6 Access and Equity
One of the intermediate objectives of the SESP was to improve access to public secondary schooling with a particular emphasis on girls and students from poor and disadvantaged groups and districts. To achieve this objective, SESP provides funds for rehabilitation and construction of school buildings, other types of education-related infrastructure and provision of scholarships to girls and children from disadvantaged groups. It was initially the intention that these interventions would mainly be implemented in the PIDs, but it was subsequently decided to increase the scope of these activities to include the non-PIDs.
This chapter evaluates the relevance of the intermediate objective (Section 6.1), the overall effectiveness measured as progress towards the intermediate objective (Section 6.2), and efficiency and effectiveness of the various strategies launched under SESP to increase access and equity (Sections 6.3 and 6.4). The assessment is summarised in Section 6.5 including an overall assessment of the sustainability of the benefits produced. Finally, Section 6.6 includes specific recommendations for the consideration of the GoN and its partners.
The focus on creating access to secondary education through the construction of school blocks and provision of scholarships is overall assessed to be a highly relevant intervention. At the time of SESP implementation, widespread disparities existed in access to lower secondary and secondary education by region, gender, caste and ethnicity, economic status and degree of urbanisation. Similarly, the relevance of the equity aspect is confirmed by the EFA joint evaluation, which concludes that socio-economic gaps widen considerably from the lower secondary level (Norad 2008).
As the disparities were particularly conspicuous in the mid-western mountains and the far-western region, the approach of targeting specific assistance to the so-called PIDs also seems relevant, although such a targeting strategy was not part of the policy of the MoE. This, in turn, questions whether the subsequent decision to reallocate a larger part of the funds to non-PIDs was relevant from a needs-based point of view. There are indications that this decision was made to accommodate concerns that SESP was seen as favouring some districts over others. DoE has pointed out to the evaluation team that several districts reacted strongly when they learned that they were not on the PID priority list.
While the overall concept of targeting poor districts is seen as relevant, the relevance of the ten specific districts selected could arguably have been further improved if education specific indicators had been guiding the selection. Instead the selection was guided by the districts’ score on the HDI. The joint evaluation has shown that HDI and enrolment rates are not necessarily correlated. Hence, districts can have substantially different enrolment rates despite having largely similar HDI scores, as the Jumla vs. Rasuwa comparison has revealed. The targeting could also have been guided by the size of the class, which vary considerably across the country with particularly large classes being observed in the Terai districts.
Finally, the SESP interventions related to access and equity are seen as relevant in relation to beneficiary needs and priorities. During school visits, students, parents and teachers interviewed in the PID schools indicated that among the various SESP interventions, the construction and improvement of school buildings was the most relevant investment followed by scholarships.
6.2 Progress Towards Target
The SESP has performed well in terms of creating access to secondary education when assessing performance against the main outcome targets. As Chart 6.1 shows, gross enrolment rates (GER) for lower secondary (grades 6-8) increased from 60 per cent in 2003 to 78.8 per cent in 2007. Accordingly, the 2007 target of 65 per cent has been surpassed by a wide margin for lower secondary school. Net enrolment rates (NER) for lower secondary also increased during the period, although, as it would be expected, by a smaller rate, up from 42.9 per cent in 2003 to 52.9 per cent in 2007 (GoN 2008d: 60). It can furthermore be seen that the gap between girls and boys has decreased from roughly 10 percentage points to 5 percentage points over the period. Hence, whereas GER for girls has increased by 40 per cent over the period, GER for boys has only increased by 25 per cent.
Chart 6.1 – GER, Lower Secondary, 2003-07
Source: GoN, 2007.
The target has also been achieved for secondary school (grades 8-10), although the performance has been less impressive: As shown in Chart 6.2, GER for secondary went up from 46.4 per cent in 2003 to 55.9 per cent in 2007. This is just above the target of 55 per cent for 2007. In relative terms, NER for secondary has increased slightly from 29.5 per cent in 2003 to 35.3 per cent in 2007 (GoN, 2008d: 60). Girls’ GER has increased by 27 per cent compared to 15 per cent for boys.
