The Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) has had five projects working in Nepal, which aim to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for over 30,180 of the country's marginalised girls. Access to good quality education will give these girls the chance of a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
The GEC was launched in 2012 and is the largest donor-funded global girls' education programme. Through their strong focus on improving literacy, numeracy and life skills, GEC projects are supporting girls to seek out and secure their full potential. Projects supported under the Leave No Girl Behind initiative aim to reach highly-marginalised girls and will support essential interventions to provide literacy and numeracy and skills relevant for life and work.
GEC projects are implementing a diverse range of interventions in a variety of different contexts. They are financing access to education, providing materials for learning and creating safe spaces to learn. They are working with governments, communities and schools to raise standards and to build support for girls' education. They are training and mentoring teachers and governors to improve the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of school governance. And they are working directly with girls to raise their aspirations and achievements, and enable them to transition from primary education to secondary education, or technical or vocational education and training or employment.
The GEC implements a rigorous approach to monitoring and evaluation. All projects must demonstrate the additional impact they are making on girls' learning outcomes, using robust statistical approaches. This is generating a substantial source of qualitative and quantitative evidence on successful strategies for girls to learn and thrive at school.
"There are still many challenges including high drop-out rates amongst girls, repetition of grades and absenteeism."
The government of Nepal's recent focus on education has made it more accessible, affordable and attainable. Enrolment, particularly for girls, has increased in primary schools. However, there are still many challenges including high drop-out rates amongst girls, repetition of grades and absenteeism. 9% of girls in primary school repeat grades and 4.1% drop out of primary school. This figure rises to 8.7% in secondary school.
The project aimed to empower Nepali girls to access education and safe and secure economic activities. It aimed to increase attendance and create positive community attitudes towards girls' education. It offered out-of-school girls the opportunity to become entrepreneurs, by equipping them with academic and income generating/technical skills and dispelling misconceptions about their ability to manage commercial loans. It also aimed to improve the quality of teaching and school management.
Sisters for Sisters' Education- Project completed implementation in June 2021
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
This project worked with 64 schools to improve the education of 7,272 marginalised girls, helping them to transition from primary to secondary school and leave school ready to continue their education or secure sustainable employment. The project offered remedial after school classes for girls in which well-performing students in higher grades (Big Sisters) provided academic support and mentoring to the students in lower grades. They also advised teachers on the areas to which they need to devote remedial support in class. The project provided training for teachers to improve literacy and numeracy. It also used mentoring schemes and non-formal girls' clubs to give the girls essential life skills, improve their employability and build their confidence and self-esteem.
Empowering a New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education (ENGAGE)- project completed implementation in February 2023
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
VSO’s Empowering a New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education (ENGAGE) empowered 2,340 highly marginalised, out-of-school girls – including those with disabilities – through education across three underserved districts in Nepal’s Terai region. The project equiped girls with tangible and transferable skills for better decision-making, more active roles in family decisions and the pursuit of their own economic opportunities. ENGAGE achieved this through peer-support for adolescent girls, community interventions, social support for families of children with disabilities, structured training for teachers and mentors, and a key focus on inclusivity including support to the Government of Nepal to adopt new standards in disability assessment and identification.
People in Need
People In Need’s Aarambha project will support up to 8,500 married, out-of-school adolescent girls from the central Terai region, one of the poorest regions of Nepal with the highest rates of illiteracy, innumeracy, and early marriage. The project seeks to address the issue of girls’ low social status – the principal barrier impeding their safety, health and education – and to improve their learning outcomes through formal and non-formal education methods.
Street Child’s Marginalised no More (MnM) project supported 7,500 of Nepal’s highly marginalised, Musahar girls who, due to their low-caste, face complex, often interrelated barriers and experience limited or no access to education. The project aimed to improve learning outcomes for these girls with a specific focus on functional literacy and numeracy which impacts their ability to transition into meaningful employment and income generation. In addition to accessibility issues, the project tackled the principal obstacles faced by these girls which include fears for safety and security, out-of-school affordability and in-school gender-related exclusion from curriculum and instruction.
*Number subject to adjustment following identification of beneficiaries