KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 17
Nepal’s score basically means that a child born today will be 50 per cent as productive when he or she grows up as he or she would be if she enjoyed complete education and full health. This is higher than the average for the South Asia region and the average for countries with similar level of income, both at 0.48. This was largely due to an improvement in school enrolment and institutionalising the measurement of student learning.
Today’s report shows a child who starts school at four years of age in Nepal can expect to complete 12.3 years of school by his or her 18th birthday. But factoring in what children actually learn, expected years of schooling is only 7.2 years.
The findings are, nonetheless, an improvement compared to the situation in 2018 when children in the country could expect to complete 11.7 years of pre-primary, primary and secondary school by age 18. When years of schooling were adjusted for quality of learning, it was equivalent to just 6.9 years.
“Investment in human capital is just as important as investment in infrastructure, if not more, and brings returns in the form of a healthier and more productive workforce in the long run,” Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank country director for Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka has been quoted as saying in a media release accompanying the report. “There is a need for an accelerated push to focus on investing in human capital in the recovery and rebuilding phases after the pandemic. This requires close collaborations among all three levels of the government in order to bring about large and sustainable changes.”
Among its South Asian peers, Nepal maintained its ranking of second spot, lagging behind Sri Lanka — similar to back in 2018.
Worldwide, a child born in 2020 can expect, on average,