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Nepal - Nonformal Education

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceNepal - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


Nonformal education in Nepal began in 1951 when activities for literacy enhancement began as part of the national development. These efforts were regularized in the First Five-Year Plan (1956-1961). With the increasing foreign aid through international organizations and subsequent mushrooming of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) between the 1970s and 1990s, the nonformal education movement has picked up momentum. In 1997, there were about 6,000 registered NGOs that were working in the area of education.

In 1974, CERID launched a community-based education program, "Education for Rural Development," in Lahachauk. The program tested and compared the efficacy of a uni-message literacy program with multi-message functional literacy programs. This pilot project paved the way for the national functional literacy program in 1978, which was funded by the Ministry of Education.

In 1981, in the four districts of the Seti anchal, the Chelibeti program focusing on the education of female children was developed. The Ministry of Education launched the Primary Education Project (PEP) in 1984 with a loan from World Bank. By 1987, this program included nonformal education components such as Shiksha Sadan (out-of-school programs), women's education programs, adult education programs, school environment improvement programs, and a community reading center.

Between 1991 and 1996, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) assisted CERID in training and supporting literacy providers through higher education institutions in United States. In addition, USAID funded World Education/Nepal project aimed at improving women's literacy.

In 1990, at the governmental level, the National Education Commission was formed to strengthen the nonformal education sector. Subsequently, the National Non-Formal Education Council was also formed.

Distance education in Nepal employs a radio broadcast approach and is used mainly to support teachertraining activities. The Institute of Education affiliated to Tribhuvan University started a distance-learning program in 1976. This was discontinued in 1980 and replaced with the Radio Education Teacher Training (RETT) Project that offers a basic teacher training primary education certificate/diploma course in Nepali language. In 1998, there were 1,800 students enrolled in this course.

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