1. Overview of Nepal
1.1. Landscape and Climate
The country of Nepal lies between 26-31 north latitude and 80-88 east longitude, with an area of 147,000 square kilometres. The north of the country borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, with the rest bordering India. The country has a long horizontal shape, covering a distance of 1,000km from east to west, and a maximum stretch of 241km from north to south. Dramatic differences in landscape can be found in the north and south, varying from the alluvial region of the Ganges plains, which is ideal for agriculture, to the frozen, arid soil of the Himalaya mountains.
In between the two drastically different landscapes are also hills and lowlands, known as the Churia or Mahabharat mountain ranges. In the Himalayan inlands can also be found canyons similar to a desert landscape, known as the Kali Gandaki Basin or the Bheri Gorge. All of these canyons are located at an altitude that is higher than 3,600m.
The landscape of Nepal can be divided into the following three areas based on their physiographic features:
1) Mountain: Northern region including the Himalayan mountain range (minimum altitude of 4,000 m)
2) Hill:Hill region including the capital Kathmandu (altitude between 300~4,000m)
3) Terai: Southern Terai plains (altitude under 300m)
1) Mountain Region
The upper Himalayas, ranging from 4,000m to 8,848m above sea level, make up 15% of the country’s land area, also being home to 8 of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders (mountains that are higher than 8,000m in altitude). These eight are Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna. They are mountains whose summits are known for extremely cold temperatures and strong wind, and considering that there are human settlements in the areas right below, it shows how uninhabitable the summits are. As of farmland, this area is arid compared to the Lower Himalayas, and therefore not much cultivation is done. However, it is the Upper Himalayas that attract trekkers and climbers from worldwide.
2) Hill Region
More than half of Nepal consists of this hill region and Lower Himalayas, where much of the population resides. This area, which make up 68% of the country, has a mild climate and far more fertile land compared to the above mentioned Upper Himalayas. The highest elevation found in the Mahabharat Range does not exceed 4,000m above sea level, and the Churia Mountains located in the same area are lower. The capital Kathmandu, as well as famous tourist destinations such as Pokhara and Tansen are also located in this region.
3) Terai Region
The southern area of Nepal is called the Terai Plains, stretching from the western border to the east, making up 17% of the country. The lowest altitude in Nepal is also found in this area, at an elevation of 700m above sea level. The region has a subtropical climate with very fertile land, where most of the grains consumed by the national population is produced. The southern Terai Plains is also home to many nature reserves, including Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park, Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, and Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Reserve. These parks and reserves are home to a remarkable variety of wildlife and nature, including the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, One-Horned Rhinoceros and Gangetic Dolphins.
The wide variety of Nepal’s landscape also affects its climate. The mountain region has an alpine climate, while the hill region has a mesothermal climate. The Terai Plains are strongly affected by the south western monsoon, along with the subtropical climate giving it much rain and high temperature. The country’s season can be divided as the following: spring from March to May, summer from June to August, autumn from September to November, and winter from December to February. The months from June to September make up the rainy season, while October to May is dry. It is one of Nepal’s striking features – something rarely found in other countries and regions – that the amount of precipitation differs so greatly between the rainy and dry season.
In the capital city of Kathmandu, the average temperature ranges from between 10 to 25 degrees celsius. Precipitation is most high during July, and lowest during November as the chart obviously indicates.
Figure 2 1 Average Temperature and Precipitation in Kathmandu
According to the national census in 2011, the population of Nepal is 26.49 million, indicating an increase of 14.4% compared to the previous 23.15 million in 2001 (an average annual rate of 1.35%). Based on age, those below the age of thirty make up 63% of the population, ensuring the country’s future workforce. As of now, the country’s working population (aged between 15 to 59) is at 57% of the total population. By region, the southern Terai Plain has the highest population with approximately half of the country (50.27%) living there. Since this area also borders the massive economic market of India, it is expected to flourish even more.
Figure 2 2 Demographics of Nepal
1.3. Language and Religion
The official national language of Nepal is Nepali, but various ethnic groups that speak other languages exist in the country. Among those are a mixture of the Aryan Caucasoid group who speak Indo-Aryan languages, and Mongoloid groups who speak Tibeto-Burman languages. It is said that in the Southern Terai Plains are people groups that speak Northern Indian languages, while those in the Northern Mountain Region speak Tibeto-Burman. However, the two have mixed over time resulting in a more complex state.
Nepal is a rich multiethnic society, comprising of 125 people groups and 123 languages (alongside other people groups and languages that remain unidentified /CBS), with the Gurung and Magar in the west, Rai, Limbu and Sunuwar in the eastern mountain range, the Sherpa, Manang and Lo-Pas in the highlands, Walungs in the Kathmandu Basin, the Tharu and Yadav in the Terai region, as well as the Brahman, Chhetri, Thakali scattered throughout.
Those who speak the current official language of Nepali are ethnic groups from the Indo-European language, who invaded Nepal from the south-west and spread nationwide from the western hill region. The first king of unified Nepal, Phritvi Narayan Shah (1743-1775) conquered areas that mostly make up current-day Nepal, and then established Gorkhali (Nepali) as a national language. The majority of Nepal’s population, though varying in frequency of usage, speak Nepali. Government as well as education, alongside media such as radio and television broadcasting all use Nepali. However, for certain groups Nepali remains a secondary language, placing them at a disadvantage when it comes to education and public services. On the other hand, English has recently become part of the school education, with some private schools even using English as their official language.
Nepal’s two main religion include Hinduism and Buddhism, with an overwhelming majority of 80% following Hinduism. According to areas, although the central development area has a slightly lower population, the more rural the area, the higher the rate of Hinduism. Since Nepal is a non-religious state, other religions such as Islam and Christianity exist, but their numbers remain few. Nepal also has a wide array of national festivals and holidays celebrated throughout the year by the differing people groups and religions. The date changes every year since they use the lunar calendar. Dashain is Nepal’s most popular festival, originally Hindu in roots, which is celebrated every year from mid-October to November. The festival commemorates the beautiful goddess Durga who defeated the devil, and the people wish for increased abundance in harvest and human life. During the festival, many people return home from overseas in order to be with family, and companies and government institutes close down officially for ten days. Schools will have a holiday of up to 2 weeks. Another festival called the Tihar follows after shortly, resulting in a whole month of celebration from October until November.
Table 2 1 Nepal’s Religion by Population
Nepal as a wholeEastern Development AreaCentral Development AreaWestern Development AreaCentral-West Development Area
Far-West Development AreaTOTAL26,494,504100.0%5,811,5559,656,9854,926,7653,546,6822,552,517Hindu21,551,49281.3%4,144,5567,426,2804,221,1133,277,7382,481,805Buddhism2,396,0999.0%458,2961,409,265402,41198,82427,303Islam1,162,3704.4%267,159556,464219,971112,8155,961Kirat807,1693.0%778,02927,5091,267236128Christianity375,6991.4%78,664165,56953,74749,91327,806Prakriti121,9820.5%61,15945,9446,7782,4165,685Bon13,0060.0%86146411,669120Jainism3,2140.0%1,9161,161635123Bahai1,2830.0%393194114103479Sikhism6090.0%169301553945Undefined61,5810.2%20,35323,8349,5774,5353,282Unit： person (Source：STATISTICAL YEAR BOOK OF NEPAL-2013/CBS）
1.4. Lifestyle and Culture
1.4.1. Caste / Ethnic Groups
Historically, the Aryan-Hindus who invaded from India brought with them Hindu beliefs and teachings as well as the Caste system, which they implemented as they became political rulers. Amongst Tibeto-Burman speaking people groups, there are those who have maintained their beliefs in Buddhism (Tibetan Buddhism) as well as Shamanistic primitive religions.
In Nepalese society, there are ethnic groups that are not Hindu and do not originally speak Nepali. However, they too, have become conformed to Hinduism and the usage of Nepali as a historical result of submission to the rulers. What definitely accelerated this process was the implementation of Muluki Ain, the first codified civil law applied in Nepal in 1854. This resulted in the inclusion of ethnic groups within the caste hierarchy system, resulting in profound effects found in Nepalese society to this day.
Of course today, equality before the law has been clearly defined by the national constitution. However, top-down hierarchical structures as well as the existence of what is considered “untouchables” have continued to live on in social practice under the surface, having influence in both psychological and social aspects of people’s lives.
The majority of poor families in Nepal belong to minority ethnic groups and discriminated people belonging to the lower caste, with exceptionally low income. Those who live in the mountain regions especially live almost entirely up to themselves. This means that they do not have the financial means for their children to receive any education, and even if so, they cannot afford to send all of them to school. Furthermore, children are considered valuable labour-force for each household, depriving them of being released to spend their time going to school. This used to be the case among girls in the past, though gender disparity in school attendance has been gradually declining due to the government’s continuous efforts.
Since the first Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) was carried out by the Napli government in 1995/96, household income has been on the rise. Between the period of 1995/96 and 2008/09, the nominal average household income has increased by 4.6 times, from 43,732 NPR to 202,374 NPR. The GDP has also continued to grow, with the real GDP growth rate during 2008/09 being 5.00%. The IMF has attributed this to an increase in consumption due to money transfer rather than investment. As a matter of fact, out of all Nepalese households, those that were receiving money transfer have increased from 30% in 2003/04, to 56% in 2010/11. The number of households that had money transferred from overseas increased by more than five times between the period of 1995/96 and 2010/11. In other words, household income in Nepal has increased, but only based on the increase in income owing to money transfer. This may be beneficial for temporary improvement in living standards as well as economic growth, but dependence on money transfer from overseas can also weaken employment opportunities within the country, as well as encouraging people to immigrate overseas.
Despite noticeable improvement in income now, there can also be seen inequality depending on region, career and social group. For example, the average household income in urban areas in 2010/11 was 318,167 NPR, while that of rural areas remained at 171,950 NPR. Based on region, the wealthiest of all which is the urban area of Kathmandu, has an average household income of 404,511 NPR, while that of the poorest region of the central west and western hill region remains as low as 122,544 NPR. There is also great income discrepancy based on ethnic groups, caste and religion. For example, the poverty rate remains low among the upper caste and Newars, while Dalits, and residents of the hill region namely the Janajatis, Tharus and Muslims have a higher poverty rate of 40 to 50%.
Table 2 2 Poverty Population
Name of Index199620042011Population22,137,78426,717,87530,485,798National Poverty Rate (%)41.830.925.2Poverty Population (Population × National Poverty Rate)9,253,5948,255,8237,682,421（Source：World Bank, World Development Indicators）
1.5. Underlying Social Customs
For parents living in poverty as mentioned above, it is not difficult to imagine that sending their children to work becomes an inevitable option. However, another obstacle in eradicating the problem of child labour – one of the project’s main purposes – is the widespread belief in Nepal that “child labour is not necessarily a bad thing”. In other words, people in general share a deep understanding that children learn about the “value of labour” through experiencing work themselves.
Furthermore, there are many parents who do not officially register the birth of their child. It is common to find cases in which minority ethnic groups living in remote areas are not aware of registering childbirth and thus do not have birth certificates, resulting in children being unable to attend school. It is said that only a third of Nepalese children have birth certificates; the rest of them have never been officially registered. The government has made an attempt to accomplish a certain rate of registration by 2010, but not much improvement was made.
The custom of selling girls as domestic workers in exchange for cash or goods has also prevailed for many generations. This is the so-called “kamlari” system (a form of indentured servitude for girls), born as a result of land issues in Nepal; landless peasants would borrow money from landowners to make ends meet, eventually accumulating debt that would lead them to selling their daughters as domestic workers, of which the nature became very similar to slavery. It was common especially in western Nepal, notably among the Tharus and people living in the Terai plains. Girls aged around 6 to 8 would be sold to landowners or brokers, without any official contracts, then would be forced to live in the homes of landowners, businessmen or normal households, while helping out with domestic chores and agricultural labour. On average, these girls would work from early morning until late at night, an average of 18 to 19 hours a day, without a salary, receiving meagre rations of food only twice a day. On top of that it is not uncommon for them to suffer physical and mental abuse from the owners, including sexual violence in many cases. Considering these circumstances, the government declared the official abolition of this system in 2000 (alongside the “10point agreement”), therefore resulting in the liberation of many that were enslaved. In 2006 the high courts ruled this practice unconstitutional, thus making it illegal by law.
