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Chapter 3

Analysis of EFA Indicators

Progress towards goals and targets

The objectives and targets of the basic learning needs outlined by the framework of action to meet the EFA goals are categorised into six areas. The analyses of the progress are therefore presented under these six headings. The analyses attempt to assess the achievement in terms of the national targets set by the National Development Plans. The six areas of analysis are as follows:

  1. Expansion of early childhood programmes and development activities
    [Indicators 1 and 2]
  2. Universal access to, and completion of, primary education
    [Indicators 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14]
  3. Improvement in learning achievements
    [Indicator 15]
  4. Reduction of the adult illiteracy rate and gender disparity in education
    [Indicators 16, 17 and 18]
  5. Expansion of basic education and life skills for youths and adults
  6. Media mobilisation for increased acquisition of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sustainable development

3.1 EXPANSION OF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMMES AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

In early 1990s, no explicit targets were set for early childhood programmes and development activities. There was some reference to this aspect of education in the Eighth Plan (1992-1997). The Ninth Plan set explicit targets for early childhood development (ECD), although they were limited to the opening of a certain number of ECD centres in the country. The target is 10,000 ECD centres. However, the Ninth Plan has not made any reference to the access or participation of a certain proportion of children of the relevant age group in such activities. Consequently, indicators 1 and 2 were not available in 1991 and 1995. They are still not in the national information system.

As the national educational information system does not report the status of ECD, the data presented in Table 10 were obtained from surveys of 4,168 schools in 23 districts. These surveys were conducted by the Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP I).

3.1.1 Progress in Indicators

Table 1. Gross Enrollment in ECD and Percentage of New Entrants into Grade 1 with ECD Experience

INDICATORS

Targets

1991

1995

1997

Indicator 1: Gross enrollment in early childhood development programmes, including public, private, and community programmes

8.07

 

Indicator 2: Percentage of new entrants to primary Grade 1 who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programme

13.47

As can be seen from the above table, the gross enrolment ratio of ECD is 8.07. Since the survey area does not include Kathmandu Valley and other major city areas, it is likely that the figures would be higher than the percentage of new entrants to Grade 1 with early childhood education (13.47).

Table 2. Gross Enrollment Rate in Early Childhood Education, by Sex (1997)

Pre-school enrollment

Official age-group population (3 to 5 years)

GER (Gross Enrollment Rate)

Total

150,767

1,869,196

8.07

Male

89,076

956,310

9.38

Female

61,044

912,886

6.69

Source: MOPE, MOE and BPEP (by sampling)

Figure 1. Gross Enrollment Rate in Early Childhood Education, by Development Region (1997)

As can be seen from the above table, more boys tend to have access to ECD than girls. There also region-wise variation in the GER in ECD, as the following Figure 3 shows.

Although there is a higher level of enrolment in the Central Region than other regions, the gross enrolment ratio in this region is smaller than that of the Far Western and Western Regions. Although the total enrolment is smallest in the Far Western Region, the gross enrolment in this region is the highest.

The number of new entrants to Grade 1 is slightly higher for boys than for girls. There is a very large difference between private and public schools, in favour of private schools.

Table 3. Percentage of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECD Experience, by Sex

New entrants to Grade 1

Number with ECD experience

Percentage of new entrants to Grade 1 with ECD experience

Total

136,244

18,358

13.5

Male

76,245

10,788

14.1

Female

59,999

7,570

12.6

Source: MOE, and BPEP (by sampling)

Table 4. Percentage of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECD Experience, by Public and Private Schools

New entrants to Grade 1

Number with ECD experience

Percentage of new entrants to Grade 1 with ECD experience

Public

112,343

11,782

10.5

Private

23,901

6,576

27.5

Source: MOE, and BPEP (by sampling)

The table shows that a greater proportion of private school-goers have ECD experience than their counterparts attending public schools.