Chart 6.2 – GER, Secondary, 2003-07
Source: GoN, 2007.
The increase in the GER has not been linear over the period. In fact a very significant increase from 2003-04 was followed by a decrease in the period 2004-06 for lower secondary, and only in the last year can a positive development be seen. Similarly, a “bump” in the curve can be detected for secondary, although it is less significant than for lower secondary. As mentioned, the insurgency was at its peak in the period 2004-06, which provides a plausible explanation for the registered drop.
The increase in enrolment coincides with only a marginal change in dropout rates, while repetition rates have decreased significantly for grade 8 and grade 10. Particularly for grade 10, the possibility of re-examination one month later if failed in up to two subjects can explain this change. Hence, there is some evidence that schools have been able to handle the increase in access without jeopardising internal efficiency. Even so, as pointed out by Association of International NGOs (AIN), dropout continues to be a challenge among girls, who are often taken out of school to do domestic work at the age of 13-14 years.
Considerable improvements in access had already been registered at the time of SESP launch, and the question is to what degree the PID intervention has contributed to sustaining the momentum in enrolment. The results of comparing PIDs to non-PIDs are shown in Table 6.1 (p. 41). The table summarises the charts available in Appendix 7 by showing the results of comparing the relative change in GER over the period 2003-07 for PIDs to the relative change in non-PIDs at national and regional levels, and for the focused comparisons. The table assesses the difference in percentage points between PIDs and non-PIDs by the final year of the comparisons (i.e. 2007). The number of plusses or minuses indicates the scope of the difference. If the difference between the two scores is less than 5 percentage points, the difference is not treated as substantial.
The table shows that the GER in the PIDs has, in relative terms, increased considerably more than the nation as such, especially at the secondary level. This is also the case when the comparison is limited to the two regions with sizable number of PIDs: mid-western and far-western. Again, these results are clearest at the secondary level. In the western region, by contrast, the increase in PID enrolment has not outperformed the increase in the non-PID districts. However, the western region includes only one PID, which makes the PID observation more vulnerable to district specific factors. In summary, the results aggregated at national and regional levels largely confirm that PIDs have performed relatively better than the non-PIDs. This is, however, to some extent expected, as the PIDs start from a nominally lower point of departure. Still, the fact remains that positive changes have been created in the PIDs, which in itself is a notable achievement, given that PIDs have been selected because of their poor point of departure. More analytical strength could have been added to the analysis by comparing trends in the PIDs over time with the period preceding the PID intervention, but reliable enrolment time series data are not available for this period.
The results are less clear at the level of focused comparisons. The non-PID of Bardiya outperforms Kailali, while the PID of Doti outperforms Dadeldhura, and the PID of Jumla outperforms Rasuwa.
The mixed picture emerging from the focused comparisons may be explained by the fact that many factors other than the PID intervention explain changes in enrolment. These factors include
- After the MTR revisions of SESP, an increasing amount of infrastructure and especially scholarships were also provided to non-PID districts
- The effect of the school buildings and scholarships have not yet fully materialised due to delays in the first years of SESP implementation
- The effect may be diluted by the performance of non-PID schools in PIDs
- The focused comparisons are influenced by the fact that the PID of Kailali comes from a higher nominal point of departure than its comparator Bardiya, while the PIDs of Jumla and Doti at the outset displayed enrolment levels inferior to those observed in the districts they are compared to. Hence, a small nominal change in Jumla and Doti would lead to a large relative change, while the opposite is the case in Kailali. This may be part of the reason why Kailali as the only PID is outperformed in relative terms by its comparator.
With these reservations in mind, it is still the overall assessment that the scholarships and infrastructure provided under SESP have contributed to boosting enrolment in the PIDs as the national and regional level comparisons suggest.