Despite the fact that gender equality is improving in current day Nepal, underlying beliefs in society remain discriminatory for girls in multiple ways. For example, in cases of poor families with limited finance for school, the son’s education would always be prioritized. Parents who are slightly better off tend to send their sons to more expensive private schools, while only allowing their daughters to attend public schools where the tuition is cheaper. In Nepal, where patriarchal cultural norms remain strong, education expenses for sons are generally considered as investment in his future income that will sustain the family one day. On the other hand, daughters who are expected to marry into other families, will inherit their possessions to their husband’s household, thus making their educational expenses a mere “waste”. The low literacy rate of Nepalese women is a reflection of lack of educational opportunity for girls. As various statistics have shown, children coming from households where the mother or both parents are literate have a higher tendency of attending school. In most cases, parents of children not attending school are illiterate themselves. Poverty, cost of education, and not being able to hope for future employment, all lead to the parents’ reluctance to send their daughters to school.
Therefore, until as recently as 2010, many girls in Nepal would marry as early as age 13 to 15. It is said that more than 40% of girls aged between 15 to 19 are married, with the rate being even higher in rural areas. By law, girls are allowed to continue attending school even after marriage. But in reality, once they are married, especially after children are born, domestic responsibilities hinder them from going to school.
In such a manner, in Nepal’s patriarchal society, women are placed in a lower, subsidiary position inside the home and in the community. Despite her contribution to the household income and management of domestic life, so long as men are considered superior in the family, her role is taken for granted, and thus not appreciated as having any extra worth. Women who are raised in such environments tend to regard themselves with little value, and have difficulty having a sense of confidence or self-respect.
Women tend to not be able to voice themselves and their opinion inside and outside their homes, without even being aware of this fact. They are also embarrassed or unable to ask questions, therefore limiting their ability to collect relevant information. Their illiteracy and lack of knowledge also deter them from taking advantage of opportunities such as adult literacy classes, technical training and lifelong learning programs. Also, because parents don’t have a birth certificate, they at times enroll their children in school with the mistaken age group, possibly leading to cases of drop-outs. Furthermore, abuse from men at home (especially husbands) against women and children are all too common. This led to the government implementing a law against domestic violence in 2009.
1.5.2. Dietary Problems
Despite the rise in the average living standards over the recent years, poverty, natural disasters, and the effects of junk food in urban areas continue to raise serious dietary problems such as malnutrition in Nepal.
According to a 2012 study done by the WTO, some 63% of Nepalese children are malnourished when it comes to protein energy, which is vital for the healthy development of children’s physical and mental abilities. This reveals the fact that more than half the children, especially many street children, in Nepal are not eating enough food, resulting in the inhibition of healthy growth and contributing to the potential development learning disabilities.
Since many pregnant mothers are unable to eat enough nutritious foods, Nepalese children are prone to malnourishment from even before they are born. About 30 to 50% of babies in Nepal are born underweight, with a weight lower than 2.5kg.
Furthermore, the WTO report says that malnutrition and infection during infancy can often cause lifelong harm. Almost half of Nepalese children suffer a chronic case of malnourishment, and this remains a big challenge.
However, women who have received education have a higher tendency to seek treatment for themselves and their children. This leads to improved child-raising and nutrition management, thus resulting in positive influence in the area of children’s school attendance as well.
2. Politics and Economy
2.1. Economic Overview
According to Nepal’s macro-economic report “Nepal Development Update”, which was released by the World Bank in 2014, if the constituent assembly election takes place the following year allowing for political stability owing to the agreement between political parties, and the winning party is able to make full use of Nepal’s economic potentials, along with the boost from favourable climate, steady money transfer from overseas, and consistent spending in public works, the economic growth rate for this year could reach 4 to 4.5%, making a recovery from the previous year’s 3.6% possible.
On the other hand, the Nepalese government has announced a target growth rate of 5.5%. The constituent assembly election should give rise to the consumer price index, possibly resulting in the appreciation of the dollar and a raise in salary, while the increase in crop production due to favourable climate conditions could put the cap on the rise in inflation rate to a single digit figure.
According to Nepal’s Central Bureau of Statistics in 2014, the GDP per capita was approximately 703 USD, with the GDP real growth rate being 5.5%, and the inflation rate 9.9%. In the meantime, Nepal’s economic structure consists of 34% of the GDP as well as 66% of the working population consists of agriculture, followed by 14.4% in wholesale trade, 9.29% in transportation industry, 8.58% real estate businesses, 6.9% in construction, 6.2% in manufacturing, 5.4% in education, 4.2% in finance, and 1.8% in tourism.
Figure 2 3 Nepal’s Real GDP Annual Growth Rate
2.2. Political Overview
Transition to Constitutional Monarchy
After the People’s Movement in 1990 which brought an end to absolute monarchy (known as Panchayat), Nepal transitioned into a constitutional monarchy, leading to general elections in 1991, 1994 and 1999. However, from 1996 onwards, the Maoists (communists strongly believing in the philosophies of Mao Zedong) began an armed movement, conquering and placing under rule much of the nation’s area. After the house of representatives was dissolved in May 2002, despite efforts in cabinet making under the leadership of the king, failure in dealing with power-sharing battles and the Maoist movement resulted in the subsequent government rules being short-lived.
Then, In February 2005, the king took full control dismissing Prime Minister Deuba, declaring a state of emergency. He carried out restriction of certain basic human rights, arrest of political party leaders of each opposition party, as well as censorship among media broadcast. In October the same year, the king announced local elections (February 2006) and House of Representatives election (by April 2007) promising the people it was the road to democracy. However, political parties remained critical as they saw this as a forced measure and a mere justification of the king’s taking full control.
While division between the king and the opposition parties deepened, the parties and Maoists sought cooperation, resulting in the agreement on the twelve points in November 2005, including the execution of a constituent assembly election, and boycotting the local election as well as House of Representatives elections. They started protest movements with the objective of regaining political power from the king. However, the king carried out the election as planned in February 2006.
In April 2006, the opposition parties staged protests and movements nationwide with the help from Maoists. The royal government responded by arresting those involved and implementing curfews, with little success. Opposition continued to spread, and the mobilization of people in protest movements only accelerated. The king thereby declared, over television broadcast, the restoration of the House of Representatives that was dissolved in 2002. The parties accepted this condition, bringing an end to the unrest.
On the first day of deliberations in the restored House of Representatives in April, the execution of a constituent assembly election, recommencing of dialogue with the Maoists, and the assertion of a ceasefire was adopted. In May of the same year, under Prime Minister G.P Koirala from the Congress Party, a new cabinet was formed including 7 ministers (which later on expanded to twenty members). Then, through the House of Representatives, it was declared that all legislative rights now belong to parliament, all executive political and military powers are discredited from the king, and all authority regarding royal inheritance will be held by parliament, as well as denouncing Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom and becoming a secular state. It was also declared that any constitution or law opposing this decision would be invalid. The government also set up a high level investigation committee with the aim of starting to investigate those who had oppressed the democratic movement.
Since the government under Prime Minister Koirala removed the terrorist tag from the Maoists in May 2006, peace talks between the government and Maoists took place and progressed at a rapid rate, bearing fruit such as the Eight-Point Agreement. In July 2006, the government submitted a request to the United Nations, ensuring their support and involvement in the peace progress.
On 8 November, the Nepalese government and Maoists signed a document “Decisions of the Summit Meeting of the Seven-Party Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)”, agreeing to the execution of a constituent assembly election to take place by mid-June 2007, as well as agreeing to the UN’s monitoring and management of weapons for both the Nepalese army and the Maoists in order to ensure a free and fair election. In November, the two sides signed the Comprehensive Peace Accord, bringing an end to the ten-year civil war.
In December 2006, leaders from both sides signed the interim constitution, officially proclaiming it in January 2007. In the same month, an interim parliament including the Maoists was inaugurated, resulting in the establishment of an interim government on 1 April, with Koirala as the Prime Minister and both sides involved.
In order to support the peace process in Nepal, the international society set up the United Nations Missions in Nepal (UNMIN) in January 2007 as Japan too, sent six members of the self defence forces as military observers.
The constituent assembly election that was originally scheduled for June 2007 was postponed to November of the same year due to delay in preparations. The Madhesi people, who had been historically discriminated and therefore excluded from the peace process, staged a widespread protest against the fact that their rights were not reflected in the interim constitution issued in January 2007. Such conditions led to general unrest in the Terai region.
In the midst of all this, the scheduled election of November 2007 was postponed yet again due to the political parties unable to reach an agreement regarding the Maoist’s request to carry out the election based on a full-proportional representation system, and the Republic Declaration that was to precede the election. Following that, repeated dialogue between the Madhesis and political parties took place, resulting in the 23-Point Agreement at the first meeting of the constituent assembly in December, including transition to a Federal Democratic Republic. Then, the third amendment to the interim constitution was enacted, and in January 2008, it was decided in a cabinet meeting that a constituent assembly election will take place on 10 April.
The constituent assembly election was executed peacefully with little confusion.
As a result of the election, contrary to what many expected, Maoists won the largest number of seats (though they did not reach over half). The constituent assembly met for the first time in May 2008, officially declaring that Nepal had become a Federal Democratic Republic, bringing an end to monarchy which had continued for 240 years.
After a number of administrations were established and gone, the constituent assembly was called in May 2011, resulting in the agreement on 5 points by the main three political parties (Maoist, Congress Party and UML), including a three-month extension of the same assembly.
In May 2012, the constituent assembly was dissolved upon completion of term without being able to enact the constitution. Political parties held discussions in order to reach a consensus regarding the enactment of a constitution, and in March 2013, the four main political parties agreed on a having a constituent assembly election under the caretaker government led by Regmi, then Chief Justice of Nepal, thus resulting in the inauguration of a caretaker government.
In November 2013, a re-election for the assembly was executed for the enactment of the constitution, reopening the constituent assembly in January 2014. Since then, discussions were held in order to work on the draft, finally resulting in the enactment of a new constitution on 20 September 2015. Shortly after, in October, a prime minister election took place for the first time in the legislative assembly based on the new constitution, resulting in the election of K.P Sharma Oli, leader of CPN-UML Parliamentary Party, as new prime minister. However, the new administration under K.P Sharma Oli was unstable, plagued by a number of problems, domestic or otherwise. As a result of the talks among the three political parties (Maoist, Congress Party and UML), the administration was forced to step down as early as the end of July 2016. Then, at the August assembly, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chairman of the Communist Party, was chosen as the new prime minister.
2.3. Challenges of Nepal’s National Development
The Nepalese Government has developed Five-Year Plans as a scheme of national development since 1956. The tenth Five-Year Plan which covers the period between 2002 and 2007 aimed to achieve economic growth by generating an increase in income through creating more employment opportunities, especially focusing on the eradication of rural poverty, thus positioning the plan as a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).
Following the Tenth Plan, in December 2007, the Three Year Interim Plan (August 2007 ~ November 2010) was set as a connecting plan between the tenth and the next. Furthermore, following the Three Year Interim Plan, another three-year plan was devised to cover the period between 2010/11 until 2012/13.
This Three Year Plan aims for “the realization of a peaceful and wealthy state as a result of successful departure from being a LDC within the next twenty years”. The importance of eradicating discrimination and inequality based on ethnic group, religion and gender is emphasized in order to accomplish this goal. The creation of job opportunities as well as food security, providing access to essential services such as education and health, and minimizing the effects of climate change are mentioned as areas to be tackled with priority, each with a goal figure to aim for.
The current Three Year Plan has succeeded the long-term vision of successfully departing from the status of LDC within the next twenty to thirty years, and becoming a peaceful and just state. It also aims for the accomplishment of the MDGs through bringing down the poverty rate under 21%, by creating job opportunities, improving economic inequality, ensuring inter-regional balance, eradicating of social discrimination, and implementing sustainable economic growth. Specific areas of importance include:
1 The development of social as well as physical infrastructure in order to ensure widespread influence of economic growth aimed at reducing poverty
2 Promotion of agriculture, tourism, industry and export that can achieve economic growth and creation of job opportunities
3 Investment aimed to ensure subsumption in areas of national mechanism, sectors and processes
4 Investment that contributes to the realisation and continuation of essential social services such as drinking water, energy, electricity, roads, food security, medical care and education
5 The strengthening of “Good Governance” that enables the timely provision of high quality, accessible administrative services to the people
6 The minimization as well as taking advantage of the effects of climate change via means of environmental protection
7 Programs and projects that directly benefit people who have been designated by national policy
Out of the above, four areas (development of infrastructure, agricultural development, human resources development and economic growth) are positioned as prioritized sectors. According to the government, an annual growth rate of 4% is required in order to accomplish these goals, therefore setting target growth rates at 4.5% for agricultural sectors, and 6.7% for non-agricultural sectors, while also aiming to increase the annual employment growth rate from the current 2.9% to 3.2%. In the draft, development in areas such as energy, roads, and communications is also emphasized under the development of infrastructure, while commercialization of agriculture, tourism industry and trade are the main focus in agriculture and economy sectors. When it comes to human resources development, the improvement of the national work force’ abilities which will enhance its competitive capability is emphasized, with its main foundation being the education sector.
