natural disasters and civil strife, and financial bottlenecks, a 2016 government report says.