KATHMANDU: The Government of Nepal and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a concessional loan agreement amounting to $200 million (equivalent to Rs 26.51 billion) for supporting the first five years of the School Education Sector Plan (2022–2030) and a grant agreement of $12 million to implement the Strengthening Systems to Protect and Uplift Women Project, the Ministry of Finance said in a press statement.
The project will benefit survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) across Madhes, Lumbini, and Sudurpashchchim provinces through the establishment of long-term rehabilitation centres, development of survivor-friendly facilities for the Women, Children and Senior Citizen Service Centres within selected districts and area police offices and strengthening of survivor-friendly services in these provinces. The project will also build a new national long-term rehabilitation centre in Bhaktapur.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Ishwori Prasad Aryal, and Saugata Dasgupta, ADB Officer-in-Charge for Nepal signed the agreements in this regard on Tuesday. The proposed assistance will support the implementation of the government’s School Education Sector Plan in a sector-wide approach supported by eight development partners, including ADB under the Joint Financing Arrangement.
“The programme will enhance learning provisions for basic and secondary schools; strengthen teaching and learning skills in schools; accelerate the recovery from learning losses caused by the Covid 19 pandemic; and improve the capacity of local governments in education planning, monitoring and reporting,” according to the statement.
On the occasion, Aryal said Nepal has done significantly in terms of improving access to education in the past decades however, much more needs to be done to further improve equity of access and the quality of education.
The programme will be crucial to operationalise Nepal’s holistic approach in improving the overall learning outcomes, said Aryal.
“This agreement is a key part of ADB’s overall efforts to help Nepal accelerate reforms and transform the country’s education system to develop human capital, reduce social inequity, and attain sustainable growth. The plan is designed towards eliminating inequities in access and participation in school education, and improving quality and resilience of school education,” Dasgupta is quoted as saying.