Education and Child Development

school

COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Education is the foundation for a sustainable society and its development. It enables a society to arm its future generations with the capacity to compete and succeed in a healthy manner. Unfortunately, education is the greatest impediment to development in Nepal. Nepal’s literacy rate stands at 40%, which is one of the lowest in the world. The rate is lower still in the rural areas, especially among the female population.

Due to lack of funds, Government schools lack even the basic physical infrastructure, books and teachers. The educational material is inadequate, physical facilities are poorly maintained and teachers are often under-qualified or not dedicated enough. This affects the students’ performance in turn.

There is no dearth of private schools in Nepal, however, especially in the urban areas. These schools offer better education and facilities. But their tuition fees are often exorbitant, which is beyond the affordability of all kinds of parents. This has widened the gap between the people, developing a two tier education system. In the long run, it will only contribute to widening the gap between the rich and the poor, and between the rural areas and the urban.

 

BLIND SCHOOL

SWAN’s Community Schools are an attempt to provide Quality Education to all children in the rural areas, so as to provide them with better educational opportunities. Our main innovation was the support to the blind school, which we established by the government in 200… in Narayansthan. We helped the school by supporting the construction of the hostel building and supporting the school the high school, where the blind students are integrated.

 

PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL

We also established a unique Kindergarten school for the so-called “untouchable” children in the year 2003. The school was established with the objective of encouraging children from the so-called “marginalized” groups to go to school because the children from these families were deprived of the opportunity to go to school because their parents did not have the time and money to enroll them in school. Their childhood was usually spent raising their siblings. This resulted in the children dropping out of school when they finally were enrolled because they failed to compete with the others in their class, who had been going to school for a longer time.

This effort to induct children from the so-called untouchable families into schooling, has actually contributed to social change. When the school was first started, it only had a few children from the marginalized groups. Gradually, the school was able to integrate children from other communities as well. This had an immense impact on reduction of the concept of “untouchability” in the village. Free lunch was also an incentive to encourage children to join the school.

Currently, the school teaches children from different communities, which is a leap in social change introduced by SWAN’s efforts for social integration. Moreover, all the children from the marginalized community now go to school.

 

SCHOOL SUPPORT PROGRAM

This program is focused on providing education and learning opportunity to the children of marginalized and the underprivileged communities. SWAN has been providing support to improve physical infrastructure and quality education in its project areas. We are supporting government and community schools by providing sports equipment, laboratory equipment, teachers, drinking water, space for play ground and books for the library. We have been providing financial and management supports for better and effective management of the schools run by the government and the communities. We are also making concerted efforts to seek support in coordination with Government of Nepal, local and foreign funding agencies, in managing this School Support Program in a more coordinated way.

 

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

Under our Student Scholarship program, SWAN has been awarding a number of deserving students in schools and colleges to continue their education. So far … students have been granted scholarships. SWAN helps find sponsors inside Nepal and abroad to pay for the children’s education. The screening of the students is done through a study of their family’s financial situation or other circumstances. Currently, more than 70 students are benefiting from the scholarship program, from pre-primary to college level, in educational institutions in Baglung, Chitwan, Pokhara and Kathmandu.

 

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