02.07.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Education experts from Nepal returned from useful literacy study tour from India

©UNESCO -Nepali delegation met the National Literacy Mission Authority of India in New Delhi

Innovative approaches to learn reading and writing through the use of locally developed learning materials, continuing education for neo literates based on income generation activities, and vocational training to achieve literacy – these are only three out of many good examples to curb illiteracy, which were shown to a group of senior officials from the Ministry of Education of Nepal, when they visited India on a UNESCO organized study tour.

The visit, which the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized from 24 to 29 June 2013 in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in New Delhi and the Ministry of Education of India, gave Nepali experts some useful insights on how to more rapidly achieve the national literacy goals within the framework of the Literacy Nepal Mission (LINEM).


India has been very successful in implementing its national literacy mission. The literacy rate of India has increased from 65.38% in 2001 to 74.04% (82.14% being male and for 65.46% being female) in 2011 following the implementation of Saakshar Bharat (adult education) programme which was launched in 2009.


In Haridwar district, Uttarakhand, the literacy rate significantly increased from 52.16% (60.03% being male and 42.64% being female) in 2001 to 73.43% (81.04% being male and for 64.79% being female) in 2011.


The reason behind this successful development is the great variety of innovative approaches   For example, learners participated in literacy class with learning materials developed based on local and cultural knowledge in their mother tongues. Learners can participate in the Basic Literacy Assessment organised twice a year to receive a certification before taking up continuing education classes where learning materials are developed specifically for neo-literates to learn about various occupations in their community such as hair dresser, tailors, handy crafts makers, etc. Learners can also register in vocation training classes which are conducted over a period of 3-6 months. The cost of these trainings are either free of charge or cost only 10-20 Indian Rupees.


Five officials from Nepal’s Ministry of Education visited institutions responsible for the implementation of the National Literacy Mission of India, especially the Saakshar Bharat (Adult Education) programme, at all levels. The delegation interacted with both policy makers and programmes implementers in New Delhi, and States of Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh. The delegation documented lessons learned and is preparing recommendations for Nepal’s policy makers with the aim to eradicate illiteracy from Nepal by 2015.


The delegation also met with Minister of Human Resource Development M.M Pallam Raju, at the State Review Meeting of Saakshar Bharat Programme in Andhra Pradesh, in which he expressed his full support and cooperation between India and Nepal for effective implementation of LINEM.


The study tour was part of the project "Building Capacities for Strengthening Literacy and Lifelong Learning in Nepal" which UNESCO and the Non-formal Education Centre jointly implement within the framework of UNESCO’s initiative “Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA)”. The project aims at strengthening capacities of Government of Nepal in building effective information base and effective system to efficiently plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate non-formal education, literacy, and lifelong learning programmes at local, district and the central level. 

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