Nepal Pilot Online Educational Project
IGE has the means to be part of a remarkable revolution in education that may provide the key to improving conditions in rural areas around the globe. Utilizing online technology, and enhancing the opportunities for international volunteers to contribute, IGE will implement an international, pilot, online educational program to teach English and Computer literacy to marginalized youth and community members in Nepal.
The earthquake, which struck Nepal a year ago on April 25, 2015, resulted in the loss of many lives, destruction of homes as well as many historical places and other infrastructure, and greatly impacted the economy. The quake also devastated the physical and cultural infrastructure of the country’s already suffering education system. A total of 6,000 schools were destroyed and thousands more damaged and within the Kathmandu valley there are still a lot of villages where people are deprived of the basic needs.
A World at School stated, in their online publication of April 21, 2016: The earthquake immediately left almost 1.4 million children out of school – 700,000 of them girls vulnerable to trafficking, early marriage or being forced into domestic work. A huge number of them remain out of school a year after the earthquake threatening to deprive them of their basic right to education for years to come.
In the wake of the disaster, $4 billion in aid was raised and as of April, 2016 it is estimated that less than 6% was earmarked for education. Worse still, just 47% of the education target was realized and only 31% of children were actually reached by appeal funds. So far, no schools have been rebuilt or repaired by the government. The Agence France-Press news agency reported: “After months of bickering, the government finally established a National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) in December to oversee rebuilding and distribute funds.”
Others have shown absolute determination because they want to have the chance to rebuild their own lives and have a better future. With international support, temporary classrooms or Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) made of bamboo and tarpaulins have provided education for thousands of children. However, one year after the earthquake, many children are still struggling to get an education.
The public education system in Nepal was inadequate even before the earthquake. Nepal has a literacy rate of 66% which is among the lowest in Asia. The literacy rate could go even lower if adequate measures are not taken to provide children with education.
Other significant historical events that have influenced the social and economic conditions in Nepal include:
- 10 years of civil war that ended in 2005
- In 2008, Nepal moved to a more democratic political process, which required a challenging change in the constitution that took time to complete
- Even after the introduction of the new constitution, instability in the country persists as a few ethnic groups feel excluded from some privileges
- Strikes at the Nepal and India border have led to difficulties in receiving fuel, medicines, and other basic supplies needed for survival.
IGE has already had extensive experience in supporting education for marginalized youth. Recognizing that a lack of education is the breeding ground of intolerance, violence, high birth rates, poverty and disease; IGE initiated the Mucherla Global School (MGS), located in the village of Mucherla in the State of Andhra Pradesh in south central India, in August, 1994. The school provided education to marginalized youth serving Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Tribal community members. On the school compound, all castes were treated equally with no segregation. The school, operated by community members since 2004, continues to flourish. IGE also created the Indian Student Scholarship Fund to support higher education for marginalized and low caste students who graduated from MGS. To date 48 students have received degrees and certificates.
This educational program not only helped to improve the quality of life for the graduates, it also had a positive impact on their families and the village.
IGE is supporting a pilot project to deliver an English Online Educational Program and Computer Literacy program in Kathmandu to students and residents from the city and surrounding villages. The project will target marginalized youth and adults within the community who currently have no access to these educational opportunities or the means to pay for it. This initiative could help to address poverty through education opening up more employment opportunities and helping to improve the quality of life of the participants.
The pilot will be located in Kathmandu, Nepal and service youth and community members from the nearby villages. The villages in the Kathmandu valley were extensively damaged by the earthquake and this online education initiative will provide access to schooling for children who would otherwise receive no education. The program is targeted to serve marginalized children and adults who currently have neither the access to learn English or computer skills nor the means to pay for such an education. The 8 week program will initially be offered to 15-20 students in October, 2016.
Education is a critical component to support the eradication of poverty, to improve quality of life and to make a significant difference in an individual’s life. The long-term goal is to work with a community to support the development and re-construction of a school located in a rural community.
If this project interests you and you would like to contribute, please contact us!