3.1.2 Analysis of the ECD Situation

In line with the goals of NPA and the targets of the Eighth Plan and the Ninth Plan, the following major steps have been undertaken by the government for early childhood development:

1990 Explicit statement is made in the Constitution of Nepal regarding the state's responsibility of providing basic needs of children and protecting children's rights.
1991 Shishu Kakshya is launched under the Basic and Primary Education Project (BPEP)
1992 Amendment in education regulations contained the provision for opening pre-primary schools by private individuals or groups
1995

Establishment of National Child Development Council

1997

Early Childhood Development (ECD) concept is stressed explicitly in the Ninth National Development Plan

1997

ECD curriculum is developed by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC)

Institutionalised early childhood development in Nepal can be traced to the decades following the development of primary education. The expansion of the ECD centres has not taken place on a scale comparable to primary education. Nevertheless, in Nepal various models of ECD are found operating:

  1. Balmandirs
  2. School-initiated provisions for under-age children
  3. Shishu Kakshyas of BPEP
  4. Community-based ECD centres
  5. Privately-run nurseries, kindergartens and day-care centres

6. Welfare programmes

Balmandirs

In Nepal, Balmandirs were the early approaches by the government to address the needs of pre-school age children. Balmandirs were established in the 1970s at the district level to provide play-school environments for young children. However, the capacities of the Balmandirs were very limited–each Balmandir caters to about 50 children in the district centres, and the total capacity of all Balmandirs is about 3,750.

School-initiated Provisions for Under-age Children

Although primary school regulations require that a child should be six years old in order to enroll in Grade 1, many instances of primary schools have been found where a large number of children below that age have been admitted to Grade 1. This situation has arisen because of the lack of other provisions for pre-school-age children. The situation is likely to remain for some years to come. In most of the cases where younger children are admitted to Grade 1, the children stay in the school for two years or more. Some schools have formed what they call children's classes.

Shishu Kakshyas of BPEP

This programme was started in 1992 with a view to addressing the problem of under-age children accompanying their siblings in Grade1. Shishu Kakshyas are attached to primary schools and are mostly run as preparatory classes for Grade 1. By 1997, 1,038 Shishu Kakshyas were established under BPEP phase I.

During the Ninth Plan period, 10,000 ECD centres will be established. BPEP phase II intends to establish 7,000 ECD centres. The remaining 3,000 centres will be established with the participation of communities and NGOs. These ECD centres will be managed and run by communities and will be different and separated from primary schools.

Community-based ECD Centres

In 1992, the Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID) undertook a three-year innovative and experimental research project entitled Pre-school Education for Better Nutrition. This project was an integrated programme that had adopted the basic principles of early childhood development. Likewise, the home-based child-care programme, known as Entry-Point, also addressed children below three years of age. Those programmes were developed by Seto Guras National Child Developmental Services and were implemented mainly by the Production Credit for Rural Women (PCRW) Project and the Small Farmer Development Project (SFDP) in their project districts.

In 1995, there were 95 child-care centres established under PCRW. The child-care centres established under the PCRW project of the Ministry of Local Development and under SFDP of the Agricultural Development Bank have been launched with the objective of helping the mothers to do productive jobs by freeing them from continuously attending their children.

Most of these home-based programmes have short-term training courses for facilitators, typically of two weeks' duration. In most cases, a large proportion of the financial requirement for the operation of the programmes is shared by the respective projects or organisations. Most of the organisations also raise matching funds from the parents in the form of monthly fees.

Privately-run Nurseries, Kindergartens and Day-care Centres

Almost all of the 4,004 private schools in Nepal have pre-primary nursery and kindergarten classes. Most of these private schools have three sections: nursery, Lower KG and Upper KG. Although data on the pre-school programmes of private schools are not available, an estimate based on 30 children per section would come to about 360,000 enrolled children.

Welfare Programmes

Besides the three major streams of ECD services, some welfare organisations are also running ECD centres, mainly for orphans and destitute children. Programmes of this type are conducted in particular by philanthropic organisations like the Nepal Children's Organisation, SOS Children's Villages, UCEP and Paropkar. The Children Welfare Co-ordination Committee under the National Social Service Co-ordination Committee monitors and co-ordinates the activities of these organisations.

3.1.3 Government Efforts to Provide Curriculum and Training

The Pre-primary Education Unit in the Curriculum Development Centre has developed a pre-primary curriculum. It has conducted a number of training activities for pre-primary teachers. Currently, in 1999, an Early Childhood Development Section was established under the Department of Education to look after the ECD development needs in the country.

BPEP has developed a teachers guide for pre-primary teachers, as well as a pre-primary curriculum. The BPEP has been conducting regular training of trainers and training of teachers involved in pre-primary education programmes. The project has also been conducting parental awareness activities using posters and booklets.

