COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$11 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$11 million grant supports:

  • safeguarding access and learning for all children - especially girls and children from the most marginalized groups - by using both high tech and low tech approaches
  • distance learning programs for all children through TV, radio, and the learning portal
  • additional disability inclusive content (e.g. captioning, interpretation, use of images and examples that are inclusive)
  • printing and distribution of learning kits for children from marginalized backgrounds with no access to technology
  • free bandwidth access to the learning portal through arrangements with telecom companies and internet providers
  • communication campaigns to promote the schedule of TV and radio programs; messages on the importance of education; disease prevention; and sensitization campaigns to prevent gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy
  • teacher/ head-teacher professional development opportunities to address students’ learning gaps post COVID-19
  • grants to schools with resource classrooms and special schools to address the education needs of children with disabilities – including remedial instruction
  • grants to local governments to ensure the safe re-opening of schools in areas most affected by COVID-19.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Nepal received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in its response to the pandemic. The grant was used to produce and distribute self-learning packets for Grades 0 to 3.

Education in Nepal

Nepal's School Sector Development Plan (SSDP 2016-2023) focuses on improving education quality and builds on the achievements of the previous School Sector Reform Plan (2009-2016) and the Education for All Program (2004-2009).

The SSDP is a seven-year plan, supported by a pooled funding mechanism, with a joint financing arrangement between the government and 8 development partners, with high donor coordination and use of the public financial management system.

Under the federal system, the provincial and 753 local governments are responsible for basic education provision. At the federal level, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) serves as the executing agency for SSDP. A newly established Center for Education Human Resource Development is tasked with preparing annual work plans and budgets and the annual strategic implementation plans.

Nepal has made impressive gains in improving access and equity in education in recent years, demonstrated for example by the achievement of gender parity in basic and secondary education and the increase of Dalit students in schools.

Improving the quality of education is at the heart of SSDP, due to low learning levels and inequity in learning outcomes. To address this, activities include improvements in the learning environment, pedagogical practice, curriculum, textbooks and learning materials, student assessments and the examination system.

Close to 260,000 teachers work in the basic education system (public and private).

A large variety of stakeholders participate in the planning and monitoring of the SSDP, through a well-established and coordinated joint planning and review mechanism. Two joint sector reviews take place each year.

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Latest grant

Development objective: Improve the quality, equitable access, and efficiency of basic and secondary education by supporting the government's School Sector Development Program
Allocation: US$24,200,000
Years: 2020
Grant agent: World Bank
Disbursements: US$0

The US$24.2 million implementation grant, approved in March 2019, is made up a a regular allocation of US$9.2 million and a GPE Multiplier grant of US$15 million. The program’s objective is to improve the quality, equitable access, and efficiency of basic and secondary education by supporting the government's School Sector Development Program. The program provides additional financing to the existing World Bank Nepal School Sector Development Program (US$185 million).

The GPE grant follows the World Bank's program for results instrument, with a fixed part of 60% and a results-based portion of 40% with 10 targets supporting the areas of equity, efficiency, and learning.The GPE Multiplier grant is leveraged through an additional funding of US$163.86 million from the Asian Development Bank to support disaster risk reduction and comprehensive school safety, and US$3.5 million from USAID for inclusive education.

The GPE grant directly supports key SSDP results areas clustered into three result areas:

  1. Improved teaching-learning and student learning outcomes to improve early grade learning levels, textbooks and learning materials, student assessments and examination system, teacher/school management and accountability.
  2. Improved equitable access to basic and secondary education: Pro-poor interventions, such as preparation of a database on out-of-school children, provision of grants to learning centers and schools, provision of pro-poor and pro-science scholarships for poor and marginalized students.
  3. Strengthened education system, sector planning, management and governance: Enhanced fiduciary system, improving and operationalizing the grants management system, operationalizing a web-based EMIS and improving self-reported EMIS data by schools, integrating SSDP activities in local governments' annual plans and budgets and providing open data on conditional grants released to schools.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 11,000,000 0 World Bank  
Program implementation and multiplier 2020 24,200,000 0 World Bank  
Program implementation 2016-2019 59,300,000 59,219,165 World Bank Completion report
2010-2014 117,760,473 117,760,473 World Bank  
Sector plan development 2019-2020 496,698 0 UNICEF  
2015-2016 387,608 387,608 UNICEF  
Program development 2018-2019 129,995 129,995 World Bank  
2014-2015 155,322 155,322 World Bank  
  Total 213,430,096 177,652,563    
Data last updated: October 06, 2020

GPE has also provided the National Campaign for Education - Nepal (NCE Nepal) with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Nepal, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

Primary Completion Rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated May 20, 2020