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Education in Nepal

Nepal Education has only recently started to develop. The Rana regime in Nepal has suppressed education in Nepal so much that it had inflicted a blow to Nepal Education. Rana regime feared educated public so education was never encouraged there. There were only few English middle and high schools and a girls' high school in Kathmandu prior to Second World War. After end of this regime in 1951, education in Nepal was given importance. Though an education System was established in Nepal, thousands of poverty - stricken people could not send their children to school. During 1975  free primary education was offered to children by the then government. Caste problem was a major deterrent in development of Education of Nepal then. Some of the schools were set in town, so children staying in village cannot attend there. Moreover the cost of living in town was so high that people could not afford to stay there. English education and its supremacy spread in 1991.  Illiteracy rates in Nepal are about 58% 72% being women. The Education System of Nepal is based on that of United States. Nepal has received assistance from various NGOs. Several International Organizations also helped Nepal with its education System and giving primary education to rural children. Nepal Government has realized that education is the only way to curb poverty in Nepal. So they are trying hard to develop their education. Now there are about 26 thousand schools, 415 colleges and five universities and two academics of higher studies.

Published on Feb 8, 2015

Our final media project in the "Global Volunteer" course at ActionAid Nepal. 
Being a volunteer is a small solution to a very big problem, but small change can also make a difference.

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Universities in Pakistan

Lahore, Pakistan: University of the Punjab

Higher Education in Pakistan: An ICT Integration Viewpoint

Published on Aug 15, 2014

و رفعنا لك ذكرك
صلى الله عليه و اله وسلم 
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

InshAllah, from this day onwards.. we will march faster towards our destiny.

Our interview with a youth group on the aims, objectives and ethos of a true education system for Pakistan. Released on August 14th, MashAllah !

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Bangladesh’s Development Surprise:
A Model for Developing Countries

Alongside the progress in education, health, and gender equity, Bangladesh is also in the midst of a growth takeoff that has reduced poverty and doubled per capita income since 2002. Photo/Conor Ashleigh

By many metrics, Bangladesh’s development trajectory is a unique success story, especially since the 1990s when democratic rule was reinstated and extensive economic reforms were made. Poverty incidence has fallen from 60 percent to around 30 percent. Gender parity has been achieved in primary and secondary school enrollment.

The total fertility rate has fallen from 3.4 to 2.3 (slightly above the “replacement level”), infant and maternal mortality rates have fallen by at least half since 1990, and life expectancy has risen by 10 years to 69 (four years more than in India in 2012). Bangladesh is one of the few developing countries that is on target for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals, and is considerably ahead of target on some indicators.

These are among the fastest improvements in basic living condition ever seen in history, and they took many observers by surprise because Bangladesh’s achievements so far do not exactly fit into the typical pathways of human and social development. The Indian economist Amartya Sen, for example, distinguishes between “income-mediated” and “support-led pathways” to human development. The first is characterized by improvements in social indicators that can be traced back to rapid- and broad-based economic growth (exemplified by Korea), while the second is based on high public spending on welfare programs (as in Sri Lanka’s case). Neither is clearly applicable to Bangladesh. The economic growth rate rose significantly after 1990, but it only reached 6 percent in 2004, and has never exceeded 7 percent. Furthermore, spending on education and healthcare (2.2% and 3.5%, respectively, of GDP in 2012) is below the average for low-income countries.

Thus, although the improvement in Bangladesh’s growth rate since 1990 is impressive, it does not fully explain the country’s extraordinary results with regard to social development. Several other countries in South and Southeast Asia have grown at similar or higher rates than Bangladesh in the last 10 to 15 years, including India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Yet, in comparison to these countries, Bangladesh’s social development still stands out.

Development experts have explained this discrepancy by attributing Bangladesh’s social development to the success of innovative, low-cost solutions such as microfinance programs that target women, massive social mobilization campaigns spearheaded by NGOs like BRAC, the success of the labor-intensive, export-based garments industry, and the boost to earnings and human capital provided by labor migration and inward remittances.

Reductions in Poverty and Inequality

Alongside the progress in education, health, and gender equity, Bangladesh is also in the midst of a growth takeoff that has reduced poverty and doubled per capita income (measured at purchasing power parity) since 2002. The Bangladesh government deserves praise for putting in place the essential preconditions that have allowed private sector dynamism to fuel economic growth over the last two decades. Structural reforms in the 1980s and 1990s led to broad macroeconomic stability and low fiscal deficits. This allowed the banking system to cater primarily to private investment needs and caused a significant rise in the investment-to-GDP ratio (currently at 27% of GDP). Successive governments have also had considerable success at keeping inflation at a moderate level. Bangladesh has not managed to attract high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI), but the strong performance of remittance inflows has taken on the role of FDI in bolstering the foreign exchange account and smoothing out fluctuations in GDP due to varying domestic economic conditions.

