Main barriers to education
- Shortage of Schools
- Teacher Absenteeism
As far back as back the 1950s the Nepalese Government, through the National Education Commission, acknowledged shortcomings in the education sector and the importance of primary education for all citizens. Various education reform initiatives have since been initiated to account for the country’s diversity, particularly with regard to gender disparities, disabled children and rural populations. To date, though the gender gap in education is declining, it is noticeable and prevails across ethnic groups, rural and urban areas, national geography and income levels. Moreover, there remain rural locales, economically disadvantaged, where schools simply do not exist; where they do exist, they are rife with teacher absenteeism and dysfunctional management.
In light of the education sector’s continued woe, the government has recognised human resource development, social and gender equity, poverty alleviation and quality enhancement as priority focus areas.
To meet these challenges, EAC has partnered with buildOn and United World Schools (UWS) to increase access to quality primary education in Nepal. The former partner’s project activities include: community and parental engagement through outreach and training; and the construction of 80 new primary schools. In the latter instance, the partner project will also prioritise school construction, as well as global education partnerships, free provision of school and learning materials, training local indigenous speakers to serve as teachers and gender sensitisation.
Across remote rural communities in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal, access to quality primary education is inhibited for myriad diverse factors. In the Ratanakiri and Stung Treng Provinces of Cambodia, stigmatisation and discrimination against ethnic minority communities have pushed indigenous peoples outside the reach of the public education system. According to UNESCO, Myanmar allocated just 1.6 percent of its GDP to education in 2010, which had been indicative of generations of underinvestment in the country’s education systems. To date, the Myanmar government does not have the capacity or the infrastructure to reach the most remote communities in rural areas. As for Nepal, scant government investment in education and where schools exist, mismanagement, teacher absenteeism, a lack of parental commitment and the high-cost of school fees, coalesce to put education out of bounds for the most disparate members of society.