There are two education systems in Nepal — one private and the other public. The majority of private schools exist in larger urban areas, leaving public schools as the sole educational opportunities in rural and suburban Nepal. The success of all schools, public or private, is measured by the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) Test, an exam which students must pass to advance to the 11th grade. Less than 30 percent of public school students pass this exam yearly, compared to over 90 percent for public school students.
There are many reasons behind this disparity. Firstly, student attendance in public schools is low and inconsistent. According to UNICEF, rural Nepali secondary schools have only 40% attendance rates, and less than 30% in the poorest third of the population. Low attendance rates are not uncommon in developing countries, as parents must often weigh the benefits of a low-quality education against the benefits of having children available for farm work and labor.
Unfortunately, even for the children who regularly attend Nepali public school, learning environments can still fall short. Public schools often lack extracurricular activities, whether they be sports teams, after school programs, or clubs. Classroom environments are similarly uninspired — hard-working teachers may be discouraged by low attendance rates, and many schools lack important facilities and learning materials to facilitate learning. As a result, student outcomes are often sub-par, despite eager children and committed faculty.
At first glance, Nepali public education might seem hopeless, but it is not. We at Reinstalling Hope have vision for a better future in these schools, and invite you to learn about our solutions this problem. We hope you will be inspired, and get involved in creating change!