In addition, SESP set out to increase the participation of girls from 40 per cent to 50 per cent in both lower secondary and secondary. As already noted, GER for girls has increased relatively more than for boys, which was expected due to the lower point of departure for girls’ GER. As Chart 6.3 illustrates, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) has increased rather consistently in the period 2003-08 and is close to one, especially for lower secondary, but the SESP target of equal participation has not yet been achieved.
Table 6.1 further shows that girls’ enrolment has increased considerably in the PIDs compared to the rest of the nation. This difference also applies when the PIDs in the midwestern and far-western regions are compared to the non-PIDs in their region.
Table 6.1 Indexed Enrolment Rates, 2003-07: Trends for PIDs Compared to non-PIDs
|Trend in indexed PID enrolment rate compared to non-PID
||Western (1 PID
of 16 Districts)
(4 PID of 15)
(5 PID of 8)
|Jumla (PID) vs Rasuwa
||Kailali (PID) vs Bardiya
||Doti (PID) vs. Dadel-|
Source: Charts in Appendix 7
Legend: LSS Lower secondary school; SS Secondary school; ++ PIDs scoring >15 percentage points higher than non-PIDs by 2007; + PIDs scoring 6-15 percentage points higher than non-PIDs by 2007; = Difference between PIDs and non-PID no greater the 5 percentage points by 2007; - non-PIDs scoring 6-15 percentage points higher than PIDs by 2007; - - non-PIDs scoring >15 percentage points higher than PIDs by 2007;
The SESP also set out to similarly increase the access of disadvantaged groups by 2007. “Similarly” in this context is understood as an increase of 25 per cent in GER, and disadvantaged groups are understood as Dalits, Janajati and the disabled. Chart 6.4 below tracks the development in Dalit enrolment at lower secondary in absolute numbers. Over the period, total Dalit enrolment has increased by 36 per cent, while enrolment for Dalit girls has increased by almost 73 per cent. A similar trend applies to secondary school, where the absolute number of Dalits has increased by 52 per cent over the period, while enrolment for girls has increased by 65 per cent. Although the absolute enrolment numbers need to be related to the increase in the Dalit population over the programme period, it seems safe to conclude that the very significant increase in Dalit enrolment represents an increase also in relative terms.
Chart 6.3 – GPI for Gross Enrolment Rates
Source: GoN, 2008d: 62.
Chart 6.4 – Dalit Enrolment at Lower Secondary, 2003-08
Source: GoN, 2008a.
Enrolment for the Janajati population has also increased throughout 2004-07. Enrolment in lower secondary and secondary has, measured in absolute numbers, increased by approximately 40 per cent over the period. The increase in Janajati enrolment for girls was slightly higher, at approximately 45 per cent for both levels. As above, it is expected that these very significant increases in absolute enrolment numbers also represent an increase in relative terms.
As pointed out by the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN) and the MoE, enrolment rates for children with disabilities are also reported to have increased significantly during the period of SESP implementation. However, the EFA joint evaluation pointed out that a substantial group of children with disabilities are not enrolled in school. Again, proportionate enrolment figures are not available, since the size of the total population is unknown.
All the districts and schools visited by the evaluation have, as the national level data shows, experienced an increase in the enrolment of students. They have also stated that there are now more Dalits (in the case of Doti, Dadeldhura and Jumla) and Janajatis (in the case of Bardiya and Kailali) at the lower secondary and secondary levels. Awareness of the importance of continuing to lower secondary and secondary education has increased, also among Dalits, Janajatis and girls, leading to increased enrolment. However, only a few reach secondary level, as reported through the district case studies.
