Literacy Rate Illiterate Population
41.7 % 7.9 million
source :  2000 figures estimated by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, July 2002

National Literacy Goals
YEAR 2005 2007 2012 2015
Total adult literacy rate (%) age 15+ 63 67 81 90
Literacy rate of age group 5-24 81 84 91 95

Definition of a Literate Person

A person who is able to read and write short and simple sentences related to daily life in his/her mother tongue or national language with understanding and who is able to communicate with others and perform simple tasks of calculation.

Name of National Literacy Agency

Non-Formal Education Centre, Ministry of Education and Sports

"Literacy Facts and Figures" of Nepal
Structure of National Literacy Agency

Number of NGOs working in the field of literacy 300
Number of literacy classes in most recent year 15900 (only GOs)
Number of classroom hours designated to achieve basic literacy 300 (Adult) - 450 (OSP)

National Policies and Strategies
National Policies on Literacy / Non-formal Education in Latest Policy Document on Education
to wipe out illiteracy by the end of the 12th five year plan.
to expand educational access through alternative forms of education to innovations and entrepreneurs.
to expand National Literacy Campaign gradually in all the 75 districts. Priority to low literacy rate geographical locations.
to reduce gap between male and female literacy rate. Priority to women, girls and other disadvantaged groups in promotion of literacy. Undertake appropriate advocacy and motivational measures.
to develop post-literacy and CE as an internal part of NFE, and make literacy and NFE more functional.
to strengthen mechanisms for co-ordination among GOs/NGOs/INGOs at different levels (grassroots level to national level). Mobilize more NGOs/INGOs to launch national literacy.
to campaign in different geographical locations (GO/NGO partnership).
to decentralize literacy and NFE programmes.
special literacy classes for prisoners in the jails.
to provide basic education : equivalency programmes.
to provide open learning programmes to foster CE and lifelong learning.
to emphasize on gender sensitivity in literacy classes.
to establish CLCs as a substratum of literacy programmes for post-literacy and CE.
Current Literacy / Non-formal Education Objectives /Strategies
centre based approach in non-campaign districts
provision of training / training package and primer distribution either free of charge or at cost price (for financially capable agencies)
to provide basic literacy, post-literacy and CE
alternative schooling (equivalency programmes)
programmes for retaining literacy skills
functional programmes with skill-training components for adult females
income-generating programmes
community literacy
development of CLCs
Lessons Learned from Past Literacy Programmes and Activities
Regular monitoring, supervision and evaluation of programmes at different levels are crucial for successful implementation of NFE programmes.
Effective and meaningful co-operation and partnership among GOs, NGOs, community and other local bodies are leading factors in making the NFE programmes more successful,
Political commitment both in speech and deed is a prerequisite for making national literacy campaigns effective.
NFE plays an important role in initiating more involvement of women in community decision-making.
NFE supplemented with income-generating activities, successfully increases confidence and encourages the active participation of women in their own development processes.
The establishment of saving and credit groups provides not only the potential for sustaining the literacy level, but also the basic backbone of sustainability for community-based groups.
CLCs can provide a permanent infrastructure for carrying literacy and CE programmes.
The NFE programmes should be integrated with other socio-economic programmes to achieve the best results.
Literacy centres should be owned by the participants, otherwise they may not last long.
Adult women gained knowledge more by participating in discussion, workshops and training rather than just attending the classes.
Child care centres should be set up for those participants who have nobody else at home to look after small children.

[Updated in April 2003]

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