Government likely to miss target this year

Kathmandu, August 16

The government is likely to miss its target of achieving the Education For All (EFA) goals by the end of 2015 as committed in international forums.

The government had expressed commitment in the Dakar Conference held in Senegal in 2000 to provide education for all by the end of 2015. As many as 164 countries, including Nepal and various regional and international organisations, non-government organisations and others had signed the EFA by 2015 commitment.

The signatories had agreed to launch academic programmes in their countries and regions by preparing six common goals, which included expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls and children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to completely free and compulsory primary education of good quality; ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes.

The other goals of EFA are: achieving 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women; equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults; eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005; and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality and improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognised and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all; especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

Nepal had added one more goal ‘inclusiveness’ and expressed commitment to achieve seven goals by the end of 2015.

Dr Dilli Ram Rimal, director general, Department of Education, said the government had reached near to the seven goals but was yet tot completely achieve them. “We have a target to enroll 80 per cent children aged between three and five in Early Childhood Development Centres, but we have been able to bring only 74 per cent children till date,” he said.

Similarly, the government had targeted enrolling cent per cent children in the primary level but only 96 per cent students have enrolled. He further said the government plan to connect youths with skill-oriented and job-oriented education was also in limbo.

In addition, he said, there was challenge in implementing ICT in education and technical education in school was also in the implementation phase. Thus, it seems the EFA goals are difficult to achieve by 2015.

The government had launched Literacy Campaign for eight years to make Nepalis aged between 15 and 60, who could not enroll in school to attain formal education literate. The campaign also failed to meet its target in the fiscal 2014/15. The government has already spent around Rs 8 billion on the literacy campaign.

The government had decided to eradicate illiteracy by last fiscal by focusing on the districts where large numbers are was illiterate, but it failed to make citizens of more than two dozen districts literate in the year of illiteracy eradication.

The government made provisions of scholarships for the disadvantaged and marginalised groups but it could not reach children at the grassroots.

Dr Hari Lamsal, spokesperson, MoE admitted that Nepal had failed to meet the EFA goals though it was near the target.