Persistent poverty is without a doubt an important issue for Bangladesh, but perhaps less so than for many other developing countries.Persistent poverty is without a doubt an important issue for Bangladesh, but perhaps less so than for many other developing countries.There are fewer class- and ethnicity-based barriers to social mobility than in many other developing countries, and the benefits of economic growth have tended to reach most levels of society, including the very poor. The main stimulus to economic growth in the country has come from labor-intensive garment exports, a vibrant and dynamic private sector, micro-and small-scale enterprises in manufacturing and services, remittances from migrant workers, and rise in the size of middle class. Moreover, estimates for the period from 2000 to 2005 suggest that the process of increasing income inequality that many other developing countries have experienced has actually slowed down or even reversed in Bangladesh.

Road to Middle-Income Status

Bangladesh has earned a reputation in the global market for low-cost, high-quality manufacturing through its garments sector. The impact of this reputation was demonstrated by the fact that the exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh rose by a sharp 19.95 percent year-on-year during the first half of financial year 2013-14, defying various odds like image crisis and political instability prevailing during the period. Due to recent increases in wages in China and India, it is likely that manufacturing in other industries may also shift to Bangladesh in the next few years, including in pharmaceuticals, plastic and ceramic goods, leather goods, shipbuilding, and light machinery (such as bicycles and batteries). An emerging export-based IT sector will also contribute to growth.

Diversification in the country’s export profile may be complemented by increased access to major markets in the region, including India and China. India has already offered duty-free market access to nearly all Bangladeshi products, and China has indicated that it may expand zero-tariff facilities to 95 percent of Bangladeshi goods. The manufacturing and service industries will also be supported by robust growth in domestic demand, which will come about as Bangladesh reaps a “demographic dividend” of increased labor supply, lower dependency ratio, and increased savings. The major challenges seem to be the political stability, predictability of policy environment, competent bureaucracy, and quality of education.

The government and the people of Bangladesh have their eyes fixed on the horizon, working hard to realize the twin dreams of eradicating extreme poverty and achieving middle-income status by 2021. The country’s success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals has shown that this is not only possible, but highly likely.

Syed A. Al-Muti is The Asia Foundation’s associate director for Economic Development Programs based in Bangladesh. He can be reached at The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not necessarily those of The Asia Foundation.

View all posts by Syed A. Al-Muti | Bio

Topics: 60 Years | Critical Issues | Development and Aid Effectiveness | Economic Development | Education | Governance | Inequality | Literacy | Middle-Income Trap |Poverty | Washington DC

Bridging the education gap in Bangladesh | UNICEF

Published on Jan 20, 2015

“If this school didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be here… I would be forced to work,” Mohammed, 13, says. Mohammed attends an ability-based learning school in Shyamnagar, Bangladesh supported by UNICEF’s Let Us Learn initiative. 

Many children in Bangladesh are out of school because they never enrolled or dropped out, largely due to poverty and child labour.

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Countries: Bangladesh

A long way to go for education in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is making strides in development, but Indooshan Shanthakumaran, 26, a Correspondent from Colombo in Sri Lanka, argues that investment in the education system is a crucial step if the country is to achieve its goals.

Though Sri Lanka has entered the new post-war development era of its history, still some parts of the educational system seem to be too traditional and out dated.

Our so-called formal education is one of the major factors which do not contribute to the growth of the country as per the expectation. One of the major defects in our system is that it guides people to a place where they end up in a situation with no way forward. For example a typical Sri Lankan student who completes the higher school and does not qualify for university will be miserable, as no any other defined system is available for an alternative career path.

The formal education system in Sri Lanka is very competitive. From the primary level onwards to the advanced level, students are guided in an exam-driven manner. They are only taught to study for exams, write the exams, and pass. The actual learning process is missing the idea that every child is unique, and talent is never realized because the curriculum says the written exams and the marks obtained are the parameter for everything.

Then comes the most important part of university entrance – our university gates are full of congestion. Every year only 10 per cent out of the entire student population that completes schooling is lucky enough to go to universities. The remaining 90 per cent have to find their own way to acquire something to fit into the labour force.

Another major defect in our formal education system is that it does not address issues like developing skills among people, for instance essential skills like interpersonal skills, communication skills, leadership skills and soft skills like music and dancing. If a child aspires to become a musician or a sports star, it solely depends on them, their parents, and their ability to deviate from the normal career pathway. More importantly the parents must be able to afford this career path. The most irritating truth is that even though we are a multicultural country and have an official tri-language policy, the interest shown in learning a second language is not appreciable.

However, there is a group among our intellectual community that shows interest in the reform of the education system as they understand the importance. Many politicians make their opinion known in parliament and there are some intentions shown by government, as science schools and cultural schools are proposed in the budget. Yet even though the debate continues, and the invitations for foreign universities are given every year, the change in education opportunities is happening at a very small rate and is not making a big impact.

This is high time that we all should take immediate action to find a better solution to the lag created in our formal education system so that we can achieve the dream of becoming the wonder nation of Asia.

photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via photopin cc

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Helping Education in Sri Lanka