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Comprehensive literacy campaign launched

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, March 17: After two months delay, the total literacy campaign has begun this week with an aim to make four million people above 15 years age literate by 2016.

The Baburam Bhattari-led government´s multi-billion rupees project had to be postponed earlier due to lack of preparations. The campaign, initially scheduled to kick off from January 14 this year, was postponed to February 12 and again to March 6, has now come into effect from Friday.

The official at Non-formal Education Center (NFEC) said that non-formal education classes have begun in 72 districts, whereas three districts of the mountain region would start the classes within a week.

“The program in the three mountainous districts of Darchula, Achham and Kalikot has been delayed as volunteers are still undergoing orientation,” said Bhattarai, deputy director of the NEFC talking to Republica on Sunday.

The government has deployed 2,07,000 volunteers and 20,700 monitoring officers to meet its target of making 13.8 million people literate annually.

Providing the skills to read and write, use mobile phone, calculator, to count 1 to 100 and ability to open bank account and receive money from money transfers are among the most prioritized subject matters of the literacy campaign.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) which had allocated only Rs 400 million despite the requirement to spend Rs 1.38 billion in the first year of the campaign in January. However, the MoF has provided additional Rs 235 million to the NFEC for the national campaign with the total expenditure of Rs 4 billion.

One volunteer or a teacher would train 4 to 20 participants per day, as per the office´s latest estimation.

Meanwhile, the NFEC´s previous campaigns do not have positive records and experts criticizing them as failed project with the loss of billions of rupees. Similar was the final finding of the Central Bureau of Statistics, which has revealed that only 11.8 percent people could be made literate between 2001 and 2011 though the government poured more than Rs 265 billion with an average amount of Rs 26.5 billion per year. Only 54 percent population in Nepal was literate in 2001.

Meanwhile, the commitment from the political leaders to promote the literacy campaign at the grassroots level has raised the hope of its success this time, said Bhattarai. The NFEC survey conducted in 2011 shows that more than 4 million people above 15 years age are illiterate at present in the country.

Source: Republica Daily

Link: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=51696

Published on 2013-03-18 02:18:25
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About nirjanasharma

Journalist.

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