The European Union (EU), the current Development Partner Focal Point for Education, continues its support to Nepal’s education sector and has just released €6 million (equivalent to more than NPR 700 million) directly to the Government of Nepal.
Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Nepal communicated the message to Shanta Raj Subedi, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance (Government of Nepal) through a letter dated 13 February 2017.
This payment by the EU is the last tranche of its current budget support totaling €31,200,000 (equivalent to approximately NPR 3 billion 700 million). The allocated fund has been disbursed as part of the EU’s efforts in making a continuous contribution to Nepal’s education sector.
"Ensuring access to quality education for all is a prerequisite for long-lasting development and Nepal has made good progress over the last years and will be built on further. The EU shares the vital importance Nepal attaches to Education and it is therefore a focal area of our cooperation "Ambassador Teerink stated.
The success of the School Sector Reform Plan/Program (SSRP) is evidenced by the increase in the net enrolment rate for basic education from 73% in 2008 to 89.4% in 2015. Similarly, the share of students repeating classes has significantly declined and there is also an increase in continued attendance of students at primary level. Moreover, there has been a steady increase in new entrants in grade 1 with preschool experience. The overall decrease in disparity in access across gender, income groups, ethnicity and caste is a significant accomplishment for basic education in Nepal.
The School Sector Development Plan/Program (SSDP) builds on the successes of the SSRP and the achievements made towards the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time, it aims to transform the gains in access into quality learning outcomes. Through interventions such as the SSRP, Nepal’s education sector saw an increase in accessibility of primary level education (Grade 1-8) particularly of Dalit communities and girls.
The EU's support to the SSDP will be to the tune of €61,400,000 (approximately NPR 7 billion 200 million). This will be done alongside the continued recovery efforts following the 2015 earthquakes and at the time when the country is gearing towards transition from a centralized to a federal form of governance.
The SSDP, like the SSRP, follows a sector wide approach, bringing key stakeholders- government, teacher and parent organizations, civil society as well as development partners together, and thus enhances coordination, impact and results in the education sector.