November 3, 2016 12:30 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Oct 3: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US $120 million loan and a $500,000 grant to help improve access and quality of secondary education in Nepal.
A press release issued by ADB Nepal Office said that the loan is part of a multi-donor program to provide $6.5 billion to the School Sector Development Plan, the government's main education initiative for 2017-2023. The plan includes setting up of 200 model schools with disaster risk resilient infrastructure, improved education facilities, a full complement of teachers and quality improvements to enhance student learning, according to the release.
Sungsup Ra, director of Human and Social Development Division in ADB's South Asia Regional Department said: “Continued investment in education, particularly secondary education, is critical for Nepal to achieve its goal of becoming an inclusive and prosperous middle-income country by 2030.” Ra further said that the project will support the government efforts to increase the number of secondary school graduates, who will earn higher wages than non-graduates, and boost the efficiency of the country's education system.
As part of the School Sector Development Plan, the ADB loan will boost quality education by, for example, introducing and expanding ICT in classrooms, boosting teachers' professional development, and promoting activity-based pedagogy for math, science, and English language. The model schools will have a head teacher, a full complement of subject teachers, disaster risk-resilient infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, a library, a science laboratory, ICT facilities, Internet connectivity, and e-resources.
The $6.5 billion program will benefit 6.3 million students, 153,200 teachers, and more than 34,000 schools, according to the release. It is envisaged that 4,500 schools will receive separate individual subject teachers for math, science, and English by 2021.