Kathmandu, February 23:

A donor agency today underscored the need for the government to utilise funds more properly in order to meet the resource gap and achieve the ‘Education for All’ (EFA) goal by 2015.

“If the government does not have enough funding for the programme, it needs to utilise the available resources smartly,” representative of the Embassy of Finland, Juho Uusihakala, told an interaction organised by the Education Journalist Group.

According to Uusihakala, 90 per cent of the total fund provided by Finland is being used for scholarships. “Scholarships have increased the school enrolment rate,” he said.

Stating that the teacher-student ratio is proportionate only in 20 districts, including Kathmandu, Chitwan, Jhapa and Illam, Uusihakala said the retention rate in these districts is very good as compared to other districts.

Section Officer at the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mukunda Mani Khanal, and Director of the Department of Education, Bishnu Kumar Devkota, said 92 per cent of the budget provided by Finland is being used for educational programmes in districts. The government is expecting to spend US$814.5 million in the first five years of the EFA programme. Of the total expenses, foreign donors are providing $279 million.