6 more districts set to attain total literacy by March

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2015-

The government is preparing to declare six more districts as total literate within two months under its ambitious plan to attain total adult literacy in the country by the end of this year.

Non-Formal Education Centre, the authority to conduct the literacy programme across the country, has started preparations to announce Arghakhachi, Pyuthan, Bhaktapur, Surkhet, Dang and Nuwakot as the literate districts by March, which would take the number of adult illiterate-free districts in the country to 11.  Sindhupalchok, Lalitpur, Dhading, Palpa and Mustang have already been declared total literate districts after over 95 percent of adults between 15 and 45 years qualified as literates through three-month literacy classes. Similarly, around 1,000 VDCs and five municipalities also have been declared the literate regions.

According to Centre’s Deputy Director Bishnu Prasad Mishra, Arghakhachi has already met its target and has called for the verification of data. The District Education Office had last week written to the Education Ministry to form a verification team.

The ministry, however, asked it to verify the data in the presence of representatives from political parties, media and other civil society organisations. Mishra said that Arghakhachi will be in the club of literate districts within two weeks, and Pyuthan with just few dozen adult “illiterates” in three VDCs next in line to join the club.

“Our inspection has shown Bhaktapur, Surkhet, Dang and Nuwakot too are on the verge of completing the classes assigned for them,” he said. “They will meet their target by the end of Falgun [mid-March].” According to Mishra, other districts have also completed the process of recruiting teachers and selecting the centres to run the classes scheduled to be run in two weeks’ time.

Also on Wednesday, National Non-Formal Education Council led by Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav urged all the government agencies in the respective districts to extend their support to the total literacy plan. The government aims to attain total literacy by enrolling 1.74 million adult “illiterates” across the country with focus on 16 Tarai districts with higher illiteracy rates. Similarly, the students from grades 9 and 10 are also assigned for the programme in the remaining districts where the number of illiterates is low as a part of their practical exams.  

The ministry has made it mandatory for students from secondary level to participate in adult literacy programme as part of their curriculum. Students from grades 9 or 10 must attend the literacy classes which will be worth 10 marks in the School Leaving Certificate examination.

The government has allocated around Rs 1.1 billion for the current fiscal year and has already spent some Rs 6 billion since under the programme was launched

in 2009/10.

Published: 31-01-2015 09:47

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