Project Title: Equity and Inclusion in Education
Funding Agency: World Education Inc./UNICEF
Project Period: May 2019 to Feb 2022
Target Area: 8 Palika of Rautahat district
Rautahat is situated in mid southern part of the Terai region, a part of Province No. 2, is one of the district among seventy-seven districts of Nepal. The district, with Gaur as its district headquarter, covers an area of 1,126 km², total households 106,652 and the population is 686,722 (CBS 2011). This district has a total of 16 municipalities and 2 rural municipalities. 33.4% people are living under poverty. Out of 100, only 42% people are literate (who can read and write) among them 32% are women and 51% are men. The mostly spoken language in Rautahat is Bajika. Out of total population, 27 % are age under 0-9; who belongs to primary education level. Out of 27 % school going population, some are still in home due to many reasons and many enrolled students were also dropping out schools due to various barriers. Hence, Equity and Inclusion in Education program aims to minimize these issues through the provisions of various reading/learning materials, enhancement of teachers’ skills for interactive and equitable access to education, etc.
World Education, UNICEF and the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) have worked together since 2002 to support the Government to address the needs of out-of-school children (OOSC) and bring them into the education system; improve the quality of education in community schools; strengthen learning outcomes for Early Grade Learning; and support schools for Education in Emergencies. This program has always had a particular focus on the most disadvantaged areas and under privileged populations.
The focus over the next two years will be to expand coverage to the Terai to integrate inclusive strategies for teaching reading for children with disabilities across all supported schools, enhanced teachers skills to use mother tongue instruction across all schools and start work to develop models for small schools using MGML and for improved Early Grade Reading and Math instruction. The program will employ a core set of broad strategies based on global evidence and the successes along with lessons learned from Equity in Education in Disadvantaged Districts (EEDD). At the same time, the program will address a variety of contexts in two distinct regions; strategies will vary depending on context and geography.
The program will contribute to UNICEF’s Education Strategy goal:
“By 2022, all children, especially the most disadvantaged, benefit from improved access, participation and learning outcomes in pre-primary and basic education within inclusive, safe and protective environments.”
Equity and Inclusion in Education aims to support for quality education by improving EGR and EGM. EGR stands for Early Grade Reading whereas EGM stands for Early Grade Math. Its core function is to improve in reading/learning skills of students from class 1-3. It focuses on reading by understanding and vice versa. It believes that when children can read and write with fluency and understand the meanings then only they will be able to read gain educational success in above classes.
The project utilized the Read-Learn-know program model, developed by World Education and the Rato Bangala Foundation. The model builds teachers’ knowledge and skills, strengthens the government system to support Early Grade Reading initiatives and outcomes, mobilizes parents and communities to promote a culture of reading, and provides materials to make literacy instruction fun for children and easier for teachers.
- Schools have increased capacity to provide quality early grade education (Grades 1-3) especially for the most disadvantaged children including those with disabilities, those who do not speak Nepali language at home.
- Improve in quality of education, especially improve in reading/learning of early grade students
- Minimize educational losses such as reduce in dropout rate, repetition of same class, etc.
- Establish student as a skilled and self-motivated learners through the enhancement of their inner skills.
- Prior focused groups are teachers and students.
- Secondary focused groups are parents, local level stakeholders, SMC/PTA and other stakeholders (Youths/Women groups)
- Local level planning workshops of 8 municipalities completed and developed action plan and budget allocated.
- Three palika have developed school improvement plan (SIP) and supported development of ESIP of 11 palika of Rautahat, Bara and Parsa.
- Five Days Basic Teacher training organized through which 362 teachers were trained to teach in early grade.
- Two hundred and thirty teachers were capacitated for early grade teaching learning through the mobile meeting.
- A mother tongue campaign conducted to promote early grade leaning in local language.
- A book in local language (Bajjika) of grade 1-3 is under publication.
- Tole Sikshya campaign conducted in 9 Palika through which 5242 (2762 boys and 2480 girls) early grade children got opportunity to continue studying during the COVID-19 second wave.
- Total 40 schools were supported with handwashing facilities and thermal gun to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
- Among 4 palika (Katahariya, Maulapur, Baudhimai & Rajpur) schools were supported with early grade learning materials.
- Technical support and facilitation in the development of Education in Emergency contingency plan of Rautahat.
- Behavior changes communication orientation to 371 teachers to promote teaching learning and school environment.
- 64 schools of target palika started using child friendly kit in teaching learning supported by project.
- Coordination and regular follow up to stakeholders are necessary for effective and efficient program implementation and developed ownership on them
- Sensitization and planning workshop are essential in a quarterly basis to make responsible for local level stakeholders
- Proper planning and development of guidelines is very essential before conducting any events