Education in Nepal
The Nepali educational system is a new and developing element of society despite the kingdom's rich and lengthy. For 100 years, until the 1950's, the country was under the oppressive rule of the Rana regime, and education for the masses was strictly forbidden. Only the privileged members of the higher castes were allowed access to a religious education in Sanskrit, and the rest were held in ignorance. After a political revolution in 1951 the government built more schools and encouraged public education. It was a slow transition in the society and culture to become educated, and at the time of the revolution the literacy rate was only 1% among women.
In the new school system the children also started late, some in their teenage
years. The majority of the population then lived in the outlying regions far
from the city and the terrain and the way of life made it difficult to establish
standards and to manage resources. By the 1970's the United Nations helped
to implement plans for an educational system, and by the 1981 census and average
of 24% of the population were literate. The government instituted a standardized
test set at the 10th grade level that was a form of graduation. Since many
of the students had started late it was a difficult to remain in school until
completion, and even for many of the younger students it was a challenge to
match the requirements. Many of the schools were still inadequate to prepare
the students. The school system is now greatly improved, and the families that
can afford it send their children to the city for education at a boarding school.
There are some university level facilities in Kathmandu, but the programs are
of a lower standard than many others. Nepal is struggling to produce engineers
and doctors to build up the country's infrastructure and health.