The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a policy-based grant for the School Sector Program which supports the government of Nepal's ongoing education reform initiatives with stronger focus on gender, social inclusion and quality, according to a News Release issued here on Thursday.
It said that the ADB Board of Directors has approved grant finance totaling 65 million U.S. dollars from the Asian Development Fund and Technical Assistance Special Fund grant of 500,000 U.S. dollars for the program.
"The program will go beyond providing critical inputs like school buildings and textbooks to addressing all the various components that make an education system work such as quality, policy reforms, incentives, safety issues, management and governance," said Sungsup Ra, director of ADB's South Asia Human and Social Development Division.
"The program will also strongly focus on equitable access and quality education, and make a concerted effort to reach out-of- school children, especially girls, from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups," said Ra.
The program has an innovative approach to improve the safety of school buildings which are susceptible to natural hazards. It will also strengthen institutional capacity of the government agencies to implement the program effectively, mitigate fiduciary risks, and strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems.
"Nepal has been able to undertake a series of ground breaking reforms in school education, and impressive progress has been made in recent years, particularly with regards to access to education, " said Barry J. Hitchcock, ADB country director for Nepal.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the Asia and Pacific region.