Project to improve adult literacy rate in districts

Kathmandu, September 14:

The Non-Formal Education Centre (NFEC) under the Ministry of Education and Sports has launched a project in Jumla, Kapilvastu and Ramechhap districts — where the literacy rate is

below 40 per cent — to achieve 50 per cent improvement in the adult literacy rate by 2015.

The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has provided support for

the project. The project will last till September 2008 and implement an extensive and comprehensive literacy programme targeting people living in the backward VDCs of the three districts. Literacy campaigns and training programmes will also be organised in the selected VDCs.

According to Tapa Raj Panta, national programme officer of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, the programmes will be piloted in the three districts to identify the most effective modality for imparting literacy.

Twenty-eight districts have literacy rate below 40 per cent. “The pilot project will be replicated and adopted by the government in all 28 districts if it sees success in the three districts,” Panta added.

Nepal has an adult literacy rate of only 48.6 per cent, according to data provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Over 7 million population is illiterate.

There is a huge disparity in literacy rates between marginalised groups, including women, minority ethnic groups, castes and those living in rural areas.

The adult literacy rate among the Musahar population is 3.7 per cent, as compared to 94 per cent in Jain population.

“A Ten Year Literacy/ Non Formal Education (NFE) Policy and Programme Framework 2006” has mentioned that it is a legal obligation of the government to eradicate illiteracy from the country by adopting all possible modes to make literacy and NFE available to all.