At a time when overwhelming of adolescents particularly the girls have been facing various problems like early marriages, deprived of education, recently released NPA is significant steps to address them.
The census 2011 showed that Nepal has an adolescent population of 6.4 million, accounting for about a fourth (24.19%) of the total national population of 26.49 million . Most of the development work does not have a clear strategy for the steps to address the comprehensive health, development and participation of the individual in the second decade of life. Hence the investment made in the first decade of life might be wasted if the second decade is not well addressed. Acknowledging that adolescents (10 -19 years) is a group that requires focused attention to meet their specific development needs, help them understand their rights, and engage them in addressing the existing challenges, Government of Nepal envisioned and prepared the multi-sectoral NPA for holistic adolescent development.
The National Plan of Action (NPA) on Holistic Development of Adolescents was launched by National Planning Commission amidst a function to celebrate the second International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC).
More than 2000 adolescents and 1000 adult stakeholders from all over the country were consulted during the drafting and finalization of the NPA. An inter-ministerial task team under the leadership of the National Planning Commission also supported the process, along with organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, CWIN, Save the Children, Plan Nepal, ILO, Consortium of Organizations Working for Child Participation and others. Once implemented, the NPA will create an enabling policy environment, develop a sensitive and responsive system, and streamline coordinated efforts to address the harmful social norms, challenges, and development needs of adolescents.
The IDGC is marked on 11 October to celebrate and promote the rights of girls, as well as address the unique challenges they face. Due to the upcoming Dashain festivities, it was celebrated on 4 October this year.
Based on the global theme of "Innovating for Girls’ Education" for this year's IDGC celebrations, a round table dialogue was organized between adolescents and policymakers about their dream learning environment and innovations in education for them. The round table dialogue was followed by the IDGC celebration which was graced by Vice-Chair of National Planning Commission, Dr. Rabindra Kumar Shakya. He reiterated that National Planning Commission is fully committed to provide its full support to coordinate and create a conducive environment to realize the aspirations set by the NPA for the holistic development of adolescents of Nepal.
The celebrations included the unveiling of the Nepali version of the "Girl Effect video" and the display of photo stories by adolescent girls on their dream learning environment.
On this occasion, Ms. Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Nepal Representative shared that more girls are in school today than ever before, and the world has achieved tremendous progress in getting girls into primary school. But our work in educating girls remains unfinished. Innovation has the power to achieve and elevate our ambitions for girls’ education so she urged international and local communities and governments to step up their efforts through renewed commitment and innovative solutions to girls' education.
The campaign theme for IDGC is on lighting the Diyo which symbolizes showing commitment from all concerned for making the future of adolescents bright and prosperous. This year, the Diyo lighting event is being organized in many districts under the coordination of Women and Children Offices. Every individual and household is being urged to light a diyo on 11th October (25 Ashwin) to support empowerment of adolescents in Nepal.