Regarding the education sector, various attempts such as the following have already been made based on the EFA National Plan of Action:
1 “Welcome to school” program
2 Distribution of free educational materials to all public primary and basic schools
3 “School Feeding” programs (“day meal” programs)
4 “Oil for mothers” programs
5 Providing free education (lower secondary and secondary school) for the Dalit
6 Scholarship programs aimed for girls and children under unfortunate circumstances
7 Cooperating with NGOs from overseas for school construction
8 Community Owned Primary Education (COPE) which contributes to partnership in communities
9 Programs that entrust school management to local communities
10 Development of early childhood education based on partnership between NGOs from overseas (Save the Children, Nepal), the Israeli Embassy, Nepal Education Division, and United Nations Organizations (UNESCO and UNICEF)
However, as will be mentioned later, various challenges exist and investment in the education sector remains a huge need.
Figure 2 4 Early childhood education by the support of the local community
3. Aftermath of 2015 Major Earthquake
3.1. Summary of 2015 Earthquake
On Saturday, 25 April 2015 at 11:56 local time, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake as recorded by Nepal’s National Seismological Centre (NSC), struck Barpak in the historic district of Gorkha, about 76 km northwest of Kathmandu. After the first hit, more than 300 aftershocks have followed; out of which four exceeded the magnitude of 6.0, and the largest aftershock, which occurred 17 days after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake, was recorded at 6.8.
Nepal, the 11th most earthquake-prone country in the world, had not faced a natural shock of comparable magnitude for over 80 years.
The districts affected by the earthquake are shown in Map1-2-9 below.
（Source： GoN/MoHA as of 21 May 2015）
Figure 2 5 Categories of earthquake-affected districts
3.2. Damages and Losses
3.2.1. Disaster Effects according to Sector
There were over 8,790 casualties and 22,300 injuries. It is estimated that the lives of eight million people, almost one-third of the population of Nepal, have been impacted by these earthquakes. More than a month later, tens of thousands of people are still forced to live in temporary or mobile shelters. The transportation and distribution of relief supplies faced many challenges such as the following; (1) many village communities are remotely located, (2) topographical features are often steep or rugged, and (3) the high possibility of landslides.
The damages and losses are estimated to be 706 billion NPR or about 7 billion USD. The breakdown is shown in Table 1-2-4. Most private homes in Nepal were not quake-resistant, which resulted in the collapse of many. (50% of the damage comprises of houses and settlements, followed by 11% of tourism, then 4~5% for environment, education, finance and agriculture.) The education sector suffered a loss of 31.3 billion NPR.
Table 2 3 Summary of Disaster Effects
Disaster EffectsDistribution of
Disaster EffectsLosses in
incomeDamagesLossesTotalPrivatePublicSocial Sectors 355,02853,597408,625363,24845,377－Housing and Human Settlements303,63246,908350,540350,540－－Health 6,4221,1227,5441,3946,150－Education 28,0643,25431,3182,36528,953－Cultural Heritage 16,9102,31319,2238,94810,274－Productive Sectors 58,074120,046178,121158,07920,04317,124Agriculture 16,40511,96228,36625,8132,5534,603Irrigation 383－383－383 Commerce 9,0157,93816,95316,953－2,667Industry 8,39410,87719,27119,271－3,654Tourism 18,86362,37981,24275,1056,1376,200Finance 5,01526,89031,90520,93710,969－Infrastructure Sectors52,46014,32366,78317,28149,502Electricity 17,8073,43521,24215,5695,673－Communications3,6105,0858,6951,7126,983Community Infrastructure 3,349－3,349－3,349－Transport17,1884,93022,118－22,118Water and Sanitation 10,50687311,379－11,379－Cross-Cutting Issues51,8721,06152,9331,75551,178－Governance 18,757－18,757－18,757－Disaster Risk Reduction155－155－155－Environment and Forestry 32,9601,06134,0211,75532,267－Total517,434189,027706,461540,362166,10017,124Total （US$ million)$5,174 $1,890 $7,065 $5,404 $1,661 $171 Unit： NRP million
（Source： Estimations by PDNA Team）
Figure 2 6 Share of Disaster Effects across Sectors
It is estimated that the total value of disaster effects (damages and losses) caused by the earthquakes is NPR 706 billion or its equivalent of US$ 7 billion. Of that amount, NPR 517 billion (or 76 percent of the total effects) represents the value of destroyed physical assets, and NPR 189 billion (24 percent of the total effects) reflects the losses and higher costs of production of goods and services arising from the disaster (see Table 1-2-10). These estimates are based on the aggregation of information and data collected across sectors of social and economic activity and checked to avoid duplication of numbers. The relative distribution of effects, that is, damages versus losses – is typical of disasters caused by natural events of geological origin, whereby the larger fraction of disaster effects represents the destruction of physical and durable assets.
The share of estimated total disaster effects among the main sectors of social and economic activity reveals that the most affected are social sectors (58 percent of the total effects), which includes housing. This is followed by productive sectors (25 percent), infrastructure (10 percent) and cross-cutting issues (7 percent).
（Source： Estimations by PDNA Team）
Figure 2 7 Share of Disaster Effects across Sectors
3.2.2. The Earthquake’s Impact on the GDP
The earthquake’s impact on the GDP growth is illustrated in Figure 2-7.
The effects of the disasters clearly indicate that the estimated value of total damages and losses (changes in flows) is equivalent to about one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in FY 2013-2014. In addition, the estimated value of damage is equivalent to more than 100 percent of the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF*) for FY 2013-2014. To put it differently, if all other capital formation activities were stopped, it could take Nepal more than one year to rebuild the fixed capital that was destroyed by the earthquakes. Furthermore, the estimated production losses represent about 10 percent of the added value of all goods and services produced in one year in the country, which will result in a slow-down of the economy in the short term, despite the fact that the estimated losses for some sectors like cultural heritage and environment, among others, would unfold over several years.
Annual economic growth in FY 2014-2015 is expected to be the lowest in eight years, at 3 percent (basic prices). The earthquakes suppressed an earlier projection of 4.6 percent by over 1.5 points (see Figure 5). Compared to FY 2013-2014, when growth exceeded 5 percent, the lost momentum through foregone production in just less than three months (between late April and mid-July 2015), valued at NPR 52 billion, is a major setback.4 The losses will continue to accumulate during FY 2015-2016 and beyond until major sectors recover fully.
*GFCF: a flow value measured by the total value of a producer’s acquisitions, less disposals of fixed assets during the accounting period plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realized by the productive activity of institutional units.
Note 1: R (revised); P (projected)
Figure 2 8 Impact on GDP Growth
The earthquake’s impact on the national economy categorized by sector is as follows.
1 Real Estate
The economic activity that has been the hardest hit is that of real estate (including renting and business services) with annual growth projection revised downwards from 4.8 percent to 0.8 percent. There has been a massive destruction of privately-owned buildings and public assets worth over NPR 300 billion. Partly because of their exposure to residential finance and real estate, the banking and financial institutions (BFIs) are likely to see modest deterioration in the quality of loan portfolios, impacting the solvency of institutions, micro and large, and the overall flow of credit.
The insurance sector faces claim exceeding NPR 16 billion; a large share of this is re-insured by foreign insurance companies, but local liability remains substantial.
In agriculture, the harvest of rice and maize had already been disappointing before. What the earthquakes did additionally was to destroy the stockpile of stored grains and devastate the livestock sector, which accounts for over 23 percent of value added in agriculture. The loss of over 17,000 cattle and about 40,000 smaller, domesticated animals has resulted in the downward revision of the projected growth in agriculture from 2.2 percent to 1.8 percent this year.
4 Service Industry
In services, tourism has been adversely affected with every nine in ten planned foreign arrivals cancelled in the aftermath of the quakes which occurred during the first of the two major seasons of the year. The main earthquake and prolonged aftershocks caused damage to seven out of 10 World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley and affected popular trekking routes. Destroyed tourism-related supply of services and decreased tourist spending are likely to lead to a loss of 62 billion NPR over the next two years.
5 Social Sectors
At many schools, class activities were suspended for a long period of time due to the collapse of and damage to school buildings caused by earthquakes. An increasing number of children has been forced to become street children, who are deprived of an opportunity of education. In the social sectors, education is expected to record slower growth because of disruptions spanning several weeks, while the health services sector has recorded a modest uptick in its growth even though it accounts for only 1.7 percent of GDP. The largest contributor to value addition in services comes from the wholesale and retail (trading) industries. There has been an estimated decrease of about NPR 7 billion in the tradable ‘margin’ of goods after the earthquake within FY 2014-2015. Women are emerging as traders in Nepal, and might have been disproportionately affected in some sectors. Of the 19 export products prioritized in the national trade integration strategy of 2010, women are the primary producers of more than half of them.
6 Large-Scaled Manufacturing and Construction
A majority of the large manufacturing industries located in the plains were not directly affected, but they have felt the externalities of falling national demand and fleeing workers. Private construction in the immediate aftermath of the quakes came to a halt. In the FY 2015-2016, however, labour demand for demolition, clearing of debris, and reconstruction of destroyed and damaged dwellings and other physical infrastructure is likely to grow. This will increase demand and earnings for skilled and unskilled labour in ancillary industries.
7 Fiscal and Monetary Sectors
Public revenues have taken a direct hit in the aftermath of the quake. It is now certain that the target for revenue collection in the current fiscal year, of NPR 423 billion, will not be met. With only 390 billion NPR expected to be raised by mid-July 2015, there will be a shortfall of about 8 percent. This sets up a much lower base for FY 2015-2016, where the target now is to raise only between NPR 460 and NPR 480 billion against a projection of NPR 512 billion prior to the earthquake.
Of the five major sources, customs and those deemed non-tax revenue have seen the largest drop in collection. This is because of reduced imports, including luxurious items such as motorized vehicles. A preliminary debt sustainability analysis indicates that Nepal may be able to maintain its current low debt distress rating. However, close monitoring and concessional support will be needed to cope with the upward pressure. Broad money is not expected to grow by more than 17.5 percent and inflation is expected to be contained within single digits during FY 2014-2015.
However, the differences in sector specific inflation rates will be amplified going forward as demand for reconstruction inputs increase. In FY 2015-2016, as a result of an expansionary budget, and, likely supply-side bottlenecks, an inflationary pressure is expected to build up further. There will also be an upward pressure on wages of both skilled and unskilled workers.
8 Export Businesses
As a result of the earthquake, export-oriented industries have been damaged. Further, domestic consumption of items that are normally exported have increased, reducing estimated exports by about 6 percent, as compared with the previous year. Imports are likely to expand as a result of increased demand for machinery parts, food, medicines, and construction materials.
The fall in the world price of petroleum products checked the growth in import bills this year. There is an expected surge in both international transfers and remittances. However, the trade imbalance will worsen this year and the next. Exports are unlikely to pick up rapidly because of the uncertain investment climate. Imports are expected to grow by about 18 percent in FY 2015-2016.
The nation will require substantial external assistance to meet the rehabilitation and reconstruction costs, estimated to be at least NPR 669 billion or US$ 6.7 billion over a number of years depending on the sector.
There are limits to internal borrowing. To finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction cost, the government has set up a National Reconstruction Fund of NPR 200 billion, to which it has already committed NPR 20 billion.
In the recovery and reconstruction phase it is critical to prevent actions that end up creating disaster risks by increasing public awareness, and investing in the principle of Build Back Better (BBB).
