The school system in Nepal is neglected and almost every fourth child never completes the first five-year stage. Until the 1960s, there was almost no schooling at all. Illiteracy is still widespread; every third adult cannot read and write.
Formally, all children should start school at the age of six. The first five years are compulsory and duty free. Most children start first grade, but already during the first school year some pupils jump off and many sheep go around one. About four out of five students continue to study after the first five-year stage. The higher classes are divided into three stages with a total of seven years.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Nepal, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Many children are forced to leave school because they need to help at home. For others, a long school path or spending on school uniforms and books is a problem. Schooling itself should be free, but schools often charge different fees anyway.
Teaching takes place in the official language of Nepali, although there are many private schools where English is the teaching language. Other native languages can be used in the lower classes, but this is not done to any great extent.
Private schools charge high tuition fees but provide better tuition than state schools. There is a shortage of materials and educated teachers. In their places, the teacher job is “bought” by the one who can pay the most.
More boys than girls go to school, and illiteracy is more widespread among women than among men.
There are five universities, one of which is privately owned. The largest is Tribhuvan University, while the oldest institution of higher education is the Tri Chandra School in Kathmandu (founded in 1918).
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Nepal, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
94.7 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
59.6 percent (2011)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
15.9 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
15.9 percent (2017)
Constitutional extensions are made
In an effort to put an end to the protests of the Madhesi people that have been going on since August 2015 and demanded the lives of some 50 people, Parliament adopts an addition to the new constitution. The amendment gives Madhesi greater representation in Parliament. The protesters, however, say that the constitutional supplement is insufficient and does not solve the basic problem (that is, the people group feels neglected by the central government).
Fund for reconstruction
After months of political bickering, Parliament adopts the law needed for a fund with funds for reconstruction following the earthquake disaster (see April 2015). The fund has the equivalent of $ 4.1 billion in the form of emergency aid from abroad. When the decision is made, thousands of earthquake victims still live in tents after losing their homes.
Dozens of dead in the protests against the Constitution
Members of the Madhesi Tharu people’s group continue to protest against the new constitution and block the roads into India, the country’s most important importing country. The shutdowns cause a serious shortage of both fuel and medicines and other medical equipment. By that time, some 50 people have been killed in the unrest that broke out in August 2015.
UML politician becomes new president
Parliament elects Bidhya Devi Bhandari from the Marxist-Leninist UML as new president. She becomes Nepal’s first female head of state. Bhandari, who was Minister of Defense between 2009 and 2011, says she will prioritize the rights of women and minorities during her time as president.
UML-led government is taking over
Parliament elects the Marxist-Leninist UML leader KP Sharma Oli as new prime minister. His government’s primary task is to unite the country, which is plagued by continued demonstrations and roadblocks in the south.
Nepal gets a new constitution
Despite strong popular opposition in the south, the parliament, with a large majority, adopts a new constitution, making Nepal a secular, federal state with seven provinces. Critics say the government is speeding up the implementation of the constitution to be able to gather the forces around the reconstruction of the country after the April 2015 earthquake disaster.
Proposals on provinces trigger unrest
The Constituent Assembly agrees that the country should be divided into seven provinces (pradesh). The decision triggers fierce protests around the country, especially in the south and west, where residents fear that the split will lead to their country ends being neglected. More than 40 people, including an infant and several police officers, are killed in the clashes. Demonstrators are blocking roads, including those entering India. Transport problems arise, leading to fuel shortages. The government is preparing for rationing of fuel.
“Nepal will become federal state”
The Constituent Assembly agrees that Nepal should become a federal republic. The provinces should form the basis for a unifying government. The decision has been accelerated by the fact that the political deadlock in the country is delaying and complicating the reconstruction work following the May earthquake disaster. The agreement does not address how the borders between the provinces should be drawn, which is a political battle issue where the Maoists want the new borders to strengthen previously marginalized peoples, while other parties fear that such a demarcation would divide the country.
Dozens of dead in a new earthquake
A new powerful earthquake is occurring in eastern Nepal, near the town of Namche Bazaar and Mount Everest. The quake measures 7.3 on the Richter scale. Dozens of deaths are reported.
First aid is not enough
In the middle of the month, the UN reports that $ 22.4 million of the $ 415 million that the World Organization estimates are needed for rescue work after the earthquake has come.
Kathmandu Airport a bottleneck
International rescue efforts are delayed by the fact that Nepal’s only international airport has little capacity and becomes a bottleneck for incoming transport. Criticism is also directed at the Nepalese authorities, who are described as bureaucratic. The United States sends military helicopters and aircraft to accelerate relief efforts in remote villages and areas that are difficult to reach by land.
Every fourth Nepalese is affected
The UN estimates that an estimated eight million people, or just over a quarter of Nepal’s population, are affected by the earthquake. Nearly 3 million lose their homes and 3.5 million are in urgent need of help in the form of food and drinking water. The Red Cross reports that cities and villages in the epicenter of the earthquake, in central Nepal, are almost totally devastated and that many areas are not yet reachable.
Thousands dead in devastating earthquake
Nearly 8,900 people are killed when the Kathmandu Valley is shaken by an earthquake that measures 7.8 on the Richter scale. About twice as many are injured. The natural disaster will cause irreparable damage to buildings, roads and other infrastructure. A number of culturally marked buildings and temples, such as the famous and well-frequented Dharahara tower in Kathmandu, collapse. About 20 people die in the base camp at Mount Everst when an avalanche is triggered by the earthquake. Several aftershocks and smaller avalanches occur. Around 250 people are reported missing after an avalanche was triggered – several days after the big earthquake – on the famous Langtang hiking trail. International relief efforts are directed at the country, which is unable to cope with the situation on its own.
Protests against plans for new constitution
The Koirala government announces that it intends to present a proposal for a new constitution shortly, a proposal that has been delayed for years. The opposition, with the Maoists at the forefront, is upset that it has not been consulted before the proposal is put to the vote. In protest, the opposition is taking the initiative for a one-day strike in Kathmandu. The government, which is supported by two-thirds of MEPs, chooses not to vote and thus misses a deadline. Opposition supporters storm the parliament building.