Dates: 2008 – 2015
Funded by: UNICEF
In 2006, Nepal emerged from a decade-long civil war which had major impacts on education in the country. Though much of the violence had ended, the Terai region was still experiencing considerable political turbulence after this time. The UNICEF-funded School as Zones of Peace (SZOP) project aimed to increase children’s access to quality education by ensuring peace in the schools most affected by civil unrest and political activities. World Education worked with local NGO partners and government counterparts in nine Terai districts to address the impacts of political conflict in these regions and build capacity to implement quality education initiatives and plan future programming. Currently, World Education works in 800 schools with 300,000 students through SZOP.
Key elements of the SZOP project included developing a Code of Conduct for each school which was approved by local and district government bodies; mobilizing civil society to keep the conflict out of schools; and advocating for the official endorsement of schools as zones of peace at cabinet and parliamentary levels. This resulted in more than 180 days of schools remaining open for education; the end of school grounds being misused and mismanaged (ex. being rented out for wedding functions, etc.); improved school governance by School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations; a reduced presence of armed forces in schools; and the official adoption of Schools as Zones of Peace at the national level in 2011.