Table 2 4 Recovery Budget for Each Sector
(NPR million)Total Needs
(US$ million)Share of
Needs by SectorSocial Sectors407,7474,07760.90%Housing327,7623,27849.00%Health14,6901472.20%Nutrition5,036500.80%Education39,7063975.90%Cultural Heritage20,5532063.10%Productive Sectors115,6181,15617.30%Agriculture15,5611562.30%Irrigation46750.10%Commerce20,0512013.00%Industry7,357741.10%Tourism38,7103875.80%Finance33,4723355.00%Infrastructure Sectors74,26674311.10%Electricity18,5861862.80%Communications4,939490.70%Community Infrastructure4,450450.70%Transport28,1852824.20%Water and Sanitation18,1061812.70%Cross-Cutting Issues71,87371910.70%Governance18,4421842.80%Disaster Risk Reduction8,204821.20%Environment and Forestry25,1972523.80%Employment and Livelihoods12,5471251.90%Social Protection6,398641.00%Gender and Social Inclusion1,086110.20%Total669,5056,695 （Source：Estimations by PDNA Team）
3.2.3. International Aid Activities
To date, 134 search and rescue teams from 34 nations have been participating in rescue operations, in response to the request from Nepal. According to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the government flew 4,236 helicopters in total, rescuing 7,756 people by air, and 4,689 by land. Urgent humanitarian aid was provided for victims, and more than 60 countries, the United Nations, and other international organizations have played crucial roles in the operations. About $130 million was raised at the behest of the UN.
Japan, which has maintained a long cordial relationship with Nepal, in December 2016 responded to the emergency request of the Nepal’s government by giving relief supplies, emergency grants worth $14 million (about \1.68 billion).
3.3. Damage Overview of Education Sector
The damage and loss suffered in the education sector amounts to 31.3 billion NPR. 80% of this damage has been concentrated in the previously mentioned 14 districts. Damage in education-related infrastructure and real assets is said to be 28 billion NPR, and the loss 3.2 billion NPR. When classified according to public or private institutes, public schools suffered 90.2% of the total damage and loss. According to educational levels, pre-school, primary and secondary education (G1-12) schools suffered 92% of the damage and loss, while higher education (university level) remained at 7.9%, and technical and vocational training institutes 1.6%. Other than that, community learning centres as well as public libraries also suffered from the impacts of the earthquake. The above mentioned damage valuation is based on minimal estimation. Behind this are factors such as damage and loss suffered by private schools being underestimated, limitations in the efforts in damage reports, and calculations of various costs being done in a relatively moderate manner.
Education in areas devastated by the disaster were forced to come to a halt. This interruption has raised concerns of deep influence on the number of enrolment, class attendance, and the effective management of schools in general, potentially leading to a rise in number of students who are unable to attend school. Also, there is also the risk of children with disabilities or heavy illnesses becoming further unable to have access to school education. On the other hand, due to the rising work demand both within and outside households, an increased number of children (especially those of older age) may go to school less or stop attending altogether. Such conditions may rob children of their academic motivation, leading to concerns that school grades of students in earthquake-hit areas may deteriorate at least on the short and medium-term perspective.
Table 2 5 Damage of Earthquake on the Education Sector
（Source：Post Disaster Needs Assessment/NPC）
It is estimated that a total of 39.7 billion NPR (397.1 million USD) will be needed to fulfill the demands for recovery and reconstruction, out of which 5.18 billion NPR (51.8 million USD) would be for recovery efforts, and 34.5 billion NPR (34.5 million USD) for reconstruction. The cost for recovery and reconstruction has been categorized based on short-term, medium-term, and long-term demands.
Table 2 6 Cost of Recovery in the Education Sector
Fiscal Year (NPR million)Total2015-162016-172017-18Recovery activities4,5591644615,184Reconstruction activities1,78513,84018,89734,522Schools 1-121,57412,59517,31931,488Technical31205277513Higher Education1139021,2412,256NFE3111226Administration6412549238Total6,34414,00319,35839,706（Source：Post Disaster Needs Assessment/NPC）
Temporary learning environments will be arranged, textbooks and learning materials distributed, rubble and debris removed, as well as evaluating the structure of school facilities in order to pay close attention to the plans and models needed for the reconstruction of schools and systems.
In Nepal, there is no gender gap among the enrolment number in primary school education. However, less girls are found in secondary to higher level education in comparison to boys. In households suffering from the damage of the earthquake, there are many cases where girls must stop attending school in order to help out with work activities.
It is also essential to consider the special needs of girls, children from poverty-stricken homes as well as those with disabilities, and making use of existing systems for them.
Figure 2 9 School Destroyed by Earthquake
Figure 2 10 Hearing from School Administers
4. Environment Surrounding Children
4.1. Definition of Child Labour
In the international convention set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), child labour is defined as “the employment of children under the age of 15 in the same activities as adults” (Minimum Age Convention, No. 138) (exceptional measures are allowed in developing countries based on the state laws, with the age being 14 instead- Nepal’s law states the age as 14).
The ILO has declared the need to eliminate child labour, which has become one of the social foundations of the global economy, along with working with IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour) in introducing programs and specific mechanisms to achieve that goal. Their main declarations include No. 138 “Minimum Age Convention” and No. 182 “Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention”.
The ILO differentiate between “child labour” and “child work” based on the following definition:
“Child labour” is defined as work that interferes with children’s education and their healthy development (for example, handling pesticides without protective gloves), is mentally and physically harmful (such as the use of dangerous machinery), and is exploitative and against human rights (in cases of low salary, prostitution, debt bondage, child soldiers etc).
“Child work” is defined as work that is suitable to the children’s age and level of growth and enhances their health and educational purposes, in ways that promote their healthy development and helps them acquire skills and responsibility (such as helping out at home and in the fields, delivering newspapers etc).
Furthermore, the “worst forms” of child labour is defined by ILO in their convention No. 182. This covers all children under the age of 18, and defines the following four points:
1 “All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery”: such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour (pledged labour or service for an indefinite period of time as security for the repayment of a certain debt), including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflicts
2 “Sexual exploitation”: the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances
3 The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs
4 Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety and morals of children (such as hazardous work, late night shifts, and underground labour etc)
4.2. Changes in Child Labour Policies
The Nepalese government ratified the ILO’s “Convention on the Rights of a Child” in 1990. Following that, in 1992, the Children’s Law was introduced, officially banning the employment of children under the age of 14 (child labour). In cases where underage children are employed, one can be imprisoned up to three months, or a year if the work consisted of dangerous labour or in the case of lack of consent.
Furthermore, the Children’s Law was revised in 1999, with the aim of establishing further penalties by specifically banning the abuse and usage of children in the selling of drugs and alcohol.
On top of that, the “National Master Plan on Child Labour” (2004-2014 Ministry of Labour and Transportation, current day Ministry of Labour and Employment) was formulated in 2004 in order to further tackle the issue of child labour. In this Master Plan, the worst forms of child labour in Nepal are defined as the following: 1. bonded labour 2. rag pickers 3. porters 4. domestic workers (urban areas) 5. mine labour 6. carpet sector and 7. child trafficking. This plan declared to eliminate these worst forms of child labour by 2009, and all forms of child labour by 2014, and constructed plans of administrative efforts in an attempt to accomplish this goal
In addition to that, the government clarified its opposition against Kamlari in 2001, taking action to liberate girls that were in bondage in this type of forced labour.
In 2010, the government drafted the “Guideline to the Ban of Child Labour”, as well as National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking the following year. In the Master Plan of 2004, it was decided that the issue of working children would be tackled through the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) that was established by the Children’s Law in 1992. CCWB is an organisation that was founded in order to work towards children’s welfare and protection of children’s rights, and the execution of measures to tackle the problem of child labour is also designated to be addressed through this structure.
4.3. Involvement of Local Administration
Nepal consists of five development regions, under which 75 districts exist, including 58 municipalities and 3,915 villages. Within the municipalities, wards and toles also exist.
As CCWB’s lower administrative agency, a District Child Welfare Board (DCWB) is placed in each district, under which a Municipal/Village Child Protection Committee (CPC) will be set up in each of the 58 municipalities and 3,915 villages. The structure aims for these three committees to work together in order to respond to issues regarding children’s welfare and protection of children’s rights.
However, in reality, their range of action is limited due to lack of funding, and the local systems under the districts are actually dysfunctional. Furthermore, because informal sectors of the economy are not covered, the possibility of “black boxes” existing which are not officially addressed cannot be denied. Even though the Ministry of Labour and Transportation had aimed to achieve the elimination of child labour by 2014, the current situation is still grappling for a solution to resolve social issues surrounding child labour. The government is also promoting the establishment of DCWBs and CPCs, but many districts remain unreached, and even existing committees are not functioning fully in reality. These all suggest that urgent efforts need to be made to resolve child labour with more specific policies.
Figure 2 11 Children to help in farming
（Source：National Plan of Action for Children、Nepal 2004/05-2014/15、Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare）
Figure 2 13 System for Child Care in Nepal
4.4. Current Situation of Child Labour
According to the ILO, 72 million out of the world’s children aged between 5 and 17 are unable to attend primary school, with the majority being in developing nations. Furthermore, 759 million people, which amounts to 16% of the world’s adult population, have no basic abilities (such as reading, writing and math) with the largest reason being poverty. The international society has taken various measures in order to achieve “Education for All” by 2015, however, the deadline year has passed with 1 out of 7 still living in child labour, and tens of millions of children remain without access to education. Nepal is not an exception to this.
The Nepalese government conducted a survey on labour conditions in 2008. The ILO and Nepal Central Bureau of Statistics also compiled the “Nepal Child Labour Report” in 2012, based on thorough investigation of activities of children aged between 5 to 17.
According to the report, Nepal’s children population (between the age of 5 to 17) is 7.77 million, making up 33% of the national population. Out of this, 3.14 million children (40.4%) are working, with 1.6 million (51%) being in the category of child labour (making the child labour rate 20%, an equivalent of one out of every five children). 620,000 children work in hazardous conditions, which make up 38.8% of the child labour population, which is 19.7% of working children, amounting to 8% of the children population in general.
According to gender, working children comprise 47.6% of girls, and 36.1% of boys. The rate of child labour is 24% among girls, while that of boys are 17.5%. Furthermore, when it comes to dangerous labour, more than half involved are girls.
Regarding sectors where children are working, more than half is involved in agriculture. In rural areas, children play an important role in domestic duties such as harvesting crop and vegetables, looking after livestock, fetching water, and taking care of younger siblings. “Unpaid domestic labour” has become a norm.
In the manufacturing sector, the carpeting industry has the largest number of child labourers. Carpets are one of Nepal’s main export products, contributing to 60% of the total export value. It is said that 400,000 workers are involved in this industry, with 30% of them estimated to being under the age of 15. The working conditions are notorious, with more than 90% of the workers being forced to work longer than 15 hours a day on a low salary. Furthermore, the spinning mills are filled with scraps of wool that cause respiratory conditions, while those working in textile mills suffer from skin disease. The reason behind children’s involvement in the carpet industry is not limited to poverty, but also due to lack of understanding on their family’s part as well as illiteracy. In other words, 80% of the population live in rural areas, where agricultural work is available for only four to five months of the year. The remainder of the year people go out into the cities, and find jobs making bricks and tiles, or construction work. It is during such occasions where children will go along and start working in the carpet industry, eventually left to stay in the city to continue that work. It is also a common belief in rural communities that parents will be looked after by their children, thus leading to children being sent to factories rather than schools once they reach the approximate age of ten.
In such manners, children are working in various ways, not only in the carpet industry, but also in mines, quarries, brick factories, as well as sewing clothes and also in the production of tea, coffee, sugar canes, salt, frozen vegetables and seafood, soccer balls, and fireworks. They also work as porters, construction workers, bus driver assistants, dish washers in restaurants, hotels and cafes, servants in middle-upper class homes, rag pickers, street vendors and so on.
From an educational perspective, 9% of children (out of 7.77 million) have never been to school, and 59% have not completed primary school, leaving only 21% that have. Those that make it to secondary education onwards make up a mere 3.4%.
（Source： NEPAL CHILD LABOUR REPORT2012/ILO・CBS）
Figure 2 14 Situation of children in Nepal
Table 2 7 Children’s Activity Status (Between ages 5 to 17)
Source： Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume Two /CBS
Table 2 8 Distribution of Child Workers by Number of Working Hours
Source： Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume Two /CBS
The Human Development Report of 2015 by UNDP suggests that work which undermine and exploit physical and mental well-being impairs human development. Across the world, a large number of people are involved in work under abusive and exploitative conditions which violate basic human rights and dignity such as child labour, forced labour, and labour as a result of human trafficking. People working within households or as migrants, as well as those involved in the sex industry or dangerous labour face various hazards. The number of children living in child labour numbers 168 million worldwide, amounting to 11 % of the total children population. (World Bank 2011).
