Category: Current

Reading Brings Rewards

Dates: 2013 – 2014

Nepal has made great strides with the numbers of children attending and staying in school in the past ten years, which is largely the result of the successful Welcome to School Campaign, in which World Education played a major role. The country still faces serious challenges to improve the quality of education for 7 million students. Initial research on reading skills in West Nepal’s Terai region (Save the Children 2009) found more than 50% of Grade 3 students unable to recognize letters or read a single word per minute. To change this situation a whole new ‘Culture of Reading’ needs to be promoted within Nepal, both at home and at school. There is a severe lack of reading materials available in the majority of government schools, especially in more remote areas where access is difficult and the cost of reading materials high.

The Reading Brings Rewards pilot project, implemented by World Education and local partner Rato Bangala Foundation, will work in 28 schools across three districts to improve the reading level of school aged children, foster a culture of learning among families, communities and in schools, and create a reading program model which can be replicated nationally in the future.

The main components of this pilot will:
1. Increase the quality of reading materials available for use in the junior grades
2. Train teachers to increase the use of reading materials, engage parents and communities in their children’s efforts to learn to read

This program will help substantially advance existing work undertaken by both World Education and Rato Bangala to improve the quality of education in public schools while also providing useful information to replicate the program nationally.

Combating Trafficking in Persons

Dates: 2010 – 2015

Funded by: USAID (World Education is a subcontractor to The Asia Foundation)

Trafficking in persons (TIP) is a serious and widespread problem in Nepal, characterized by high rates of cross-border, international and internal trafficking of women, men, and children. While most attention is focused on the exploitation of women and children, cross-border and internal trafficking of men and boys is also a growing concern. With funding from USAID and in collaboration with the Asia Foundation and 11 local partner organizations, the Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) project is designed to prevent TIP, protect and provide for victims, and prosecute traffickers while producing measurable results.

The protection component provides shelter-based services for migrants who have been victims of trafficking and works to improve the policy framework and procedures for victim care and protection. Under the prosecution component, anti-trafficking laws and policy implementation are strengthened as well as implementing victim-centered approaches in prosecution.

World Education has taken the lead role in the prevention component, directly implementing awareness-raising and safe migration activities with six partners in six districts of Nepal. World Education also increases the capacity and commitment of government, civil society, schools, media, and the private sector by conducting trainings in topics such as resource mapping; safe migration, trafficking, and reintegration practices; and providing vocational skills and financial planning packages to at-risk populations. In year two of this program, World Education has supported the formation of Safe Migration Networks, built the capacity of local partners, and provided trainings in entrepreneurship to 147 men and women, and skills training to 128 people.

Building Better Futures

Dates: 2011 – 2014

Funded By: Humanity United

Child labor in the brick industry is one of the most harmful forms of child labor in Nepal. Children work more than 10 hours a day transporting heavy loads of baked and raw bricks and usually do not attend school. If they do attend school, their education is disrupted by their families’ patterns of migration, and their learning is stunted by lack of time for proper studying or the inability to concentrate due to exhaustion. Building Better Futures (BBF) works to remove children and families working in the brick industry from exploitative labor by giving them greater access to education and helping families diversify and improve their livelihoods. The project, funded by Humanity United, also collaborates with members of the Brickclean Network to advocate for a cleaner, less damaging, brick industry. Regionally, BBF focuses on the Kathmandu Valley and Terai district of Sarlahi.

Project activities follow the seasonal migration patterns of workers in the brick industry. During winter and spring, efforts focus on motivating and preparing families to get children in to school; helping families manage and save money; and building linkages back to home communities for work to address longer-term livelihood development. Families return to villages for the monsoon and autumn harvest seasons, during which time the project focus is on families accessing microfinance and livelihood development support to build longer term viable livelihood alternatives that will make them less reliant on exploitative labor in brick factories and forced to migrate for work. To date, 124 girls have attended Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) classes; 389 people have received financial education, and 119 people have received family livelihood support or skills training.

Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) Program

Dates: 1998 – present

In rural Nepal, two-thirds of adolescent girls are not enrolled in formal schools. These illiterate, out-of-school girls are destined for lives of low status and limited opportunities. In 1998, World Education began the Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) Program by developing a nine-month literacy curriculum that integrates adolescent health and girls’ empowerment information with literacy training. As girls learn how to read, write and do basic mathematics, they learn about basic nutrition, reproductive health, the consequences of early marriage, early pregnancy, unsafe sex, STIs, and HIV/AIDS. World Education developed a series of booklets for the program that focus on the dangers of trafficking, child rights, and safe migration.
Out-of-school girls who participate in nonformal education programs like GATE achieve a basic primary education. This is an extraordinary and life-changing accomplishment for a low-status, illiterate girl, but it is only half the story. Many GATE graduates re-enroll into the formal school system or participate in vocational or practical skills training to continue their education.

In some of the districts where GATE classes are being given, parents have the opportunity to participate in local Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs). As these PTA members gain management skills and learn how to help students maximize their learning, they are in a position to assist the GATE graduates who transition to the formal school system. Recently, the GATE Program has also developed practical vocational training alternatives for girls who graduate from GATE, but who choose not to enroll in school. Included among these alternatives is the Self-Employment Education Program (SEEP), which teaches girls basic savings and credit principles, and gives them capacity to start their own small businesses.

Support for the Government to Improve the Quality of Education Through Child Friendly Schools

Dates: 2003 – 2015

Funded by: UNICEF

Quality of education in Nepal is generally poor, characterized by high drop-out rates and schools that lack child- and girl-friendly facilities and child-centered learning environments. In July of 2003, World Education, UNICEF, and the Department of Education (DoE) formally established a partnership to collaborate towards the advancement of Nepal’s formal school system, increase enrollment over time, decentralize decision-making and responsibility for schools in Nepal and improve the quality of education in government schools. World Education provided non-formal, technical, and vocational education to special groups and working children to ensure they attend and stay in school.

