Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 18:

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) today announced that it would provide incentives during the ‘Students enrolment campaign’ in order to attract those 16 per cent primary level students who are out of schools. The MoES is celebrating the enrolment campaign from April 15-23. The Department of Education (DoE) along with the other concerned ministries and partner agencies will organise a door to door campaign to enrol students within this period.

“Scholarships and incentives will be given during the enrolment campaign so that the targeted group can benefit from the programmes,” said Janardan Nepal, the DoE’s acting director during an interaction organised by the MoES today. The DoE also plans to extend the admission date till the end of August to encourage more students. The campaign and welcome programme includes enroling students, especially from the marginalised groups, girls and the physically challenged. The government is joining hands with NGOs and INGOs to make the programme a huge success.

Nepal said that various committees have been formed to make the campaign successful. “We plan to increase the enrolment rate by 30 per cent this year,” said Nepal. “We also aim to decrease the drop out rate drastically in grade one.” The government is providing Rs 1.16 lakh booster scholarships this year. The DoE is also providing full scholarships to girls in 10 districts which have a higher rate of gender disparity so that the goal of gender equality by 2015 can be achieved. Under this programme, the students will receive full scholarships of Rs 1700 per student per year out of which 3,250 students of class 6 and 7 will benefit under the Secondary Education Support Programme (SESP).

Similarly, each Dalit child of school going age in all the 75 districts will receive a scholarship of Rs 250 per year. The schools will receive booster scholarships which is meant to bring in students, especially girls, Dalits and the physically challenged. The programme intends to benefit 1,16682 children. Under the booster scholarship each student will receive Rs 500 per year in all the 75 districts. Besides this, the Food for Education Project is being held in 21 districts and two litres of oil for education programme in seven districts. Chuman Singh Basnet, secretary at the Education Ministry, said that it was not just a programme of the Education Ministry or the Department of Education but a national programme which needs concerted efforts from all the stakeholders of the society. The UNICEF, Save the Children US, Save the Children Norway, Action Aid Nepal, Seto Gurans, Asman Nepal, and Plan Nepal expressed solidarity in helping the government achieve its target.