As can be seen, 1.6 million children are victims of child labour, while 620,000 are involved in “dangerous work”. On the contrary, the number of children currently sheltered in the 585 Child Care Homes (CCH) that exist nationwide only number 15,811 (7,973 boys and 7,838 girls). (see below: the distribution of child care facilities). This means that children who are involved in child labour and dangerous work are mostly left without any aid policy today.
4.5. Current Situations of Child Education
In poor households, since both parents work hard in order to generate an income, children are inevitably expected to take on domestic duties. As a result, children are more likely to stay at home than go to school. In such a manner, education is not seen as a priority in poor households, with children being involved in time-consuming domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of younger siblings and cattle, and helping out during busy farming seasons as well as various other chores. This results in a vicious cycle as can be described below:
① Lack of time to spend on school work because of daily work and chores
② Unable to attend school during busy farming seasons in order to help out
③ Unable to fit work within the structured school schedule
④ Unable to do homework at night due to lack of electricity (even if there is time)
⑤ Parents of poor families tend to lack education themselves, therefore unable to assist their children in studying
⑥ Unable to concentrate on studying due to overwork
⑦ Unable to finish homework, which leads to skipping class.
⑧ Starting to miss class because of not being able to finish homework
⑨ Unable to stay caught up at school, thus failing exams and having to stay a year behind
⑩ Even upon successfully passing the exam, entering a new year with bad grades makes dropping out or expulsion more likely
⑪ Children coming from poor homes in rural areas or geographically remote areas as well as physical obstacles, making them more prone to stop attending school and thus becoming illiterate adults in the future.
Improvements can be seen to a certain extent owing to the government’s enthusiastic educational policies, however, the vicious cycle of ignorance and having no access to education leading to poverty, and poverty resulting in lack of educational opportunities has continued to remain.
On top of that, the informal sector which relies heavily on child labour forms a vital part of the Nepalese economy. Therefore, taking the approach of treating child labour as an evil hinders the gaining of people’s support and participation, and will inevitably lead to breakdown of the economy. When considering this unique circumstance faced by children in Nepal, it seems also necessary to first improve the labour conditions of working children, which make up half the country’s underage population. In other words, measures to somehow ensure children’s participation in primary education as well as healthy work needs to be found.
4.6. Observations on Child Labour
The Nepalese government has taken the following actions in order to protect children’s rights and tackle the issue of child labour. In 1990, child labour was declared unconstitutional and therefore the need to take measures for its elimination was officially recognized. This was reflected onto various laws and regulations from 1992 onwards, and in 2000, child labour was officially banned, resulting in the Child Labour Act which defined the minimum working age to be 14. The Nepalese government has also ratified the ILO’s conventions No. 138 and No. 182, as well as other related conventions which define age regulations according to occupation.
Of course, such legal measures are insufficient in resolving the complex issue of child labour. As a matter of fact, the Child Labour Act does not state that all forms of child labour are illegal, and is also inconsistent with the ILO’s minimum employment age being 17. Various revisions still need to be considered.
This is why in addition to these legal actions, the attempt to draw up social and economic measures which specifically address the foundational causes of the problem, namely poverty and inequality, have also been suggested as being vital.
However, unfortunately, Nepal underwent years of political unrest, with armed conflict damaging the country’s economy and society. Amidst the confusion, thousands of people lost their homes in rural areas, resulting in poverty and additional suffering on the part of women and children.
In any case, various strategies were formulated in order to resolve the problem, starting with job development in order to financially benefit households, as well as introduction of compulsory education, subsidies for school enrollment, and measures to improve adult literacy rates. Among these, primary education should be considered and carried out as the most effective means. This is because education is what raises people’s awareness, which eventually leads to forming the foundation of social transformation.
The rate of academic improvement among children between the ages of 5 and 17 are on the rise, according to reports from recent years. However, Nepal is still counted as a country with one of the lowest literacy rates. This is also owing to the multi-ethnic culture and usage of multiple languages, but high illiteracy and dropout rates reveal that the education system has not been fully established. It is said that the high dropout rate is mainly caused by the environment where children are forced to work and study at the same time. Also, people’s lack of awareness of this issue is also a factor in the low enrolment rate. This is because many parents only appreciate the income generated by children working, and do not consider education to contribute to financial income. The introduction of compulsory education may hold a key to breaking through such practices.
To begin with, children’s education should never be hindered as a result of the parents’ income. In the midst of various types of education (formal, informal, vocational training etc) becoming necessary, it is absolutely necessary for the government to draw up more measures in the area of education and invest more financially, in order to eradicate poverty and ensure a better future for Nepal. More specifically, children requiring assistance must be identified and sheltered, where decent living conditions can be arranged and education provided. The foundational roots of such issues must be resolved at a national level, in order to break the generational cycle of poverty.
5. Current Situation of the Education Sector
5.1. Efforts in Educational Development
The history of Nepal’s school education can be traced back to 1951, when the country started its establishment as a modern state. Since then, various measures have been taking place in the area of educational development. Education is seen as a key element in nation building, and has undergone many changes along with the course of time. In 1971 the National Education System Plan (NESP) was implemented, followed with primary education becoming free in 1977 and textbooks also the following year. Various political measures have been placed with an emphasis on primary school education.
In recent years, with the action plans defined in the “Declaration of Education for All” adopted at the EFA World Conference in 1990 in Thailand, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child which the government ratified in the same year, it was stated that “primary education must be defined from two perspectives- basic human rights and eradication of poverty”. Furthermore, a policy to treat primary education with utmost priority amidst all other measures, as well as providing educational support for all caste and ethnic groups within the country was also decided upon.
Table 2 9 Educational Policies in Recent Years
YearPolicy NameMain Content1991～2001 The Basic and Primary Education Master PlanAims to achieve the spread of basic education and improvement in literacy rate by the year 2000 following the “Framework for Action based on EFA” 1993～1998 The Basic and Primary Education Project （BPEP）Aims to promote the improvement of learning environments and opportunities. Includes content such as curriculum development for basic education, development of materials and teaching aid for teachers, construction of schools and resource centers, development of informal education programs, development of educational programs for women, etc. 1999～2003 BPEPII 2001～2015 Education For All National Plan of Action （EFA NPA）A national plan of action that aims for the achievement of 100% in enrolment and literacy rate by 2015, along with improving gender disparity in education. 2003～2007Secondary Education Support Programme （SESP）Plans with the objectives of “the expansion and improvement of secondary education coupled with national development”
① Improvement in quality of secondary education
② Enhancement of enrolment opportunities for female students
③ Capacity building at central and district levels2004～2009Education For All（EFA）A 5-year plan formulated and executed for the development of primary education based on the EFA NPA
① Impartial expansion of enrolment opportunities for primary education
② Improvement in quality of education
③ Improving the efficiency of educational management through capacity building in each educational institute2009～2015*School Sector Reform Programme（SSRP）A successive program to the EFA and SESP based on the EFA NPA, Three Year Interim Plan, and SSR Core Document
① The integration of elementary and lower secondary schools as basic education
② Institutionalisation of performance accountability*Due to political unrest caused by the power struggle under the peace process, many of the goals were not achieved within the originally planned seven years. Therefore, the period of time covered by the SSRP was extended by two years from 2014/15 until 2016/17.
5.2. Overview of SSRP
As was mentioned earlier, Nepal is working on the School Sector Reform Program (SSRP) as part of their education sector development. This is a long-term educational plan that aims to achieve educational reform through strategic measures, especially focusing on the improvement in quality and effectiveness of educational services. “Contribution to social and economic development through sustainable capacity building of human resources” is set as the most highly pursued goal, along with aiming “to achieve 100% in enrolment and literacy rate as well as eradicating gender inequality by the year 2015” as stated in the EFA National Plan of Action 2001-2015. EFA Programs and Secondary Education Support Programs have been carried out in order to achieve these goals. Although SSRP serves as a continuation of these measures, it also introduces new content that is marked with strategic intervention such as structural reform of school education, improvement in quality of education, and the institutionalisation of performance accountability.
The SSRP is created by the MOE, based on the SSR Core Document, as well as feedback acquired during stakeholders’consultation held at various levels within the country. Its contents are based on key policy goals and values, such as the right to education, gender equality, and concepts of inclusion and equity, and are integrated with the strategic interventions found within the plan.
The program framework of SSRP is as described below, comprising of the main goal and a goal for accomplishing it, as well as 8 components with corresponding objectives. Under the eight components, further strategic intervention and activity plans have been formulated, and the actual execution of the plans at the annual level will be based on the ASIP. The budget and rate of execution will be reviewed at a meeting that will take place every half-term and half year, based on the content of the ASIP.
Table 2 10 Framework of SSRP
Main GoalContribution to social and economic development through means of sustainable capacity building of human resourcesGoalFor all people to become functionally literate, and to acquire basic life-skills and knowledge that are essential for the enjoyment of a productive life.sComponentsObjectives1.Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED)To expand access to quality ECED services for children of four years of age to prepare them for basic education. 2.Basic and Secondary EducationTo ensure equitable access to quality basic education for all children in age group 5-12.
To improve access, equity, and quality and relevance of secondary education.3.Literacy and Lifelong LearningTo enhance functional literacy and basic competencies among youths and adults.4. Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT)To equip secondary level students with TEVT soft skills5.Teacher Professional DevelopmentTo enhance teachers’ qualifications and professional competencies to better facilitate students learning processes.6. Capacity DevelopmentTo improve the performance of the MOE service delivery system and develop capacity to implement critical reforms.7.Monitoring and EvaluationTo monitor program inputs, processes, and outputs and evaluate the impact of program. 8.Financing To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of available aid in order to execute SSRP.
5.3. Education System
In Nepal, the education system was reformed by the SSRP based on the philosophy of EFA, leading to the integration of primary education (grade 1-5) and lower secondary education (grade 6 -8), resulting in the establishment of basic education (grade 1-8). Basic education is for children between ages 5 to 12, while secondary education comprises of four years for children between age 13 and 16. Without including early childhood education, school education up to secondary level is a total of 12 years. The school year begins in April and ends in March.
Furthermore, with the goal of improving the enrolment rate for primary education as well as supporting children’s adjustment to the school environment, Early Childhood Development (ECD) is now also included as part of the system, with measures taken aiming for its further expansion.
（Source：Nepal Education in Figures 2012，Ministry of Education）
Figure 2 16 Education Structure in Nepal
5.4. Types of Schools
5.4.1. Regular School Education
Schools in Nepal are divided into regular school education and non-regular school education, depending on their nature.
The regular school education can be broken up into two categories: Community Schools and Institutional Schools. Furthermore, Community Schools, which are public schools, formally consist of three different types depending on the structure of operation and management:
① Community Aided Schools
② Community Un-aided Schools (This originally referred to schools that were not given the complete sum from the government budget upon establishment by the community. However, all schools receive a full budget today and therefore is actually non-existent)
③ Community Managed Schools (Schools where the community have signed a contract with the government agreeing to take up responsibility for its management. Eligible for receiving a one-time subsidy called the Community School Support Program: CSSP)
5.4.2. Non-Regular School Education
There are two types of schools within the non-regular school education: religious education and alternative schools.
Religious education can be divided into three categories, each run by its corresponding religious community:
① Gumba (for raising Buddhist monks)
② Ashram (for raising Hindu monks)
③ Madrassa (for raising Islamic scholars)
On the other hand, the Alternative Schooling Program (ASP) is divided into two types based on different aims, supported by UNICEF:
1 Flexible Schooling Programme (a 3-year program specifically for children between ages 8 to 14, who either had not been to school before grade 6, or had dropped out of primary school)
2 School Outreach Programme (a 3-year program specifically for children between ages 6 to 8, who were not able to attend primary school due to geographical reasons)
According to Flash Report (2014-2015), 33,611 schools exist for basic education in Nepal today, out of which 28,236 are Community Schools, 5,375 are Institutional Schools, and the remaining 895 are those of religious education (Madrassa: 745, Gumba/Vihar: 78, Ashram/Gurukul: 72).
