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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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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|
|Program implementation and multiplier||2020||24,442,000||0||World Bank|
|Program implementation||2016-2019||59,300,000||59,219,165||World Bank||Completion report|
|Sector plan development||2019-2020||496,698||0||UNICEF|
|Program development||2018-2019||130,000||129,995||World Bank|
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.