6.3 Physical Learning Environment
As pointed out in the EFA joint evaluation, there are no standardised indicators to assess the school learning environment in Nepal. In the absence of such indicators, the joint evaluation makes use of a two-fold definition comprising a hard and a soft aspect. The hard aspects, covered in this section, mainly concern the quality and appearance of classrooms, including lighting, furniture and availability of features such as separate toilets for girls and boys, libraries, science labs, sport facilities etc. As fully acknowledged by the SESP, such hardware needs to be coupled with interventions aimed at improving the “softer” aspects of the learning environment, such as the behaviour of the teachers and their approach to teaching and inclusion. The “soft” aspects are covered in the following chapter on quality (refer to the subsection on didactic and teaching methods in Section 7.2 (p. 54).
According to the SESP Core Document, one of the key activities of the programme is the rehabilitation and improvement of public secondary schools in poor communities and districts. The work mainly involves construction of school blocks, but also construction of mountain hostels/feeder hostels for students from disadvantaged communities, provision of girls’ toilets and installation of IT equipment.
The initial target of building 150 schools in PIDs was revised upwards to 190 by the November 2005 Review Mission. It was also decided in the course of the programme to use funds for 400 additional classrooms outside the PIDs. A provision of female teachers’ accommodation was also included in the Core Document. This was, however, subsequently decided against, since the proposed location for these centres was assessed to be inappropriate and no budget was available for purchasing alternative plots of land. Similarly, as pointed out by an MoE official, it was initially planned to develop master plans for the all schools based on existing infrastructure, but this could not be done due to budget constraints.
In the PID districts visited by the evaluation team, the DEOs informed the team that a field survey had been carried out by an engineer to identify the schools that required support for classroom construction. Based on the survey, the DEO forwarded a list of eligible schools to the DoE, and the DoE had decided the allocation of blocks. This was done to avoid unnecessary politicisation. In Doti, for example, the schools had been selected according to physical infrastructure and size of the student population. In the case of Jumla, a “re-selection” took place to select schools closer to district headquarters. Mainly due to the insurgency, it was not possible to carry out the proposed works in the original selection.
The budget for construction was reduced to USD 55,000 per school from originally 78,000 by the MTR. As reported by the DoE, dollar inflation and price increases affected the budget in some districts, but negative and positive cost variations more or less evened it out. Hence, only a 5-10 per cent increase in the total budget for civil works was expected, as reported by the DoE Physical Section.
The construction of the school blocks was delayed for the first two years. As pointed out by the DoE, original cost estimates were in many cases too high for some items, while too low for others. Secondly, there was no provision in the original budget for a design/ engineering consultant to provide a master plan for the schools. Procurement modalities also constituted a challenge. Under EFA and BPEP II, procurement was done through the community, but for SESP it was to be done by the DEO. In order to facilitate this, a three-day procurement training course was delivered, but several districts still faced capacity constraints in carrying out the procurement. In some cases, it was difficult for the DEOs to locate a qualified contractor in the area.
The School Management Committees (SMC) and local community representatives interviewed by the evaluation team further complained that they were not sufficiently involved in the procurement and supervision of the works and contracts and that the design of the buildings, centrally determined by DoE, did not allow for local adaptation where relevant. This in turn has led to a situation where the visited schools and the SMCs have felt somewhat ignored, and it is likely that local level ownership to the works could have been stronger if the SMCs had been more involved in the procurement process from the beginning.
The location of the PIDs further added to the implementation delays as pointed out by DoE. Some of the PIDs are not easily accessible, making it difficult to bring materials to the districts. It seems that this could have been foreseen at the outset of SESP so as to allow for realistic planning.
To assess the quality of the buildings, several visits were carried out during SESP implementation by DoE Physical Section, especially in the PIDs. Based on DoE Physical Section’s own experience, quality has not been a major issue, and it is reported that the regular supervision of consulting engineers has played a key role in ensuring adequate quality. Based on evidence from the district case studies, the picture is more blurred. The evaluation visited six schools which had received SESP school blocks. There were complaints about the quality in almost all of the schools visited. The complaints included a roof which was not suited to the local weather conditions, water seeping into the classrooms during the rainy season, cracked walls and stairs, doors and windows which could not be shut properly, as well as defective and insufficient electrical installations among others. Because of such perceived construction defects, the SESP blocks had not yet been transferred from the contractor to the school in five of the 12 schools visited.