3.1.4 Assistance of INGOs

UNICEF Nepal has been providing continuous support for the development of the ECD concept and various forms of programmes. The Interactive Radio Programme for ECD is a relatively new development and is implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with Radio Nepal. UNICEF has also provided resource kits for ECD classes. UNICEF is also working with the Ministry of Health to prevent disease and malnutrition among children.

Similarly, many INGOs such as the Save the Children Alliance, Plan International, Educate the Children, Redd Barna and SOS have been conducting several programmes for the development of ECD in Nepal.

3.2 UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO AND COMPLETION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION

Four sets of indicators were developed to evaluate the accomplishment of EFA targets of access to and completion of primary education. The indicators are categorised under access, expenditure, teacher provision and internal efficiency.

3.2.1 Progress in Indicators

Access Indicators

Two major rates namely, intake rate in Grade 1 and enrollment rate in primary education (Grades 1 to 5), have been included as indicators of children's access to primary education. Both these rates have been further divided into gross and net values.

Table 5 shows the magnitude of access to and participation in primary education in the country. Data for indicators like gross intake, net intake and net enrollment rates are unavailable for early 1990s. The wide gap in gross and net intake rate in Grade 1 indicates that both under-age and over-age children are enrolled in Grade 1. This is also true for other grades of primary schools.

Table 5. Progress toward Access Indicators, by Selected Years

INDICATORS

EFA Target

1991

1995

1997

Indicator 3: Apparent (gross) intake rate in Grade 1 as a percentage of the population of official entry age

129.8

Indicator 4: New entrants to primary Grade 1 who are of the official primary school entrance age as a percentage of the corresponding population

53.8

Indicator 5: Gross enrollment rate (Grades 1-5 total)

106

106

114

122

Indicator 6: Net enrollment rate (Grades 1-5 total)

90

NA

67.5

69.6

 

The high GER clearly suggests that the primary school system in the country has expanded to a considerable degree and has the capacity to absorb a large number of children. However, about one-third of the total primary school-going age children still remain outside the formal system of primary education. Studies and observations show that formal primary education has yet to attract children from disadvantaged communities.

Access-related and participation-related data were analysed by gender and Development Region as well. This analysis reveals that the participation of girls is lower than that of boys. It is also reveals that problems of low participation in primary education are widespread in the Far Western Region of the country. Analysis of specific indicators by gender and region are presented in the following tables and figures.

Table 6 and Figure 2 indicate a considerable gap between the intake rates of boys and girls in Grade 1. However, there is not much difference in the gender gap between gross and net intake rates (gender parity indices for gross and net intake rates are 0.83 and 0.81 respectively).

Table 6. Apparent (Gross) and Net Intake Rates in Primary Education, by Sex (1997)

New entrants of all ages

New entrants of primary school entrance age

Total population of primary school entrance age

AIR (apparent intake rate)

NIR (net intake rate)

Total

770,133

318,904

593,337

129.80

53.75

Boys

429,753

179,599

303,296

141.69

59.22

Girls

340,380

139,385

290,041

117.36

48.06

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

Figure 2. Apparent (Gross) and Net Intake Rates in Primary Education, by Sex (1997)

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

There are distinct variations in the intake rates of the five Development Regions, as indicated by Table 7 and Figure 3. The Central Development Region has the highest NIR, whereas the Far Western Development Region has the lowest. However, it is also observed that the rank positions of regions vary by type of intake rate, either gross and net.

Table 7. Apparent (Gross) and Net Intake Rates in Primary Education, by Region (1997)

 

Development Region

New entrants of all ages

New entrants of primary school entrance age

Total population of primary school entrance age

AIR

(apparent intake rate)

NIR

(net intake rate)

Eastern

183,537

84,251

141,518

129.69

59.53

Central

278,936

129,018

198,124

140.79

65.12

Western

119,708

51,220

119,113

100.50

43.00

Mid-Western

111,283

38,300

78,315

142.10

48.91

Far Western

76,669

22,309

56,267

136.26

39.65

Nepal

770,133

318,904

593,337

129.80

53.75

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

Figure 3. Rank Order of Development Regions, in Terms of Apparent and Net Intake Rates

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

The gross enrolment rate has increased slowly (from 114.4 to 122.1) over the first seven years of 1990s—on an average of addition of 1% every year (Table 8). However, a distinct difference in the growth rate can be observed for boys and girls. The GER for boys has remained almost at the same level over these seven years, whereas a higher rate of increase is visible in the case of girls. This is due to an increased emphasis on girls' education. On the other hand, the boys' rate was already very high (140.9) in 1991 and it has almost stabilised. Now the rate should start declining. On the average, due to an increase in girls' participation, the GER is still increasing in Nepal.