Figure 2 17 Types of School in Nepal
5.5. Educational Administration
5.5.1. Educational Administration Organisation
Nepal’s educational administration is carried out by the central and local agencies under the management of the Ministry of Education (MOE). The Ministry of Education consists of the minister, under whom two permanent secretaries (one for basic education and one for other education) are assigned and they oversee the general works within the ministry. Within the MOE are stationed the ① management division, ②higher education and education management division, ③ planning section, and ④ monitoring, evaluation and inspection section.
（Source：MINISTRY OF EDUCATION: A glimpse 2010）
Figure 2 18 Organisation Structure of MOE
The MOE has subordinate agencies institutionalised at the central, regional, district, and local level, as well as committees, universities, councils and libraries.
Regarding basic education, it is mainly managed under the Department of Education (DoE) at the central level, and the District Education Offices (DEO) at district levels.
The DOE was originally founded in 1999 in order to implement activities based on the Basic and Primary Education Program (BPEP) but is currently responsible for holding the chains of command directly towards local and district offices, the implementation and monitoring of education programs, as well as having budget-making and monitoring authorities. The DOE is under the direct command of the Director General, and is comprised of the ①management division, ②planning and monitoring division, and ③education management division. Under the MOE are five REDs as well as 75 DEOs, but the DEOs are the ones actually carrying out educational administration at the regional level.
Table 2 11 Subordinate Agencies of the Ministry of Education
SNTypeAgency1Central Level1. Department of Education (DoE)
2. National Centre for Educational Development (NCED)
3. Curriculum Development Centre (CDC)
4. Office of the Controller of Examination (OCE)
5. Non-formal Education Centre (NFEC)
6. School Teachers’ Record Office (STRO)
7. Education Review Office (ERO)2Regional Level1. Five Regional Education Directorates (REDs)3District Level1. Seventy-five District Education Offices (DEOs)4Local Level
1. One thousand fifty-three Resource Centres (RCs)
2. Thirty-two Thousand One Hundred and Thirty Schools and Twenty-nine Thousand Eighty-nine ECD/PPC centres5Commissions
1. University Grant Commission (UGC)
2. Teacher Service Commission (TSC)
3. Nepal National Commission for Education, Science and Cultural Organization (NATCOM)6Universities
1. Tribhuvan University (TU)
2. Nepal Sanskrit University (NSU)
3. Kathmandu University (KU)
4. Purbanchal University (PU)
5. Pokhara University (PoKU)
6. Lumbini Buddha University (LBU)
Just approved to open
7. Agriculture and Forestry Science University
8. Mid-Western University
9. Far-Western University7Councils/Boards1. Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT)
2. Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB)8Libraries
1. Kaiser Library (KL)
2. Nepal National Library (NNL)
3. Dilliraman Kalyani Regmi Memorial Public Library (DKRMPL)9Other1. Janak Education Material Centre Limited (JEMCL)（Source：MINISTRY OF EDUCATION: A glimpse 2010）
5.5.2. Local Educational Administration (Regional Level and District Level)
The local educational administration is divided into that of the regional level and district level.
Regional Educational Directorates (RED) were originally established with the aim of improving the efficiency of education management. There are five REDs set up nationwide, and it is responsible for the standardisation of education programs at the district level, adjustment of educational content and activities at the local school level, as well as monitoring and supervising.
There are District Education Offices (DEO) placed in all 75 districts, and they are responsible for the planning and implementation of educational development activities at the district level, as well as the monitoring and supervision of the process of educational activities under the policy of MOE, DOE and RED. The main role of the DEO (including activities of Resource Centres also under their management) are as below:
・ Planning and implementation of educational development programs within the district based on the government’s educational policies and plans (including the formation and implementation of District Education Plans)
・ Surveillance of RC and schools, as well as providing teachers, principals and students with professional assistance
・ Monitoring and evaluation of the district’s advancement in the area of education
・ Appointment and reassignment of teachers as well as management of records
・ Establishing new schools while also strengthening existing ones
・ Collecting EMIS data, and preparing annual and regular statistic reports on schools and teachers
・ Holding short-term training, workshops and seminars for teachers
・ Institutionalisation of extracurricular activities
・ Holding national exams at the district level (School Leaving Certificate: SLC)
・ Regulating NGOs and other organisations that are also involved in educational programs
In addition, in order to further promote the management and monitoring of schools, each district is divided up into 3 to 27 clusters according to school population and geographical conditions. Within each cluster are placed Resource Centres (RC) under the management of the DEO. There are 1,053 RC located nationwide today, each with a Resource Person (RP) that was elected from among the teachers. RPs function as a bridge piece that connect the DEO with schools and teachers, and their activities are monitored and evaluated by the School Supervisors (SS). The main role of an RP is described as below:
・ Assisting the planning and implementation of all schools within the jurisdiction, as well as forming and implementing annual plans at the RC level
・ Monitoring of all schools (including those with special needs classes) which includes the inspection of whether curriculum, textbooks and teachers guides are made available at schools and reporting the result to DEO
・ Collecting of data related to education, as well as updating information on teachers and schools within the jurisdiction
・ Performing demonstrations of model classes
・ Class inspection on teachers
・ Implementing the making of teaching materials as well as peer-teaching
・ Mobilisation of human resources, facilities and environment for the improvement in quality of education
・ Holding short-term training, seminars and workshops aimed at teachers, principals, SMC/PTA members and parents at the RC level
・ Holding regular meetings with principals and teachers at the RC level within the jurisdiction
・ Holding incumbent teachers training at the RC level
・ Planning extracurricular activities
・ Monitoring and assisting activities related to non-formal education, as well as forming Village Literacy Campaign Committees (VLCC) at the village level
・ Community mobilisation
・ Attending district level meetings
・ Adjustment and regulation between various activities and organisations
The Nepalese government is promoting the decentralisation of education with the aim of providing education that better suit the needs of communities, being aware of the existence of varying ethnic groups and castes in the country. Despite efforts in consolidating a system structure which has accompanied improvement in management organisation accomplished through local educational administration and community participation, lack of funding and limitations in the ability of human resources on the local administrative and school levels have limited its effects. Impacts of all measures still remain at the development stage, having yet to accomplish eradication of educational inequality.
5.5.3. Educational Administration at the School Level
1 School Management Committees (SMC)
Nepal’s Education Act requires all schools to install a School Management Committee (SMC) in order to be officially approved. Although community schools and institutional schools differ in the manner of member construction of SMC, in community schools, it is stated that the SMC consists of ten members on a two-year term, out of which four of them (including the chair) must be elected from among the students’ parents or legal guardians attending the school. A legal guardian can be a child’s parent, older sibling, grandparent, or whoever the child is financially dependent upon, or supports the child’s attending of the school.
The role of the SMC as stated in educational regulations cover a wide range of activities, starting from the management, maintenance and operation of schools (including the drafting and implementation of the School Improvement Plan), securing funds necessary for the running of schools, ordering teaching materials, hiring teaching staff (only from among candidates who have already obtained a teaching license), monitoring school attendance, maintenance, management and upgrading of school facilities, approving the school’s annual budget and reporting it to DEO, auditing of schools by an appointed accountant, to the maintenance and management of records related to the school’s facility, accounting and education. Furthermore, in addition to all this, the implementation of government-approved textbooks and curriculum, obtaining approval from the CDC in cases of using additional teaching material, payment of salary to substitute teachers elected from the community, and dealing with teacher’s violation of rules are also included in the responsibility of the SMC.
Schools must also set up a PTA, including all teaching staff and parents, as well as an Executive Committee comprising of eleven maximum members. The Executive Committee must at least include a chairperson, the principal, and a minimum number of one teaching staff and a parent member. Members of the Executive Committee will serve on a two-year term, holding a meeting at least once every three months. The PTA does not hold any responsibility regarding the management and running of the school, unlike the SMC. The role of the Executive Committee involves assisting the quality of education, regular obtaining of information on curatorial activities and participation in related activities.
5.5.4. Educational Institutions other than the Ministry of Education
Educational institutions in Nepal other than the MOE can be listed as below:
① Ministry of Local Development： MOLD
② District Development Committee： DDC
③ District Education Committee： DEC
④ Village Development Committee： VDC
These institutions play a significant role, as can be seen from the fact that the SSRP emphasizes the role of VDC, which bears responsibility for not only regular education but also non-formal education, in introducing compulsory education among grade 1 to 8 in the rural areas under their jurisdiction. Therefore, in the SSRP, the introduction of compulsory education is to be gradually implemented among 500 VDC. Educational plans at the district level (DEP) are made based on the Village Education Plan (VEP) formed by the VDC as well as the SIP made by schools.
5.6. Educational Finances
5.6.1. Allocation of Education Budge
During the 5 years between 2007 and 2011, the national budget was expanded by 2.35 times while the education budget has grown even more by 2.51 times. Regarding the educational budget according to sub-sectors, the budget for basic education has steadily remained above 60% out of the total educational budget during the time period between 2009-10 to 2011-12. On the other hand, budget allocated for secondary education remained below 20%, indicating the lowness of input for secondary education onwards.
For the fiscal year of 2015-2016, the government embarked 98 billion NPR for the education sector, an increase of more than 12 billion NPR, yet this is a drastic drop compared to the previous year’s total national budget. In the education sector, a drop to 12.04% is estimated for the next year, in other words, it is merely maintaining the 13.92% of the current fiscal year budget. The educational budget has been decreasing steadily since the education sector attained 17.1% of the total budget for the first time in the fiscal year 2011-12, with the decrease rate currently being at 5%. A decade ago, during the fiscal year of 2004-05, 16% of the total budget was allocated to the education sector. Although based on international practice standards, the education sector should be securing 20% of the total national budget.
5.6.2. Flow of Education Budget
Upon making the education budget, first, the cost required for the execution of SSRP in the next fiscal year is submitted to the Ministry of Finance by the MOE. Once the total national budget is assembled and the proposed educational budget allocation is approved by the National Planning Commission (NPC), the MOE is notified through the Ministry of Finance, after which the approval will be communicated to the DOE by the MOE, then to the DEO by the DOE. At the same time, a copy of the letter written by the Ministry of Finance to the MOE is also sent to the Financial Controller General Office (FCGO) as well as the District Treasury Control Office (DTCO). Once this process of notification is complete, funds are deposited into each DEO’s bank account via the Ministry of Finance.
Figure 2 19 Flow of Education Budget
In order for DEO and schools to receive the funds, they are required to submit a document proving that the fund they are to receive is a budget approved in the Red Book, as well as a detailed report of their activity content to the DTCO. Once the content of these documents are verified, the funds are deposited into the school’s bank account, thus made available for access.
The transfer of funds to the school level is carried out every four months based on the content of their activities.
5.7. Teaching Staff
5.7.1. Management of Teaching Staff
Management of teaching staff, which includes their appointment, training, reassignment and promotion, are executed by the MOE and its subordinate agencies. Each task is carried out by its own designated agency.
Figure 2 20 Pupils taking class outdoor due to lack of classrooms
Table 2 12 School Management Related Agencies
ProjectIndexPeople InvolvedRelated AgenciesSite of ActivityStudentEducationDevelopment of local curriculumSIPCDCRED、DEOLiteracy EducationDDCTechnical EducationTVETImprovement of quality of educationCDCDEOEvaluation of continued learningImprovement of enrolmentWelcome to SchoolRPDEC、VDCVDCCareRescuingCBWB, DCWBUpbringingCCWB, DCWBTeachersCapacity DevelopmentDEO（TOT）RPNCEDETC (9)PrincipalHT LCDIMOE, Management of human resources and capacity building, NCEDETC (20)Secondary School TeachersTPDRPDEOETC (20)
LRC (46)Basic Education TeachersTPDRPDEORC (1053)Early Childhood EducationECD, PPCEmploymentTSC、MOLD(DOC,VDC)
DEC、VECOrganisationProper OperationOperation improvementSS/School InspectorDEO、SMC、PTA、DOEOptimization of accountingMOE Management Division
5.7.2. Teacher Qualification and License
The minimum requirement to become a teaching staff is defined by the SSRP as below:
1 Basic Education Level: Graduation from grade 12 or completion of equivalent teacher training course
2 Secondary Education Level: Master of Education or completion of equivalent teacher training course
The above qualifications are required in order to be eligible for taking the teacher license examination. However, qualified candidates who have not completed training are permitted to be hired as subordinate teaching staff upon passing an interview exam.