Moreover, according to the National Federation of the Disabled, new school buildings are more accommodating to the needs of disabled students. However, none of the schools visited were disabled-friendly in terms of access to the school buildings and the individual classrooms. The district case studies and reports from the NFDN also indicated that disabled students face problems accessing toilets.
As pointed out by the DoE Physical Section, the awareness of the need for maintenance is generally very low. In keeping with this observation, the evaluation did not find any evidence of school maintenance plans, and it was the impression that SMC members and HT found it too early to consider maintenance, as the buildings were new. However, good practice from one school visited in a non-PID suggests that there may be scope for involving secondary students in the actual maintenance work as part of their practical orientation.
The concerns about quality notwithstanding, the overall impression is positive. The new and refurbished classroom blocks provided through SESP have clearly led to an improvement in the physical learning environment, and the new buildings are consistently cited by stakeholders as being among the most significant and also visible changes created by SESP. The classrooms inspected during the district case studies were generally spacious, well lit, had ventilation and were, by most measures, significantly different from old buildings. This is confirmed by evidence from various stakeholders such as the Teachers’ Union. Moreover, students unanimously mentioned during the focus group discussions in the districts that the new classrooms have improved the learning environment considerably, making them feel more comfortable. The main issues are the need for greater involvement of the school/SMC in the procurement and supervision process. A closer involvement and greater role for the school could possibly lead to closer supervision of the contractor, possibly avoiding some of the quality issues that were observed by the evaluation team. Similarly, a stronger role for the school management early on in the process will make it more likely that the school feels responsible for thinking about maintenance measures early on.
The SESP Core Document proposed to provide 36,100 scholarships within the programme period of the following different types:
- Full scholarships of NRP 1,700 annually, benefiting 31,070 students from marginalised communities
- Support for 120 students from ethnic minority groups
- Grants for schools to support 11,000 Dalit and marginalised students
- Grants for support to 558 students with disabilities (GoN 2005).
Five thousand of the full scholarships were earmarked for the ten PIDs, equivalent to 16 per cent. The numbers of the full scholarships were subsequently revised upwards by the 2006 mid-term review to 60,000 annually, two thirds of which were for girls. According to DoE, 6,819 of the scholarships were provided to the PIDs, which make up 11 per cent of the total quota.
Similarly, regarding the Dalit scholarships for last year (2007/08), out of the total quotas of 119,686, the ten PIDs received 12,756, which again is 11 per cent of the total quota. SESP’s scholarship programme focus was thus considerably expanded from 2006/07, while at the same time shifting focus towards the non-PIDs. Accordingly, the scholarship programme has also had a significant and increasing focus outside the PIDs.
The demand for scholarships has been far greater than the supply, although the evaluation has seen examples of international non-government organisations (INGOs) and municipalities providing scholarships to lower secondary and secondary students. Local provisions of scholarships are, however, mostly targeted at primary level students.
For disabled students it can be noted that whereas 1,200 requested scholarship five years ago, the number has now increased to roughly 5,000. This in turn has led to a heavy pressure from communities in deciding the allocations of scholarships. District case studies show that head teachers and SMC members are often under pressure from parents when deciding on scholarships. In some places, the DEO has intervened; in others, SMC and teachers have worked together to make the list of recipients public in the interest of transparency and to avoid conflicts.
The mismatch between demand and supply has caused many schools to develop innovative approaches. In some districts (the extent of this practice is not known), the fixed amount has been reduced to be able to allocate scholarships to a greater number of children. This practice has also been observed by the OAG and most of the DEOs interviewed by the evaluation team.
