LSU #31, January 2016
With a population of around twenty six million, Nepal is one of the South Asian countries. National Youth Policy 2010 considers men, women and third gender aged 16-40 years as youth in Nepal.
Designated as one of the Least Developed Countries by United Nations, Nepal has a total average literacy rate of 65.9% (Census 2011) while as the literacy rate for youths aged 15-24 years is relatively higher at 86.90% in 2015 (UNESCO). The public expenditure on education is 4.7% of GDP while as average school expectancy is 12 years (CIA World Factbook). The government has declared 2014-15 as illiteracy elimination year but is far away from accomplishing this objective.
Devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on 12 May 2015 with moment magnitude of 7.3 has left around 1 million children without access to safe permanent classrooms as reported by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Nearly 9000 schools of the country were damaged and destroyed and still most of them haven’t been rebuilt in lack of necessary financial support. Child Friendly spaces and temporary learning centers (TLCs) were established in different parts to relieve children from post traumatic stress disorder.
Moreover, current agitation in lower lands of Nepal regarding amendment of constitution has lead to closure of academic institutions for more than two months and is seriously hampering children’s’ right to education. Though the efforts have been made to resume classes in the agitated area, they are still uncertain to open.
In a nutshell, though Nepal is making progress in access to education, massive earthquake and ongoing protest in lowlands have impeded the efforts. Deep concern and concrete action plan is required to compensate the loss caused by these issues in order to secure right to education of children.