Education System of Nepal consists of Primary level to University education. There are 35,222 Public and Private Schools and more than 1,800 Colleges all over Nepal as of 2022. According to the recent study conducted by the Ministry of Education, the composition of school going population is about 22%. Majority of children start the schooling around the age of 3, irrespective of gender. Among the school attendants the children are able to continue their studies from primary to secondary level and higher education when given proper counselling and encouragement.
The stages of education are Early Childhood Education, Formal School Education and University Level Education. By analyzing the data collected from various resources, it can be stated that the students attending Primary schools are highest in number and the number of students attending in secondary level and university level are declining gradually.
Early Childhood Education
Pre-Primary education for children of 3-5 years of age is currently not considered as a part of formal education system. Consequently, there are a limited number of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers available for children in urban settings. According to the Department of Education, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur, the total number of ECD centers in the whole country was 23,659 as of 2008 whereas 639,031 as of 2022.
Pre-schools and ECD centers which include Nursery, Lower Kindergarten and Upper Kindergarten are being skipped by the majority of children, thereby spending their time at home. However, for the future of Nepalese children, it is worthwhile to let them attend Pre-school as they can learn and develop their knowledge in preparation to attend Primary School.
Formal School System
The formal school system involves teaching and learning within formal setting of classroom. The formal education consists of Basic level and Secondary level.
Basic Level Education: Grades 1-8
Basic Level Education consists of Schooling from Grade 1 to Grade 8. At the national level, there are 34,737 schools with lower basic levels. According to the record from Department of Education, there are 6.13 million children of age 5 to 12 enrolled in basic level education as of 2022. The percentage of boys are 51.1% whereas girls make 48.9% of the total population.
Secondary Level Education: Grades 9-12
Secondary Level Education consists of Schooling from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The ncenepal reports state that there are 15,170 schools with Secondary levels at the national level. There are 1.39 million children aged 13 to 16 enrolled in secondary level education as of 2016. Out of the total population, the percentage of boys attending school are 49.2% and the girls 50.8%.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for regulating the overall education system from curriculum development to school establishment in 7 provinces. There are various other regulatory bodies designated to oversee the education system at different levels including Secondary Education Examination (SEE) Board, that conducts and regulates the examination of grade 10. National Examination Board (NEB) regulates the conduction and regulation of examination of 11 and 12 grade. There are other systems like Cambridge Assessment International Education that regulates the conduction of A-Level education.
Nepalese Universities have been providing the education and the courses that are of standard quality and are able to cater to the students at an International Standard. They facilitate the modified course structures and are reviewing the teaching methodologies. About 3,61,077 students are enrolled in higher education as of 2022. The Undergraduate studies commences after secondary education and prior to the post-graduate education. Graduate Education system consists of two parts: Under-graduation (UG) and Post-graduation (PG).
It takes three or four years to complete an “Undergraduate Degree". The undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree courses are conducted by colleges under various Universities including Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, Pokhara University, Purbanchal University, Mid-Western University, Far Western University, Lumbini Buddhist University, Rajarshi Janak University and Nepal Open University.
The purpose of establishment of the Open university is to expand the access of higher education to mass people who do not have access to conventional higher/tertiary education. The university therefore now is striving to make programs that are inclusive and relevant to the national needs of creating knowledge society and preparing youth for world of work in Nepal and equally competent for the global market.
After completion of Undergraduate education, the universities allow students to take admissions for Post-Graduate studies under various streams and subject areas. Anyone who wishes to specialize in their field may choose to pursue post graduate course by following the designated criteria. Post graduate education are studied for 2 to 5 years, Masters, MPhil and Phd are the degrees that are available for specialization.
Many students believe that formal education can provide academic knowledge whereas there are another group of students who work towards vocational education to gain practical knowledge on the respective subject matter. Vocational education includes the short-term courses and hands-on experience that emphasizes on the concept "learning by doing". In Nepal, the vocational courses are available at various levels and are regulated by Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).
There are Public as well as Community Schools that provide courses offered by CTEVT. Diploma/PCL, TSLC and Short-term courses, are available in different sectors to provide education for technical and skillful human resources.