Education is critical to enabling the poor to participate in the economy and lift living standards. Nepal has made good progress in net enrolment rates and gender parity in primary education; however these gains are new and fragile. Some 300,000 children with disabilities are not in school and two-thirds of out of school children are from disadvantaged families, with data suggesting that inequalities exist not only along rural, ethnic and caste lines, but also along gender lines. There remains considerable need to increase the participation of children with disabilities and others experiencing disadvantage, as well as improving the quality of education.
School Sector Reform Program
$23.1 million, 2011-2016
Australia has supported SSRP in Nepal since 2007, helping the Government to provide free and quality education for some 6 million boys and girls. Through pooling its funding with other donors and the Government of Nepal's funding, Australia is advocating for improvements in the quality of education, access for marginalised groups, school safety and strengthened institutional capacity and financial management.
A new design for a successor program, the School Sector Development Programme (SSDP) has been finalised and a new phase of funding is proposed.
Building Back Safer Schools for All (BBSSF)
$5 million, 2015-2017
Australia is working with an Australian NGO (Plan International) following the earthquakes to help vulnerable children transition back into school and ensure classrooms are built back better. This investment will help more than 17,000 children, especially children with disabilities, and those at greater risk of child labour, abuse, exploitation and being left behind, to go back to school. BBSSF is training over 400 teachers and facilitators in psycho-social support along with providing organised learning in temporary spaces during the reconstruction period. Australia will also help ensure children return to better and safer school infrastructure by building twelve schools, including five to meet the needs of children with disabilities, to serve as models for safer, inclusive schools.
Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery
$1 million, 2015-2016
This funding is contributing to detailed damage and structural integrity assessments of public and private infrastructure and provides technical advice on rebuilding and retrofitting earthquake-affected schools.