In some districts, there is also confusion about the difference between the various scholarships available, which may further increase the risk that they are not managed and allocated according to transparent guidelines and principles. Similarly, the EFA Joint Evaluation and AIN have indicated to the evaluation team that districts and schools have found it difficult to cope with the many different types of scholarships, and to identify the right and needy children and ensure transparency. This is confirmed by the Nepal-based INGOs and national NGOs, who also administer scholarships.
DoE strongly believes that scholarships have led to greater access to education. As one official says: “If we stop scholarships, then they cannot continue”. Similarly, scholarships are believed to have a significant impact on the enrolment of disabled students. According to the NFDN, almost all disabled children in schools receive a scholarship.
Research supports the above-mentioned view. A “Review and Design of the Incentive and Scholarship Programmes for Primary and Secondary Education” was carried out for DoE by the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) in April 2004. The study found that among the Dalit students, provision of scholarship is a major attraction to go to school and that failure at examination is a major cause of dropout.
The study further revealed that a number of other factors, including the realisation of the value of education, affected children’s schooling. An important lesson from this is that if scholarship programmes are run in isolation without emphasising the need for parental education, eliminating the traditional negative values that discourage the education of girls and Dalits, and bringing about major reforms in the delivery of educational services, their mainstreaming could be slow and the overall effect less than optimal (IIDS, 2004: 35-36). Moreover, the national Dalit organisations point out to the evaluation that information on scholarships does not reach to the poorest Dalit families, which may also reduce the overall effectiveness of the scholarship scheme in the sense that it does not reach the most relevant beneficiaries. In view of the fact that scholarships represent a very significant investment in SESP it seems pertinent to undertake further studies on the utilisation, results and impact of the scholarship programmes including tracer-studies to assess the medium and long term behavioural changes in the target population. The purpose of such studies would be to give directions as to how the effectiveness and targeting of the scholarships could be improved.
Limited research has been carried out to track the performance of those receiving scholarships. An assessment of SESP’s impact on girls’ education was carried out in the beginning of 2009 (GoN 2009). The assessment analysed girls’ overall access to general secondary education, their SLC performance and a focused, in-depth analysis of their achievements in the ten PID districts. Five districts were selected for in-depth analysis, including Kailali and Doti. The assessment concluded that SESP has positively impacted enrolment indicators, and particularly the results of girls’ education had been encouraging in the PID districts. The stakeholders interviewed by the assessment team perceived scholarships for girls to be among the key reasons for the increase in access.
Moreover, head teachers (HTs), teachers, and SMC members were positive towards the effect of scholarships on Dalit enrolment rates. However, they also explained that many dropped out at a later stage. In some of the schools visited, the SMC waited to transfer the amount to the parents until the second quarter of the school year, mainly to avoid a situation where parents enrol their children only to cash in the scholarship amount.
The question remains whether the practice observed in several districts to reduce the amount of scholarships to reach more students leads to a situation where the combined effect of the scholarships is reduced. For example, representatives of the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), also from Doti, reported that the practice of reducing the Dalit scholarship amount from Rs 500 to Rs 250 per year has made it very difficult for Dalit families to keep their children in school, as they also have to pay fees for admission, tuition, examination and other expenses for clothing and stationery. Similarly, the Dalit NGO Federation pointed out that the drop-out rate continues to be high among Dalit girls, reportedly because the scholarships are seen as inadequate.
These observations are to some extent confirmed by the 2009 assessment (GoN 2009), which reports that insufficient scholarship quotas leading to reduced amounts and delayed delivery have created frustration among students and have eventually led to them dropping out of school. Accordingly, while the scholarships have clearly been effective in boosting enrolment, the retention and performance of the scholarship recipients may be negatively influenced by the decision in many districts to reduce the approved scholarship amount. Charts 6.5 and 6.6 below show the retention rates for all Janajati and Dalit students in the lower secondary and secondary levels of all of Nepal.