Table 8. Gross Enrollment Rate, by Sex (1991-1997)

Year

Boys

Girls

Total

1991

140.9

86.8

114.4

1992

143.0

92.2

118.1

1993

142.0

93.1

118.0

1994

142.1

96.1

119.5

1995

141.4

97.6

119.9

1996

143.3

103.1

123.6

1997

139.7

103.8

122.1

Source: MOEP, MOE and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

Table 9 also indicates the presence of a distinct gap between boys and girls in the NER as well. The NER for boys in the year 1997 was around 80, whereas that for girls was only around 60. The gap between boys and girls in both the GER and NER are almost the same—a gender parity index of 74 for GER and 76 for NER in 1997.

Table 9. Net Enrollment Rate, by Sex (1996-1997)

Sex

1996

1997

Girls

58.7

59.9

Boys

79.4

78.9

Nepal

69.4

69.6

Source: MOEP, MOE and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

Figure 4. Gross Enrollment Rate and Net Enrollment Rate, by Sex (1997)

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

An analysis of the GER and NER by Development Region reveals a gap of about 20 points between the regions with the highest (Western) and the lowest (Far Western) NER (see Table 10). Unlike intake rates, the positions of regions do not vary by type of enrollment, gross or net.

Table 10. Gross Enrollment Rate and Net Enrollment Rate, by Development Region (1996-97)

1996

1997

Development Region

GER

NER

GER

NER

Western

145.4

78.1

141.9

76.9

Eastern

115.8

71.0

120.3

70.7

Central

107.8

64.8

116.8

68.8

Mid-Western

103.7

66.0

115.0

66.6

Far Western

111.3

67.3

111.9

58.0

Source: MOPE, MOE, and Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)

In sum, analyses of access-related indicators reveal a slow increase in the rate of participation of children in primary education. The rate for girls is a little faster than that of boys. Moreover, a wide gap exists among various regions in terms of children's enrollment. Wider gaps between the gross and net enrollment rates and between the gross and net intake rates indicate the increase in participation of over-age (due to various social, economic, health and nutrition factors) as well as under-age children in the primary school system.

A number of interventions initiated at both the governmental and non-governmental levels continued to expand access to basic and primary education during the 1990s. Box 1 summarises the major programmes geared towards the universalisation of primary education. In the second phase of BPEP, in addition to further consolidation of many important programmes of phase I, some other programmes are also introduced.

Box 1. Major Programmes to Increase Access

1992
  • Basic and Primary Education Project phase I launched (eventually covering 40 districts). (Supported by World Bank, DANIDA, UNICEF, and JICA.)
  • Primary Education Development Project (focused on physical facilities and capabilities of the schools and professional capabilities of the teachers) launched in 11 non-BPEP districts. (Supported by the Asian Development Bank.)
  • Regulations for opening and running schools by private individual or groups
  • Nutrition programme (afternoon meals for primary school children) implemented in 12 districts
1993
  • Primary school scholarships initiated in 65 districts, covering 31,928 students
  • School uniform distribution for girl students (covered 75 districts)
  • Free textbook distribution (covering all primary school children up to Grade 3, all girl students up to Grade 5, and all the boys and girls from remote areas up to Grade 5.)
1994
  • Piloting of compulsory primary education in Banepa Municipality of Kabhre District and Ratna Nagar Village Development Committee of Chitawan District
1996
  • Primary school girls’ scholarships in 10 remote districts, covering 81,776 primary school girls
  • Nutrition programme in 10 districts, covering 200,000 children
1997/8
  • Piloting of compulsory primary education in five districts (Ilam, Chitawan, Syangja, Surkhet and Kanchanpur)
1998/9
  • Implementation of BPEP II. (DANIDA, NORAD, FINIDA, IDA, ADB and EU have joined to support basic and primary education development in Nepal.)

Source: MOE, Educational Statistics of Nepal (1991-1997)


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