Call to launch special literacy campaign

Kathmandu, September 8:

Minister for Education and Sports Prof Dr Mangal Siddhi Manandhar today said the government should launch a special literacy campaign to bridge the widening gap between the annual literacy growth rate of 1.6 per cent and population growth of 2.25 per cent. “By providing additional budget, the special campaign should be launched in Madrasas, Gumbas and the community literacy centres,” said Prof Manandhar at a programme on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development through Promoting Literacy’, organised by the UNESCO today.

Bunu Shrestha, director of the Non-Formal Education Centre, said the government has introduced various programmes, including non-formal education programmes for school dropouts, flexible schooling, establishing schools within the proximity of half-an-hour walking distance for children, to accelerate growth in literacy rates in rural areas. “But these programmes could not achieve the desired results due to inadequate allocation of national budget,” she added.

Educationist Dr Shiva Lohani said the literacy programmes should address the causal relationship between poverty and literacy as the literacy rate brings human benefits, social benefits, economic benefits, cultural and power benefits.