National Orientation for the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children and South Asia Study Launch
KATHMANDU, 28 January 2014 – Nepal has witnessed a significant increase in children being enrolled into education over the last decades. Yet the retention and completion of these children remains a challenge that needs to be overcome for the Government to reach its commitment to providing quality education for all. Currently, more than 70% of children enrolled in grade 1 in Nepal’s schools reach grade 5. However, a substantial number of these children are not able to reach the lower secondary level.
Nepal does not stand alone in facing this challenge. South Asia has the second highest number of out-of-school children next to the Sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), approximately 32.86 million children remain out of school in the region.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in Nepal is addressing the issues with regard to access and quality by implementing the School Sector reform programme (SSRP). In order to accelerate progress while addressing the challenge of enrolment, retention and completion of children in Nepal in basic education, MOE in collaboration with UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank is organizing a national workshop on the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children (OOSCI) on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in Kathmandu.
The orientation workshop will bring the issue of out-of-school children in Nepal on the forefront as well as establish a national task force to move OOSCI forward in the country. Nepal, along with Bhutan, will be participating in the second phase of this initiative from South Asia.
OOSCI is a key equity-focused effort launched in 2010 by UNICEF and UIS to accelerate efforts towards universal primary education by 2015 as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the Education for All (EFA) goals. The purpose of OOSCI is to achieve a breakthrough in reducing the number of out-of-school children by improvingdata and analysis on out-of-school children, reviewing existing interventions to enhance school participation and recommending context-appropriate policies and strategies.
In the first phase of the OOSCI, four countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) have been included. The South Asia OOSCI Study will be jointly launched by the MOE, UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank. The report will detail key findings, challenges and lessons learned from the South Asian countries that participated in the first phase of this initiative.
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