Jamuna Adhikari runs a local Bar at Budhhabhumi, Kapilvastu. Her two sons are currently studying at a nearby boarding school. As a student myself, her genuine response to what peace meant for her left me speechless.
When the atmosphere is favorable for my children to get good grades, that is peace for me. That is what gives me peace.
Jamuna has a reason to worry about his children’s performance in school. For example, in 2015, the average marks for core subjects tested for School Leaving Certification (SLC)* in Nepal were barely passing.
Nepal’s educational system faces several issues: poor infrastructures, lack of physical access to schools, insufficient teaching materials, low quality of teaching, outdated curricula, compounded by poverty and social exclusion.
Confronted by these challenges, the Nepalese government is taking positive strides toward improvement of the educational system. In his recent budget presentation to the Parliament, Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel enumerated several plans for education covered by the 2017 budget.
- “Primary education would be made compulsory and free while secondary education would be gradually made compulsory and free.”
- “Rs 26.5 billion has been allocated for the School Sector Development Programme.”
- “Special programmes would be introduced to bring dropout children back.”
- “The government would adopt a strategy to prepare human resources needed for the national development within the nation.”
- “Religious educational institutions would be promoted into mainstream.”
- “More teachers would be appointed for Science, English and Mathematics subjects at community schools.”
- “The community schools would gradually adopt English medium education.”
- “Meanwhile, Masters level students would be mobilised for volunteerism for six months in their final year of the study.”
If these plans get implemented, mothers like Jamuna will have at least one less thing to worry about.
Peace Perspectives knows that education is an imperative aspect of peace. The link between education and civil conflict has been established in several studies. For example, in a 2011 study conducted by Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), it was found out that:
- Increasing education levels overall has pacifying effect
- Rapid expansion of higher education is not a threat
- Education inequalities between groups increase conflict risk
- The content and quality of education might spur conflict
- Terrorists are well-above-average educated
Peace Perspectives believes that peace education reduces conflict and alleviates socio-economic injustices. Learn more about our work and consider donating to our community outreach activities to help us contribute in addressing some of the educational issues in Nepal.
* SLC is a nationally-administered and monitored qualifying examination for secondary/high school students.
Field Report: Riyaz Karki, Lead Field Researcher, Nepal