5.7.3. Employment of Teaching Staff
According to the Education Act revised in 2001, the following two systems are stated for the employment of teaching staff:
① Hiring based on TSC (regular employment): decided upon offer of employment issued by the government
② Hiring based on SMC (temporary employment): DEO is notified upon issuing of offer of employment by SMC
The employment of teaching staff is carried out in the following order:
1 Public advertisement of job vacancies
2 Qualified candidates are notified of time, date and place of examination
3 Taking the examination (score breakdown as following- written exam: 100, practical exam: 25, interview: 25)
The required number of teaching staff is decided based on the current and estimated future school population, as well as government regulations on equitable placement of teachers. The number of students per teaching staff based on government regulation is as follows:
・Kathmandu and Terai Plains: 50
・Hill Area: 45
・Mountain Area: 40
・Minimum number of teaching staff per school: 3 ~ 5 (can be less if school population is small)
※ The minimum number of teaching staff is stated as being 3 for Grade 1 ~ 3, 5 for primary education Grade 1 ~ 5, and 4 for lower secondary education Grade 6 ~ 8.
On the other hand, the Nepalese government introduced a policy in 2003 of distributing subsidies for the salary of teaching staff in community schools. They are promoting temporary employment of teaching staff by the SMC, rather than regular employment through the TSC.
The first placement is decided upon the school’s report of shortage of teaching staff to the DEO, which will then be submitted as a teaching staff placement proposal to the DOE. The DOE will respond with the number of employment having discussed with the Ministry of Finance and other agencies involved, based on the number of teaching staff requested from nationwide. In the case of regular employment, this is communicated to each school via DEO. In cases of employment through SMC, the result of hiring according to position vacancy will be reported to the DEO.
Table 2 13 Number of Approved Teachers in Community Schools and Institutional Schools
Corresponding Schools by LevelNumber of Approved Teachers in Community SchoolNumber of Approved Teachers in Institutional Schools１Primary Education80,17647,762２Lower Secondary Education16,22415,577３Higher Secondary Education12,72519,584Total1,09,12582,923（Source：Nepal Education in Figures 2015 At a Glance）
5.7.4. Salary of Teaching Staff
The salary system of teaching staff is described as below:
Table 2 14 Pay Scale to be applied from 16 July 2013
No.EvaluationScale of Salary※1SalaryGRateSubtotalGAdditional SalaryTotalPrimary1Failed in three or more subjects in SLC12,520158813,840218014,0202Failed in one or two subjects in SLC13,3301510014,830220015,0303Passed SLC16,1101511017,760222017,9804Passed SLC17,0901712019,130224019,3705Passed SLC22,1801516024,580232024,900Lower Secondary1Secondary School12,520158813,840218014,0202Secondary School22,1801516024,580232024,9003Secondary School23,3401218025,500239024,890Higher Secondary1Higher Secondary22,1801516024,580232024,9002Higher Secondary24,8801219527,220239027,6103Higher Secondary29,2001123031,73031,730※1 Special allowance for teaching staff that was hired for technical subjects before 1 April 2000
5.7.5. Selection of Principals
According to education regulations, in the case of community schools, the DEO appoints a principal from among two senior teaching staff (of the same qualification level) based on recommendation from the SMC and standards stated in the regulation. Principals are selected based on the below criteria:
Table 2 15 Criteria for Selection of School Principal
No.CriteriaScore1Academic Ability102Teaching Experience153Training54Result based on Performance Evaluation255School Development Activity Plan306Leadership Abilities15Total100Source：Education Act & Regulations, Nepali Version/2005
In order for a nominated teaching staff to be appointed as a principal, they must obtain in the above criteria, a score higher than 70%. In cases where the candidate does not qualify, teaching staff from other schools within the district will be selected, and then sent as a principal for the school.
5.7.6. Training of Teaching Staff
Training of teaching staff is mainly taken on by the National Centre for Education Development (NCED), and can be divided into the following two types:
1 Regular training for updating knowledge and skills of teaching staff (TPD)
2 Training for improvement of teacher’s qualifications
Other types of training may include:
① Training in multilingual teaching methods (carried out based on needs by NCED)
② A special one-year program designed for the completion of Grade 12 diploma, targeting teaching staff who possess SLC qualification and have completed a ten-month incumbent teacher training. Those who have completed this program will be eligible to apply for a degree in university. (Carried out by the Higher Secondary Education Board)
③ Various other training aimed at instructors including RP, principals, SMC etc.
5.8. Education Curriculum
Nepal’s education curriculum is categorized into Grade 1 ~ 5, Grade 6 ~ 8, Grade 9 ~ 10. The content of each curriculum can be summarised as below:
Table 2 16 Overview of Present-Day Curriculum
Structural ContentNational Objectives of Education, Medium of Instruction, Periods/Hours of Teaching, Teaching Methods and Procedure, Student Evaluation etc.Outline of RevisionsUsually revised on a cycle of 10 years.
The revision procedure is executed each school year, with the first revision taking place for Grade 1, then also in Grade 2 the following year, and so on. The revision will continue until Grade 10, and repeated upon the same cycle.
As for revisions made for each school grade, the first year consists of making the curriculum, followed by a trial implementation in the second year, leading to the establishment of a new curriculum in the third year.School YearApril ~ March next yearNumber of School Days220 days per school year (out of which 192 will be teaching days)Total Time of Teaching / LearningGrade 1～3：816 hours per school year
Grade 4～5：936 hours per school year
Grade 6～8：1,050 hours per school yearLength of PeriodOne Period = 45 minutesSemester SystemNepal has not adopted a semester system. Schools hold a right to decide when to set a holiday of approximately 60 days, with most schools choosing the summer time (or winter in the mountain region).Source：Primary Education Curriculum 2063
According to Primary Education Curriculum 2063, the objectives of primary school education is to help develop children’s potentials, especially focusing on the following aspects of development:
1 Develop social and personal qualities such as morality, self-discipline and self-dependent by promoting the feelings of nation, national unity and democratic culture.
2 Develop basic linguistic and mathematical skills.
3 Develop basic knowledge and applied skills for the livelihood focusing on science, information, communication technology, and environment and health.
4 Develop creative skills by raising interest in arts and beauty.
5 Help in building inclusive society by developing the feelings for appreciation of ethnicities, castes, religions, languages, cultures and regions.
6 Develop a sense of responsiveness to the code of conduct and remain committed to human rights and social values and norms.
Table 2 17 Curriculum Framework for Grades 1~3
S.N.SubjectHours / WeekFull Marks1Nepali81002English51003Mathematics61004Social Studies and Creative Arts61005Mother Tongues, Science, Health and Physical Education51006Local Subject4100Total34600
Table 2 18 Curriculum Framework for Grades 4~5
S.N.SubjectHours / /WeekFull Marks1Nepali81002English51003Mathematics61004Social Studies5755Creative Arts3256Science and Environment4507Health and Physical Education4508Local Subject / Mother Tongues4100Total39600
Table 2 19 Curriculum Framework for Grades 6~8
S.N.SubjectHours / WeekFull Marks1Nepali51002English61003Mathematics61004Social Studies51005Science51006Health and Physical Education3507Sanskrit3508Population and Environment3509Art and Pre-Vocational Education350Total39700
Table 2 20 Curriculum Framework for Grades 9~10
S.N.SubjectHours / WeekFull Marks1Nepali51002English61003Mathematics61004Social Studies51005Science51006Health, Population and Environment4507First Elective Subject＊5508Second Elective Subject＊＊550Total36700
* First Elective Subject: Languages (English, French, German, Nepali, Japanese etc), Human and Social Sciences (Geography, Civilisation, History, Economy, Population, Sociology, Environment) or Mathematics
** Second Elective Subject: Computer Science, Domestic Science, Food Technology, Industry, Education, Business, Accounting, Music, Art, Yoga Education, Journalism, Hand Craft, Agriculture, Home Economics, Sound System, Typing, Photography, Painting, Dance, Instrumental Music, Health and Insurance Education
5.8.2. Access to Education
According to Nepal’s Basic Education Statistics in 2015, access to primary education has managed to accomplish a very high figure on average. The gross enrolment ratio is 117.1% (112.9% among girls) and the net enrolment rate is 87.6% (87.6% for girls). When it comes to secondary education, even though the gross enrolment ratio is 51.6% (51.9% for girls), the net enrolment rate remains much lower being 34.6% on average for both boys and girls (34.7% for girls).
Table 2 20 Basic Education Statistics
Early Childhood EducationBasic Education (Grade 1~ 8)
（1-8学年）Secondary Education (Grade 9 ~12)中等教育
Number of Schools by Level35,12134,5069,120Number of Enrolment （Total）1,014,3394,518,8681,327,580Boys525,7116,170,6681,317,580Girls488,6283,038,406647,189GER (total average)77.7117.151.6Boys78.1112.951.4Girls77.3121.451.9NER (total average)96.287.634.7Boys96.687.734.6Girls95.787.634.7Source：Nepal Education in Figures 2015 At-A-GLANCE
Access to education has risen significantly for both primary and secondary education, owing to the government consistently prioritising education as an important measure for the nation (this can also be seen from the tendency that the educational budget takes up a large proportion of the national budget, and is increasing furthermore). Other contributing factors include the introduction of free education, specific measures such as distribution of scholarship targeting girls and Dalits, as well as the nationwide Welcome to School program that is held at the beginning of every school year. The Welcome to School program was initiated in 2004 by UNICEF in 1,600 schools, eventually being adopted by the government in 2005. The government declared for all community schools to make door-to-door visits during the first week of the school year, designating that week as a nationwide school enrolment week.
In such manners, since the execution of the SSRP, various efforts have been made to improve access to education. The GON has decided on automatic promotion until Grade 8, already implementing this policy in 75 districts. Therefore, the improvement in quality of education is to become the main challenge from now on.
5.8.3. Quality of Education
In Nepal, the net enrolment rate for primary school (grade 1 – 5) has shown signs of improvement (69.3%(1999) →83.5%(2003) →96.2%(2015): MOE), however, repetition and dropout rates remain high.
Grade 1 has a high rate in particular, with a survival rate of 7.4%, repetition rate of 15.2%, and dropout rate of 6.5%. In Grade 5 also, the survival rate remains at 86.7% (2015).
Various factors can be considered in background to all this, such as the possibility of school facility, environment, learning resources, investment in schools, physical punishment and teachers’ attitude, which all have potential effect on students’ interest or lack of motivation towards learning. Below are factors that affect quality of education.
Table 2 21 Factors that Affect Quality of Education
FactorContentParents without educationChildren face challenges in becoming accustomed to school and habit of learning, due to a lack of suitable studying environment at home.Financial problems of the householdDifficulty in purchasing items that are required for children’s schooling (eg: uniforms and shoes etc)Child labourA cultural norm of child labour has been formed.Inappropriate enrolmentChildren that are younger than the actual designated age are being enrolled, contributing to the high repetition rate of Grade 1Immature teaching methods by the teacherClasses that are ill-prepared or advance too quickly. Education focused on memorisation rather than comprehension based on coherent explanation. Not being able to understand the content, students are unable to stay caught up with the class.Lack of learning materialsLack of teaching materials and textbooks. Insufficient resources, for example, in many schools, textbooks are the only learning material to assist students in starting to read. Even though supplementary readers are created regularly by the CDC based on schools’ request for supplementary materials, only a limited number of copies are printed due to budget conditions, limiting their distribution to DEO only as reference materials. Problem of physical punishmentChildren at times suffer physical punishment by not doing homework, periodically missing class, being noisy, unable to answer the teacher’s question etc.Unsatisfactory school facilitiesClassrooms that are too hot, lack of medical supplies and nurse’s room at school, lack of textbooks, desks, chairs and blackboards, are all contributing factors to students dropping out.Direct and indirect cost of schoolingPublic education is free in Nepal, however, there are many other additional costs. Direct costs include tuition fees, cost for notebooks (textbooks are free until Grade 8), uniforms and stationary items. Indirect costs include examination fees and school maintenance fees. Such costs burden poor families and become a factor for dropping out. There are also unplanned costs such as celebrating teacher’s retirement or welcoming, funerals, building repairs, and natural disasters.
