Nepal’s education system has faced many problems since the mid 1800s. The first education system in Nepal was only available to elite families, and Nepali people did not have access to education until 100 years later in the 1950s. Current day education in Nepal is still in the developing stage and did not really start integrating the use of technology in the classroom until 2007.
One of the biggest problems in Nepal’s education system is female education. This issue has been neglected since the 1950s. In fact, there is an extreme inequality in the literacy rate between men and women. In Nepal, 71 percent of men can read and write, whereas only 44 percent of women can. This is a staggering inequality for women’s education and is a direct link to areas of poverty in Nepal.
Another issue in relation to women’s education is that parents do not have enough money to ensure their children have access to proper education. The issue of poverty is taking a toll on Nepal’s education system. The public school scores are very low; in 2013, 72 percent of students from those schools failed their exit exams. This leaves 335,912 public school students with no access to a future or hope in achieving their dreams. Furthermore, statistics provided by the Teach for Nepal foundation, which is aimed at giving these students access to educational resources, stated that 85 percent of first graders will drop out of the school system and 25 percent of the students left cannot count to double digits.
To illustrate the issues that Nepal’s public school systems face, the children need access to clean drinking water while they attend school as well as at home. Nepal faces extremely hot temperatures and school buildings are covered by a tin roof. This makes the thirsty children endure unbearable heat while attending school. This includes nurseries, kindergarten and lower grades as well. The lack of water and high temperatures result in the children having difficulty concentrating and comprehending the material at hand. Thus, this combined with child malnutrition in Nepal, children in public schools do not have an advantage to performing well and tend to fall behind or drop out of school.
Given these facts, Nepal’s school system is indeed fairly new and continuing to develop, but there is still limited access to public schools. This limited access is a result of isolation of women from continuing education which leads families into poverty. Also, Nepal’s social structure discourages people from pursuing teaching professions and is more geared towards STEM subjects like math, science and engineering. Once those problems are solved, Nepal can move forward with the developing public school system and continue to rise in human development as well.
– Rachel Cannon
Sources: Global Issues
Photo: Travel to Teach