|Non Formal Education (NFE)|
One of the main reasons why Humla is so underdeveloped is due to the lack of education. Still not all the young people are enrolled in schools and very few adult and older people had ever the opportunity to go to school. In fact the figures are staggering. Government data shows that while at lest about every third man can read and write, only one out of twenty Humla women can read and write their own name. There are very few government schools and even fewer non-government educational programs. According to recent studies in Humla, today the percentage of girls involved in economic activity is 65% where as the percentage of boys is 30%. As a result of this difference in percentage between boys and girls, only 5% of girls above 15 years of age are literate whereas among boys older than 15 years of age, 34% are literate. Thus woman in Humla are still suffering form this discrimination, which is surely due to the lack of educational opportunities. These women, deprived of education, will do likewise to their own children, in particular girls; as a result of their unawareness. Thus the present unfortunate and unjust conditions will hardly improve unless opportunities of changes are brought within reach of these women and children.
In order to address this urgent need RIDS-Nepal established a new defined and developed Non-Formal-Education program, through which in particular the Humla women and children out of school are given the opportunities to enroll and participate.
Functional Literacy - A New Beginning
NFE is a basic education program for out of school girls and women who never had the opportunity to attend a school or educational program. The NFE classes aim to teach the participants through day by day issues the skill of reading, writing and basic mathematics. RIDS-Nepal runs at the moment 23 NFE classes for women and out-of-school children in the following 8 different villages in the upper district of Humla.
Two new villages are going to be added to the existing list of villages since December 2008. The two villages are Kirmi and Jharkholsi
Through the NFE classes RIDS-Nepal aims that the participants are able to read and understand by themselves simple brochures and booklets on health, family issues (such as family planning), nutrition, hygiene and so on. It will help to raise their self-esteem and rightly lets them experience that they are an important part of the society and that they have equal rights. Ultimately the goal of the NFE classes is to change people’s attitude towards education so that they realize that ongoing education is important and that they have to send as well their daughters, along with their sons, to school.
NFE as an integrated part of the wider Holistic Community Development Approach
The new defined and implemented Holistic Community Development (HCD) approach is central to RIDS-Nepal’s projects. Each individual project is wholly and strongly integrated with the other projects. That is the foundation e.g. of the “Family of 4” and “Family of 4 PLUS” HCD concept. In this way, the NFE program is an ideal tool combine and strengthen this holistic approach, because NFE classes provide new knowledge and new skills which can be applied and used in other, existing projects.
The developed NFE program follows the methodology of Functional Literacy. That means that the education material developed and applied in the class room is linked to the other, often more technical projects being implemented alongside over the course of the time in the village. Thus, the NFE classes provide basic information and new knowledge about the installed projects in the participants home and village with RIDS-Nepal as their long-term partner. Thus NFE class topic cover themes such as: Smokeless metal stoves , Light , Pit latrine , Drinking water (the "Family of 4 ") as well as Greenhouse , Solar driers and Nutrition which are a part of "Family of 4 PLUS ". That makes NFE not just functional and down to earth practical, but much more applicable and useful for all the participants.
Thus far two levels of the new NFE work book versions, the Sukhi Pariwar 1 (Happy Family 1) and Sukhi Pariwar 2 (Happy Family 2), have been published, one in year 2006 and one in year 2007/2008. The first revision of both versions has taken place in September – November 2008 and the revised versions will be used for the NFE classes starting in January 2009. Both of these books are now as well available for download purpose from our NFE download section .