The NLSS carried out a survey among those aged between 6 to 24 who had never attended school (8.7%) in order to investigate the reason behind this. Their response was as below:
30.0％replied “because my parents didn’t want me to”
followed by 22.5％replying “because I had to work at home”
17.2% replied “I did not have the desire to enrol in school”
7.2％ replied “I am too young”
3.4％ replied “because I have a disability”
3.1％ replied “school was too far”
Based on gender, common reasons found among males include: “because I did not have the desire to enrol in school”, “because my parents didn’t want me to”, “because I am too young” and “I have to help my family”.
On the other hand, reasons stated commonly by females were: “because my parents didn’t want me to”, “I have to help my family” and “because I did not have the desire to enrol in school”.
Furthermore, when asked for the reason of dropping out, 25% responded by saying “because I could not see any academic progress”, and 22% replied “because my help was needed at home”. Other responses included 17% referring to marriage, 7% “because my parents didn’t want me to”, and 7% “the school cost was too expensive”.
Table 2 22 Reason for not attending school for all population 6 – 24 years who have never attended school
Source：CBS（2011）‘Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume One p.90
Table 2 23 Reason for leaving school/college for population 6-24 years who attended school in the past
（Source）CBS（2011）‘Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume One’ p.100
5.8.4. Education Inequality
Despite the fact that all children have an equal right to education, various factors such as home environment, poverty, gender, regional differences, ethnic group, language, disability and armed conflict contribute to the existence of education inequality.
・ Educational Inequality Based on Region
Urban areas enjoy the comfort of good transport links, and a wide variety of choices in both community and institutional schools are made available, all with large-scaled, well-maintained facilities. Competition among schools also contribute to the enhancement of quality in education. Teaching staff also prefer to work at schools in urban areas. In rural areas, students may walk on mountain trails for up to two hours to commute to school, at times only to find that the teacher is absent. The distribution of textbooks and allocation of school budgets tend to be delayed as well. Such regional conditions have led to inequality in education. Nepal’s literacy rate in 2010/11 was 60.9%, but with the rate of urban areas being exceedingly high (77%) in comparison to that of rural areas (57%). Regional disparity is also widespread, with the highest literacy rate being in Urban-Kathmandu Valley at 84.9%, followed by the Urban-Other Hills at 80.0%. On the other hand, the lowest rate was found in Rural Terai-Central (40.8%), followed by Rural Terai-Western (53.3%). According to data based on the population census investigation in 2011, out of the school-age population which comprise of people between ages 5 to 16, 6.56 million (85% of the total) are enrolled in school, but 1.19 million (15% of the total, 560,000 boys and 630,000 girls) do not attend school. Out of those who are not enrolled, 1.09 million of them (the equivalent of more than 90%) are found in rural areas, with the remaining 100,000 living in cities. Among these are children who have never been to school, as well as those who have attended in the past but has now dropped out.
・ Education Inequality Based on Geographical Conditions (Mountain Area, Hill Area, Terai Plains)
In addition to disparity found among urban and rural areas, differing geographical conditions in the north, central and southern part of the country also contribute to inequality. In farming villages located in the mountain area of the north, small-scaled schools exist in each settlement, but with outdated buildings and in many cases covering only lower grades of primary education. In cities situated in the hill area, both community and institutional schools with relatively well-maintained facilities exist, but rural villages are found in the same condition as the mountain area. In the Terai plains, due to industrialisation that is progressing because of bordering India, population influx is occurring from other areas, causing overcrowded classrooms in each school.
As a matter of fact, the gross enrolment rate (GER) indicates the ratio of children of different age groups who are enrolled in the corresponding school level. The GER in Nepal is 122% for primary education, 87% in lower secondary education, and 74% in higher secondary education. According to region, the GER of primary education in the Urban-Terai and Rural Terai-Central are both below 100%., while all other regions have a rate higher than 100%. The higher the level of education, the greater the regional disparity also. When it comes to tertiary education, Urban-Kathmandu Valley has the highest rate by far of 65.8%, with the following Urban-Terai (25.0%) and Rural Hills Central (20.8%) being significantly lower. On the other hand, the GER for tertiary education remains at single-digit figures in more than half the region, with the lowest being found in Rural Hills Western at 4.4%.
・ Education Inequality Based on Gender
It may be said that gender-based opportunity gap for primary education has been almost overcome, however, inequality in the quality of education received still remains for boys and girls. For example, parents may send their son (particularly the eldest) to a school in the city while their daughter will attend a local one. Or, daughters may be sent to community schools while sons are allowed to attend institutional schools, and so on.
As a matter of fact, there are slightly more boys (56%) than girls among the number of students enrolling in institutional schools, which are said to have higher quality of education compared to community schools. The Gender Audit of Nepal’s School Sector Reform Program (2012) points out the relation between higher percentage of boys attending institutional schools, and cultural practices in Nepal that strongly favours men over women.
Gender-based inequality cannot be indicated among other national average statistics among primary and lower secondary education. However, in districts located in mountain areas such as Dolpa, Jumla, Bajhang, Humla, and Mugu, gross enrolment ratio of girls in lower secondary education is more than 30% lower than that of boys. In these districts, girls have a higher gross enrolment ratio in primary education, which is then found to drop significantly at the lower secondary level, birthing a huge gap of 30%. Tendency to marry young and the need for girls to support their families since many men migrate to work in India, are thought to be local factors contributing to this reality.
・ Education Inequality Based on Income
Even though primary education is free, there are necessary expenses such as uniforms, shoes and stationary items. If the family is poor, children are also required to help out with domestic chores and look after their younger siblings. Relatively wealthy households tend to send their children to institutional schools, while families in poverty struggle to send their children even to community schools.
・ Education Inequality Based on Language
Approximately 80 different languages are spoken in Nepal, but the medium of education in community schools is Nepali. Many children study at school using a different language than they speak at home. There are measures to implement local languages into the school education, but most school materials are provided in Nepali, and examinations for proceeding to the next grade or graduation must be taken in either Nepali or English.
・ Education Inequality Based on Caste
The Nepalese constitution has banned the caste system, but its effects remain deeply engrained in society. Lower caste groups such as the Dalits are often placed in disadvantaged positions in social and economical settings, leading to many of them having poor families. The tendency to dislike being taught by teachers who come from lower caste groups also remains.
・ Education Inequality Based on Disability
School facilities and learning materials that facilitate the needs of children with disabilities are still yet to be established fully, along with the fact that very few teachers have received training for special needs education. It has been indicated that the rate of children with disabilities that are attending school remains lower than 10%.
・ Education Inequality Based on Community School Systems
Nepal’s community schools are not necessarily separated for each level of education. One school is meant to accommodate for all Grades 1 to 12. However, many schools in rural areas are small-scaled and only covers lower grades. Large-scaled schools that include Grade 10 or 12 tend to have better facilities and teaching staff.
・ Education Inequality Based on Content of Teaching (Community and Institutional Schools)
In Nepal, approximately 15% of children attend institutional schools at the primary education level, with the rate increasing each year. This is because the quality of education is at times questionable in community schools, and many believe that institutional schools that teach in English will place their children at an advantage when it comes to future employment. As a matter of fact, the passing rate of SLC in 2013/14 was 28.19% in community schools, while institutional schools were 93.26%.
Table 2 24 Literacy Rate in Nepal
Source：CBS（2011）‘Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume One’ p.85
Table 2 25 Gross enrolment rates by level of schooling and gender
Source：CBS（2011）‘Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010/11 Statistical Report Volume One’ p.96
6. Donor Trends
6.1. General Trend
Most main donors that are involved in the development of Nepal place the eradication of poverty as being the most important concern. However, they differ in the approach of achieving this goal, form of support, as well as sectors and sub-sectors that they specifically prioritise.
High ranking donor nations and agencies cover all key areas, but certain tendencies can also be seen. The UK, Scandinavian countries and UNDP focus particularly on aiding the social development sector such as education and health. On the other hand, the ADB and the World Bank tend to prioritise the aid of economic development through construction of infrastructure such as roads and electricity-generating facilities. A great majority of donors also choose to invest in aiding nation-building measures in the area of system and policy-making, since political instability is seen as one of the biggest factors that hinders the eradication of poverty.
6.2. Japan’s Aid Policy
Japan too, has covered all major areas, namely social development and construction of infrastructure, leading it to being one of Nepal’s long-running top donors alongside the World Bank and ADB. Although the need remains vast on the whole scale, donors including Japan have taken on different roles without overlap. For example, in the area of agriculture and electricity, different aid contents have been designated, while local efforts have also been included in areas such as road construction and parts of the agricultural sector. Also, in the social sector and local administration area, a system has been drawn up for donors participating in pooled funds to be able to contribute to sector programs via project type aid.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the central west of Nepal at noon (local time) on 25 April 2015 caused massive damage not only in Nepal but also in surrounding nations. As a response to the Nepalese government’s request, Japan provided emergency relief supply as well as emergency grant aid worth 14 million USD (1.68 billion JPY), while also sending the Japan Disaster Relief Team (comprising of rescue team, medical team, and self-defence force troops) in order to provide emergency humanitarian aid for those devastated by the disaster. Furthermore, it has been decided for the time being that Japan will assist in the area of reconstruction of schools, houses and public facilities on the scale of 14 billion JPY in order to aid the post-earthquake vision of “Build Back Better”.
6.3. Education Aid from Japan
Japan is providing aid alongside the Nepalese government’s Social Sector Reform Program (2009-2015). The SSRP has set goal figures to accomplish by 2015/16, based on the actual values of 2007/08 and 2008/09 as well as the EFA National Plan of Action 2001-15 and Three Year Plan, aiming to achieve education for all, along with the accomplishment of the second goal in the MDGs (achievement of universal primary education). With the goal of achieving 100% in the net enrolment rate of primary education by the end of SSRP, various measures are to take place in order to improve access, such as construction of 19,500 classrooms as well as the repairing of 13,000, decentralisation of education administration, and promotion of community participation in school management. Based on level of education, the MOE will especially focus on basic education (Grade 1 ~ 8). Public investment in the area of education has always focused on basic education. 17% of public spending has been poured into education, out of which 86% for school education, with 70% of that going towards basic education. Japan’s aid up until now has also mainly targeted the basic education sector.
Up until now, Japan has provided aid mainly through school construction and sending JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers). Japan’s total amount of assistance in the area of education between 2006 and 2011 amount to 2.774 billion JPY, including projects that have continued on since 2003. Various grant aids were 1.93 billion JPY (70%), and technical cooperation 844 million JPY (30%). According to OECD statistics, out of the sum real expenditure made by all donors in the area of education, Japan contributed 8.29% of the total. In 2009, 16.52 million USD, the highest amount in six years, was spent, leading to a mass total of 171.83 million USD. This led to Japan’s contribution marking only 9.61%, however, in 2006, even though there was an expenditure of 13.68 USD, the total only reached 61.45 million USD, making Japan’s contribution 22.27%. Japan’s aid can be thought of as having contributed to the quantitative expansion and qualitative improvement in education, as can be seen above.
However, inequality in educational opportunity based on region, gender and caste have shown some improvement yet still remain a big challenge. According to the national census of 2011, the population itself is growing yet the increase rate is going down. The decrease in population of children can be noted in particular. In the five-year age band, the population is highest among children between age 10 and 14, with those of age 5 to 9 at 92.2% and 0 to 4 at 73.9%.
Therefore, it can be estimated that the focus of educational policies will move onto the enhancement of early childhood education, improvement of enrolment rate in upper elementary grades, as well as the overall improvement of quality of education, from the increase of enrolment rate in primary education.
In any case, cooperation between Japanese NGOs and the private sector has mainly taken place in the social sector, such as in areas of education and health. Through schemes such as Grant Assistance for Grassroots (aimed at local NGOs etc) and Japan NGO Grant Aid (aimed at Japanese NGOs), NGOs from both countries have played a large part. In addition, as a first-time attempt in Japan’s ODA, staff members from Japanese NGO “Save the Children Japan” have been placed in charge of improving school management, one of the soft components, alongside consultants in the grant aid for classroom construction “The Project for Basic Education Improvement in Support of the School Sector Reform in Nepal” (2011). This is worth noting as an innovative measure, where NGOs are directly involved in the implementation of parts of grant aid’s components.
Although this project includes the enhancement of basic education, its primary objective is to provide humanitarian aid for pupils requiring assistance through the improvement of their living conditions as well as learning environment. Therefore, it is a project with features which do not overlap with any other aid projects provided by Japan or other nations.