The government has claimed that the country will be ‘total literate’ by the end of the current fiscal year.

Currently, Nepal’s literacy rate stands at 65.9 per cent, according to National Census 2011 by Central Bureau of Statics. However, over three million adults are literate in three years since the Census 2011 that has increased the literacy rate to 84 per cent, according to Non-Formal Education Centre, a government body that conducts literacy classes across the country.
The government is planning to enroll some 1.74 million adult illiterates – aged between 15 and 60 years – in over 20,000 classes by the end of the current fiscal year to achieve the target of total literacy.

In South Asia, Sri Lanka and Maldives have over 95 per cent literacy rate, though they have not yet declared total literate.

If the government move continues as planned, Nepal could be the first country in the South Asia to be ‘total literate’.

The government has also declared the current fiscal year 2014-15 as the Illiteracy Elimination Year to achieve the target.

According to data revealed by Non-Formal Education Centre, only 1,745,334 people above 15 years of age are illiterate. The centre has decided to recruit some 20,000 teachers and mobilise students and volunteers to help achieve the government target. It will cost the government Rs 1.05 billion, the centre estimated, adding that some 1.46 million illiterate people are from 16 districts in Tarai and Nuwakot, the worst among the Hill districts.

The government has already declared Sindhupalchok, Lalitpur, Palpa, Dhading and Mustang as ‘total literate’ on the basis of 95 per cent literacy rate.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has envisaged to eliminate illiteracy by 2015. The MDG Number 2 calls for achieving universal primary education by 2015, according to global commitment. Of the eight MDGs, Nepal seems to near around five – from one to five (to halve the number of undernourished people, to achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, and improve maternal health – but goal number eight is not achievable, though there has been some progress in goal six and seven.


Districts with highest illiteracy

District – Illiterates

Mahottari – 166,286

Sarlahi – 160,168

Dhanusha – 153,219

Rautahat – 125,010

Siraha – 108,205

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