School enrolment drive in 15 districts

By Manjima Dhakal

Kathmandu, Apr. 3: The government has decided to launch an intensive school enrolment campaign this year in 15 districts, which have weak performance in equity index. 

The equity index comprises of education, health, income and poverty concentration status at school level.
Out of 15 districts, seven districts are included from State 2.
The government has allocated a total of Rs. 30 million budget that comprises a budget of Rs. 2 million to each of 15 districts.
The government has allocated special funds to these 15 districts because of their weak performance in enrollment.
The government has however asked 62 district education authorities to utilize regular funds for enrollment campaign.school_2
About 10 per cent of the children aged between 5-7 years of age of 15 districts are still out of schools, whereas an overall enrolment rate of students is 97 per cent, Uttam Kumar Parajuli, Enrolment Section Chief of the government’s Center for Education and Human Resource said.
The government has been planning to conduct the intensive programme at 15 districts namely Rautahat, Sarlahi, Parsa, Bara, Mahottari, Dhanusha and Siraha (State 2) Dolpa, Jajarkot, Humla, Doti Accham and Bajhang (Karnali Pradesh) Rolpa and Banke (State 5).
The centre will introduce a policy to mobilise budget in grassroots as complaints have been received from stakeholders that the budget allocated for enrolment campaign can’t reach to grassroots and only used for promotion.
According to Parajuli the centre drafted policy explains that those districts could mobilize the amount only for dresses, tiffin and stationary for children in needs. These schemes are not for all school children and will be provided for the homeless children, orphans, child labourers, differently-abled children, children of the differently-abled poor and the extreme poor.
This year the slogan of enrolment campaign is `Our Town, Our Village: Let’s Send Our Children to Schools`. This year the student enrolment will start from Baisakh 1 (April 14). This year the government has been planning to promote enrolment campaign through media along with organising a door-to-door campaign.
Meanwhile, there are districts with good equity index and they don’t require any programme for students enrolment.
A total of seven districts, namely Pachathar, Ilam, Dhankuta, Okhaldhunga, Manang, Mustang and Syangja have al most cent per cent enrolment ratio in grade one. They don’t require any special programme, Parajuli added.
According to Parajuli, the districts where the government have been conducting Early Grade Reading Project have had a good enrolment ratio. The project has been implemented in 21 districts.
Because of the project implementation, Saptari has witness a better enrolment and performance in the early grade while remaining of six districts of State 2 have shown weak performance in equity index.
The Early Grade Reading project is a USAID-assisted project implemented under the joint collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Under this project, the children are learning with the help of special curriculum, workbook, trained teachers and different teaching methods. 

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