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Improving learning for vulnerable girls in Nepal


Early marriage, domestic or family work, and taboos surrounding menstruation all prevent adolescent girls in Nepal from going to and staying in school for long enough to get the consistent, quality education they deserve.

When in classrooms, girls have historically been overlooked and undervalued.

Over four years, our Sisters for Sisters' Education project is keeping vulnerable girls in school, and helping those who have dropped out to get back into education. We do this through:

  • Direct coaching and support for girls from peer mentor 'big sisters'
  • Community mobilisation from volunteer ‘adult champions’ to engage families and raise awareness of the value of girls’ education
  • Specialist volunteer support and training at 48 schools and at government level to make education more inclusive for girls across Nepal 

Making a real difference to girls

The results of this project to date speak for themselves:

  • Almost all (92%) of the 1,280 little sisters recruited into the project are still in school – with 70% saying mentoring motivates them to stay in school
  • 60 out-of-school girls have so far been re-enrolled in schools
  • 144 teachers trained by volunteers showed are teaching in a more gender-sensitive manner
  • All schools trained to complete girl-friendly school improvement plans have documented measures they will take to address gender equality including providing separate bathrooms and fairer classroom arrangements
  • The Nepal Government Ministry for Education has launched a new Equity Strategy to improve girls’ education and drafted a plan for implementation
  • 731 girls who are out-of-school or behind have received learning support classes to catch up on crucial education. In Parsa district, the exam pass rate for girls who attended the classes increased from 23% to 91% in the space of just three months

These milestones have been achieved in the context of two massive earthquakes that struck Nepal in the spring of 2015. In their aftermath, VSO erected temporary learning centres and offered psychosocial support to girls and boys to minimise impact on education.

“I am very happy with the project because our daughter is very motivated to go to school regularly. This has helped my child improve her grades. She is now more confident and can communicate better with people, especially elders.”

Parent of a 'little sister' in Surkhet district

 

“When I started on the project, a serious feature of many lessons was the domination by and favouritism for the boy students. Two years later, and in all schools there has been change. In almost all of the 36 lessons I observed there was equal teaching of boys and girls.” 

 

Hear VSO education volunteer Ann Marcer talk about her work on the Sisters for Sisters' project.

 

Partners

Sisters for Sisters’ Education in Nepal is run in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Department of Education, managed by VSO and funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Million Hours Fund. Our implementing partners are Global Action Nepal and Aasaman Nepal.

Support our work

Please consider making a donation, or joining us as a volunteer or partner to help us bring quality education to girls and boys.

Are you a former teaching and education volunteer that’s worked on one of our education programmes? We’d love for you to share your story with us. Please get in touch at alumnicomms@vsoint.org

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