Nepal is a developing country in Southeast Asia bordered by China and India. Education in Nepal is a relatively new concept with only 5% of the adult population being literate in 1951. With the emergence of formal schools, that number jumped to 60% by 2010. However, Nepal continues to struggle with issues of high poverty and hunger and ranks 145th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014.
lliteracy rate in rural communities
of people live below the poverty line of US $1.25 a day
Bhitri Sankram, Nepal
Nepal has a population of 28 million people. Although Nepal’s ranking on the UN’s Human Development Index has steadily improved over the last ten years, a quarter of the population remains below the poverty line of US $1.25 a day. Before Nepal’s revolution in 1950, only 1 child in 100 attended school; now, the total adult literacy rate in Nepal is just over 50% nationally. In rural communities like Bhitri Sankram the illiteracy rate still nears 80%.
The village of Bhitri Sankram is located in the midwestern region of Nepal in the Dang district. It is 18 km from the closest paved road and 300 km from Dhangadhi. Most residents of Bhitru Sankram generate income by growing rice, wheat and maize. Some travel abroad to find work.
At the time of construction, there were no permanent classrooms at the Shree Malika Primary School, only a makeshift school built of wood and tin roofing sheets. These classrooms did not protect students during the monsoon season and were a dangerous place to study year round.
The new school has new classrooms, chalkboards and gender specific latrines. There are currently 94 students enrolled (52 girls and 42 boys) in grades 1 through 3. The school has 3 teachers.