Speeches Shim

Nepal has made remarkable progress in the education sector and expanded learning opportunities for children and adults since 1990. Net primary enrollment rates have increased from 64 to nearly 95 percent, with similar enrollment rates for girls and boys.  These improvements have put Nepal on track to achieve Millennium Development Goal 2: Universal Primary Education.  Despite this progress, there are concerns about the quality of education and low school completion rates.  Nepal’s linguistic, geographical, and socio-economic diversity also affect schools’ ability to provide quality education services for all students.

An Early Grade Reading Assessment was conducted in March 2014, with USAID funding, to provide baseline data on the foundational reading skills of Nepali children. The assessment found that 34 percent of second graders and 19 percent of third graders could not read a single word of Nepali. Nepali students only display emergent reading skills by grade three, which would be expected by the end of grade one or beginning of grade two. Students in the Terai had both the lowest mean score and the highest zero scores compared to other regions of Nepal and were, on average, reading 12 correct words per minute fewer than students in the Kathmandu Valley. Moreover, students who reported speaking Nepali at home performed better than students speaking another first language.

This assessment demonstrated the need for a nationwide Early Grade Reading Program to improve the reading skills of Nepali students. 

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 1:45am

Last updated: October 21, 2015