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Non-formal Primary Education

© UNICEF/NEP3290/SaShrestha

In Nepal, there are some 250,000 primary-aged children out of school. The majority of these are girls and children from disadvantaged households in rural areas. Over 85 per cent of these out-of-school children currently work an average of 22.4 hours a week. This makes it difficult for working children to attend formal school on a regular basis. Non-formal education programmes can provide these children with structured learning opportunities, and ensure that many can eventually return to formal schooling to complete their primary education. UNICEF supports three government-run programmes: the School Outreach Programme; the Flexible Schooling Programme; and the Urban Out-of-school Programme.

Activities

• Support to the School Outreach Programme for children aged 6–8 years through community mobilisation, training of facilitators, and material support. The programme offers a Grade 1–3 education over three years in a non-formal setting using the same curricula and textbooks as formal school. Centres are associated with a mother school, which children are expected to join after completion of the three-year cycle.
• Support to the Flexible Schooling Programme for children aged 8–10 years through community mobilisation, training of facilitators, and material support. The programme offers a Grade 1–5 education over three years using
intensive methods and condensed curricula and textbooks. Centres are associated with a mother school, which children are expected to join after completion of the three-year cycle.
• Support to the Urban Out-of-school Programme for working children aged 10–14 years. The programme has two components, each 10 months long. To cater to the needs of working children, special counselling and life-skills have been incorporated into the package.
• Ensure that alternative schooling centres are high-quality and child-friendly through training of facilitators in child-friendly teaching methods, and provision of child-friendly teaching, learning materials.
• Provide assistance to the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Non- Formal Education Centre (NFEC) in the development of policy guidelines and information systems.

Expected results

At least 40 per cent of children aged 6–14 years, who missed the opportunity to enrol in school or dropped out after only a year or two, will receive quality basic education through non-formal education programmes in UNICEF-supported districts. Children graduating from these programmes will be mainstreamed into the formal education system to continue their schooling. This activity is expected to benefit girls and children from disadvantaged households in particular. At least 50 per cent of working children aged 10–14 years in three urban areas will have access to alternative learning opportunities.

 

 

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