Education to be compulsory, free in 13 selected districts

In an attempt to meet universal basic education target of the Millennium Development Goal by 2015, the government is preparing to implement free and compulsory education in 13 districts from the new academic session that begins in April next year.

The Department of Education (DoE) has selected Dhankuta, Saptari, Manang, Dolpa, Kapilvastu, Parsa, Rupandehi, Mustang, Bardiya, Dadeldhura and Kanchanpur for the pilot project. Students from grades one to eight in the districts will get free admission and stationery. The DoE will launch a door-to-door programme to bring all the children in the school system while another programme will be lunched to end dropouts.

According to DoE Director Tek Narayan Pandey, a mechanism will be developed to ensure that all the children are enrolled. For effective implementation, the government plans to deny state facilities to those who do not send their children to school. The out of school and dropout rates are high among children from marginalised and poor communities.

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