Shared Development Partner and Minister of Education commitment to drive quality education and accelerate reconstruction efforts in Nepal
Shared Development Partner and Minister of Education commitment to drive quality education and accelerate reconstruction efforts. The recently appointed Minister of Education, Dhaniram Poudel, met with the Nepal school sector Development Partner Focal Point and European Union Ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink at the Ministry of Education in Singha Durbar on 26 September. Also present was the Development Partner Co-Focal Point, the Ambassador to Nepal for Finland, Jorma Suvanto.
According to a press release issued by Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, the Minister stated that the seven-year School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) builds on the achievements made under the School Sector Reform Program in terms of access to basic education and gender parity with a new focus on quality. The recent amendment of the Education Act provides a strong mandate and legal basis to undertake the envisioned reforms and highlights the Government’s commitment to ensuring education as a fundamental right. He underscored the challenge of undertaking the planned reforms simultaneously with the recovery in the education sector following the 2015 earthquakes. With regard to last week’s bomb threats in schools, he reiterated the Government's commitment to safeguarding schools as zones of peace.
On behalf of the Local Education Development Partner Group, Ambassador Teerinik reiterated the Development Partner commitment to supporting the Government in the implementation of the SSDP, as well as in the assurance that all children have access to safe schools, both in terms of disaster resistant infrastructure, disaster management and strengthening resilience amongst teachers and students, as well as in children accessing schools that are free of violence.
Teerink also referred in this regard to last week’s politically motivated acts of aggression against schools in the Kathmandu Valley, emphasizing that children should never be used as bargaining chips and the need to honour the pledge by all political parties that schools should at all times be zones of peace.
The EU also supports the implementation of the five-year SSDP programme with 56.5 million Euros through budget support, as well as additional complementary support which will include funding for technical assistance. In addition to this, the EU also supports the strengthening of technical and vocational education and training within the education sector for a total of 20 million Euros.