While Janajati students basically match the curve for all students, Dalits have a lower rate of retention. It is notable that the increase in Dalit retention has been able to keep up with the performance of the general population. Retention rates for Dalits have even surpassed the levels of the other groups for the secondary level in 2008. A comparison at regional level of average retention rates for Dalit students in PIDs compared to non-PIDs reveals no major differences.
Chart 6.5 Student Retention Rate by Groups, Lower Secondary Education, 2006-08
Source: DoE Flash Reports, various years, CD-ROM
Chart 6.6 Student Retention Rate by Groups, Secondary Education, 2006-08
Source: DoE Flash Reports, various years, CD-ROM
The objectives of access and equity are assessed to be highly relevant and the related outputs, provision of school blocks and scholarships, have met a high demand.
There are indications that outputs could have been delivered in a more efficient way. Greater involvement by the schools in the procurement process and a greater reliance on national procurement regulations could have increased efficiency and ensured closer supervision of the construction works.
The fact that SESP targets for GER, NER and GPI have been reached suggests that the programme has been reasonably effective: The significant increase in enrolment coincides with SESP implementation, and performance has been particularly impressive in the PIDs, if comparisons are limited to the national and regional levels. This in turn strengthens the argument that SESP has had contributed positively to creating access to secondary education.
The more spacious classrooms and better ventilation have markedly improved the physical learning environment, which in turn is believed to have contributed to increased access. Moreover, the scholarship scheme has been implemented efficiently, but through various modalities that may have reduced the overall effectiveness of the scheme in cases where the amount per individual has been significantly reduced from the initial target.
The development and implementation of maintenance plans do not seem to be a priority in the visited districts. This in turn questions the long-term sustainability of the investments put into the various constructions provided.
Moreover, from a sustainability point of view, scholarships are not in themselves a viable solution. However, it is possible that by making scholarships available, SESP has contributed to a gradual acceptance of girls and disadvantaged groups.
6.6 Specific Recommendations
The following recommendations are proposed for consideration of the GoN and its partners:
- The construction of school blocks at the lower secondary and secondary levels should be continued
The recommendation is made in view of the large class-size observed in parts of the country, notably in the Terai districts. Identification of the schools with additional classroom needs should be guided by the student/classroom ratio, which is already available in the EMIS data. School blocks will provide a highly necessary basis for expanding enrolment and improving the physical aspects of the learning environment. All school construction, including toilets, must be accessible for children with disabilities. Furthermore, sufficient toilets should be integral in any school construction activity.
- Procurement should follow national regulations
The recommendation presupposes that the national legal framework and regulations satisfy minimum criteria as defined by the OECD/DAC. Secondly, to improve overall procurement management, a procurement plan for the entire programme should be prepared at the outset and updated annually as part of the ASIP exercise.
- The construction of school blocks should be combined with specific provision for setting up a maintenance programme
A deeper involvement of the SMCs in the procurement and supervision of the centrally funded classroom construction works may increase the likelihood that the quality of the works is monitored more closely, and that the school and community will take ownership of maintenance early on. First, a matching fund principle can be applied for maintenance, whereby the local school community and the central government share the costs of maintenance on an equitable basis. Second, the practice of involving secondary students in the actual maintenance work may be replicated more widely to institutionalise the culture of maintenance.
- The scholarship programme should be continued
Scholarships have a positive effect on enrolment and the current demand is far greater than the supply of scholarships. However, the practice of reducing the amount should be stopped in order to not counteract the intervention. Instead, the number of scholarship quotas can be increased by establishing basket funds at national, district and village levels with contributions from the central government, development partners, District Development Committees (DDCs), Village Development Committees (VDC) and civil society.
 No data are available for this year.
This page forms part of the publication 'Joint Evaluation of the Secondary Education Support Programme' as chapter 8 of 14
Version 1.0. 17-05-2010
Publication may be found at the address http://www.netpublikationer.dk/um/10395/index.htm