Since the program’s inception, World Education has:

  • Developed and expanded the Welcome to School Campaign (WTSC) to increase enrollment and retention of children/students at schools. This effort was a major contributor to the increase of 1.9 million students at basic and secondary levels from 2002 to 2010.
  • Developed and piloted 30 Quality Education Resource Package (QERP) modules to address quality in schools. In so doing, QERP materials have been delivered to all 1,050 Resource Centers (RCs) and Educational Training Centers (ETCs).
  • Provided direct support to more than 7,000 schools (including schools supported through this collaboration and schools supported through World Education alone) to address various aspects of quality in schools.
  • Provided training to the staff and trainers of government line agencies, UNICEF and I/NGOs on the use of QERP to build effective child friendly schools.
  • Supported the enhancement of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) to enable 75 districts, 32,000 schools and central level staff to use data for effective planning purposes. The piloting of student tracking systems is an example of this effort. The collaboration on preparing 5-year District Education Plans also corresponds to this support, by improving the equitable distribution of resources.
  • Worked in collaboration with national and district level government including DoE, National Center for Educational Development (NCED), District Education Officers (DEOs), and the Curriculum Development Center. This includes collaboration with the NCED to deliver trainings to Resource Persons, School Supervisors, Head Teachers and teachers, as well as consulting with the DoE on district level coordination with DEOs.
  • Helped design and endorse Child Friendly School Initiative (CFSI) National Framework to be implemented at the school level and established Minimum Enabling Standards, and worked in collaboration with the NCED and DoE to deliver CFSI trainings to teachers.
School as Zones of Peace

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.

Youth on the Move

Dates: 2009 – 2016

Funded by: Oak Foundation and Anonymous

Faced by stagnant rural economies and limited income generation opportunities, vast numbers of youth and their parents across Asia are leaving their communities in search of work. They often leave without the appropriate knowledge, skills, health-related behaviors, and support networks to keep themselves safe, healthy, and free from abuse and exploitation. The increased vulnerability of youth is evidenced by the soaring rates of sexual and labor exploitation, sexual abuse, trafficking, poor health status, sexually transmitted infections (STI), and HIV infection among migrant youth across this region. The Youth on the Move Project, funded in part by the Oak Foundation, is improving the learning and life outcomes of vulnerable migrant and potential migrant youth in China, Cambodia, and Nepal.

World Education’s activities ensure that youth who are migrants, as well as those who are likely to migrate, can equip themselves with the core knowledge, skills, and healthy behaviors that reduce their vulnerability. In Nepal, the project centers on addressing the education and well-being of migrant and vulnerable youth through interventions such as literacy, post-literacy, life skills, specific workplace preparation and livelihood development programs for out-of-school youth, extracurricular activities, teacher training, school management capacity building and curricula enhancement for in-school youth, child protection system strengthening, policy and advocacy, and local capacity building. In this program year alone (2012), Youth on the Move Nepal has enrolled 428 out-of-school children (388 girls and 40 boys) in non-formal education classes. Additionally, the program has assisted mothers, youth, partners, schools, and local leaders to mobilize their communities and address issues related to girls’ education, child labor and child protection.

Sangai Sakaun Sangai Badhaun Opportunity School Program

Dates: 2011 – 2014

Funded by: Anonymous

Professionals in the education sector have long felt the need for programming in Nepal that not only ensures that the most disadvantaged children can access education, but that they can remain there to complete secondary school and achieve learning outcomes that enable them to secure productive livelihoods. The Sangai Sakaun Sangai Badhaun Opportunity school program assists children to attain an education and become economically and socially engaged. The program, focused in the Village District Committees (VDCs) of Baijapur (Banke District), Duruwa (Dang District), and Manpur (Dang District), seeks to secure not just educational access but also retention, high school completion and meaningful learning outcomes for marginalized children.

In cooperation with local partners, World Education is working to reduce non-enrolment, dropout, and repetition rates in these VDCs, as well as increase the number of students completing grade 10; increase the percentage of children who pass program Learning Milestones in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10; and achieve gender parity. To achieve these objectives, World Education and local NGOs work to mobilize the community, provide School Management Committee/Parent Teacher Association trainings, better quality and access to Early Childhood Development centers, conduct reading promotion campaigns, promote and support child clubs, as well as conduct basic health trainings and provide income generation projects and vocational education.

Human Liberty Initiative

Dates: 2011 – 2014

Funded by: Geneva Global

To address the root causes of intra- and international trafficking to the sex industry and exploitative child labor, the Geneva Global-funded Human Liberty Initiative (HLI) works to relieve poverty, increase access to education, and build communities’ capacities to engage in prevention efforts. HLI work targets the Tamang communities in Nuwakot and Makwanpur who have historically been exploited and trafficked to India for commercial sexual activity; the Muslim communities in Rautahat and Sarlahi who are trafficked to India and the Kathmandu valley for zari work; Janajatis who are trafficked for domestic labor; and Tharu and Dalit communities who work in the brick industry.

To support access to education, the HLI establishes non-formal education programs for working and at-risk children; supports madrassas by mainstreaming them to the national curriculum; and provides vocational training and Self-employment and Economic Education Program (SEEP) classes for adolescent girls who are too old to enroll in school. In working towards poverty alleviation, HLI trains families in microfinance and livelihood development. The HLI also supports protection for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation by forming child protection committees and supporting drop-in centers that provide psycho-social counseling and referrals for medical care and legal services. As of 2012, HLI has put 4,120 women and children in non-formal education classes, provided 847 trafficking victims with access to rehabilitation services, and reached 18,444 people through Safe Migration Campaign.