52nd International Literature Day 2018 – A Look at Events, Initiatives in Nepal

UNESCO Kathmandu Office launched a 5-day training for school dropouts
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52nd International Literature Day 2018 – A Look at Events, Initiatives in Nepal

This year, the 52nd International Literacy Day (ILD) was celebrated with the theme ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ on September 8, 2018.

 It has been noted that despite progress in literacy statistics, challenges still persist and conditions have become even more critical, going by the growing demand for ever-evolving skills.

In 2018, through the International Literacy Day UNESCO aims to explore and highlight integrated approaches that can simultaneously propel the development of literacy and skills required to:

  • Ultimately improve people’s life and work
  • Contribute to equitable and sustainable societies

Let’s take a look at how the governing body has tried to bring about this change in Nepal.

Nepal celebrated the two events with the theme ‘Skilled Human Resources Development and Sustainable Educational Infrastructure – the Basis of Building Socialism-oriented Prosperous Nation’.

In view of the upcoming day and with the goal to foster the theme of ILD 2018, the UNESCO Kathmandu Office scheduled the following initiatives throughout the month of September:

  • Launched a five-day training for school drop-outs including women and adolescent girls on vegetable production with an aim to provide them a livelihood & supplement their family income
  • Launched a 26-day Digital Literacy Skills training for students of open schools, women schools, farmers schools and young girls & women from Pharping community
  • A folk duet song Lok Dohori in Nepali language on the occasion of the International Literacy Day to make participants (general public) realize the significance of literacy and lifelong learning
  • Launched a 45-day beautician training program for neo-literate women in Ratna Nagar Municipality to promote sustainable livelihood opportunities
  • Orientation program for local-level officials on non-formal education (NFE) implemented by Nepal Eastern Region Education

Nepal Government, on its own, is also working hard to improve literacy in Nepal. Nepal’s Education Ministry will also be conducting some activities in the interest of the people, on the occasion of the 39th Nepal Education Day.

International Literacy Day Activities in Nepal Include:

  • Cleanliness and Tree Plantation Program in Bhaktapur on the occasion of Nepal National Education Day; celebrated on September 8, 2018 every year
  • Dialogue on Literacy telecasted on Nepal Television and Radio Nepal
  • Street Drama on Literacy and Lifelong learning
  • Consultation Workshop on the Non-formal Education Equivalency at Kathmandu
  • Nepali Folk Duet (Lok Dohori) on Literacy and Non-formal Education
  • Publication of a Special Edition in Nepali language on the 39th NED and 52nd ILD in Gorkhapatra National Daily
  • Main Celebration Event and Exhibition to observe the 39th NED and 52nd ILD organized by Nepal Education Ministry. The event was chaired by Hon. Nepal Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel and witnessed the participation of Nepal Government officials, development partners, students, teachers and other stakeholders
  • A Journal on Literacy and Lifelong Learning was also launched and a video documentary on NFE and literacy-related activities in Nepal, produced by Nepal Centre for Education & Human Resource Development

Additional activities included:

  • Launch of the Functional Literacy Program in Mahottari, Parsa, Rautahat and Sarlahi which was organized by Aasaman Nepal
  • Literacy Awareness Rally in Chitwan and Janakpur, Tree Plantation Program in Banke and Street Drama on theme related to Literacy and Lifelong Learning in Kathmandu organized by Samunnat Nepal

Recent statistics show some major progress in Nepal’s literacy rate, both in men and women.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • The overall literacy rate of Nepal stands at 75.14% in Nepali men compared to 57.59% in Nepali women
  • Province-wise literacy statistics:
    • Province 1 overall literacy stands at 79.27 percent in men and 63.94 percent in women.
    • Province 2 depicts a 60.09 percent literacy rate in men and 38.88 percent in women.
    • Province 3 shows an 82.82 percent literacy rate in men and 67.04 percent in women.
    • Gandaki Province records an 83.4 percent literacy rate in men and 67.42 percent in women.
    • Province 5 presents a literacy rate of 75.50 percent in men and 58.33 percent in women.
    • Karnali Province reports a literacy rate of 72.88 percent and 53.21 percent in women.
    • Province 7 reports a 76.37 percent in men and 51.93 percent in women.
  • Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City, Kirtipur Municipality, Tokha Municipality and Lalitpur Metropolitan City show impressive literacy rates, far better than the overall literacy rate of Nepal
  • Two municipalities of Province 6, one municipality of Province 2, one municipality of Karnali Province and one municipality from Province 5 fall far below the overall national literacy rate of 65.9%
  • Currently, the primary school enrollment rate has reached 97.2 percent

The main program saw the distribution of prizes to various outstanding schools, educationalists and university graduates – who also received the Bidhyabhusan medals for topping various examinations under different faculties, by Nepal Education, Science & Technology Minister.

The Education Ministry launched the ‘Policy and Program on Reforming the Educational Quality in Community Schools, 2018’ on September 8, 2018.

UNESCO Declares International Literacy Day:

UNESCO declared International Literacy Day on October 26, 1966 with the aim to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies, across the world.

  • According to UNESCO statistics, over 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five of them are still not literate and two-thirds of the total number are women
  • 7 million children are out of school and many more continue to attend school irregularly or drop out
  • As per UNESCO’s ‘Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2006), South Asia has the lowest regional adult literacy rate which stands at 58.6 percent

Conclusion:
The world countries may have achieved or are heading to their goal of achieving increased literacy rates. But with Nepal, the progress is constantly on, monitored and supported to bring about the desired results. And, with the government and people’s collective efforts, the country will soon be able to stand among countries with high literacy rates.

September 11, 2018 |

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