Saturday, December 19, 2009

Educational Challenges in Nepal

"The challenges to the Nepalese educational systems are many and complex. The very mountains that give Nepal it's grandeur provide a physical and economic challenge to building a sustainable infrastructure." Most of the population lives in rural areas, like Bauniyan - the location for the The Mikey Medium English School. These areas typically have limited phones, roads, clean water and schools. "A child growing up in Nepal faces some of the worst living conditions in the world. Roughly 50% of Nepalese live in poverty-on less than 1 dollar a day."

"While the the countries educational system has made a great deal of progress in a very short time, there is still much to be done." Many government schools are in bad physical shaped while those that exist are extremely underfunded, especially in the countryside. Many schools in remote areas are very basic. Often these schools have no blackboards, teaching materials, texts for children or furniture.

Without creative colorful teaching materials and books, children do not learn to love reading or explore the world. "Most Nepalese children have never seen a computer, yet adequate computer knowledge and skills are major factors in determining potential future employment opportunities."

"Individual family situations and cultural bias further complicate the effort to educate students. Typically young children walk several miles everyday just to attend school. Some students are unable to make the trip regularly because of the monsoon rains or because they are needed at home. Girls often have less access to education than boys... While 35% of the males are illiterate, 57% of the females cannot read or write. Nepalese culture considers females as tradable assets. Parents have difficulty rationalizing their personal development... While girls suffer the most, all of the children of Nepal suffer from many obstacles to their learning."

(Information for this article was obtained from the ROOM TO READ website. This organization works around the world and in Nepal to provide libraries and schools to children. They have a particular focus on girls education.)

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