Nepal Child Reading Initiatiative

As astounding as it sounds, by the end of third grade, 36% of Nepal’s public school students recognize letters but cannot read even one Nepali word (EQUIP 2010). In part, it is because 57% of first graders speak 123 languages other than Nepali, the nation’s official language. While UNICEF puts Nepal’s literacy rate at 57.4% that is only because children whose parents can afford it, attend private schools. Poor children lack the resources. As a result, 7% drop out in the first grade and many more drop-out as they are moved up through the grades but remain functionally illiterate.

A major part of the problem is that traditional rote methods are not achieving the desired results. World Education in Boston has approached the problem at a macro-level with limited results.

Nepal Children Reading Initiative is trying a new method. Project Director, Raju Bishowkarma was a program coordinator with World Education for 10 years. After forming his own NGO, he created a pilot program to teach students through using flash cards, foam letters, learning games, picture cards, and story books. The results have been impressive, but the reach must be expanded.

His plan is to conduct 5-day training courses for primary school teachers in the hills and in the Terai, the neglected southern region that feeds Nepal. The focus is on poor and dalit (lower caste) children, and children at risk. The key is long-term sustainability. The $15,000 budget will fund teacher training, involvement of parents in their children’s education, and the provision of the above-mentioned materials. By this means, teachers can continue on their own after completing their training and students can progress in their studies through provision of reading books. Initially, the project will run one academic year, cover 20-25 schools, and benefit 6,000 early grade students in selected towns of the Terai, the western hills, and the Kathmandu Valley in conjunction with Nepal’s Ministry of Education.

Your assistance is invaluable in achieving these aims. We will provide donors with periodic updates.
    • $100 
    • 21 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 28 mos
  • James O'Reilly 
    • $200 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5,000 
    • 34 mos
  • Robert Wilson 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
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Steve Van Beek 
Beaverton, OR