While the net enrolment of students has increased to almost universal in recent years, the quality of education for the majority of students is still abysmal. There is a danger that students and parents will be disenchanted, and fewer children will attend government schools if the question of quality is not considered. Early Grade Reading Assessments in Nepal and other developing countries has shown that the majority of children in Grade III are not reading at Grade I level. Data collected by World Education (WE) and RBF in Lalitpur, Gulmi, Banke, and Kalikot validate the point. RBF and WE have developed a complete reading package to be used in Grades I –III. It is being piloted in the districts mentioned above, as well as in Accham and Bajura through UNICEF, making the total number of schools participating in the pilot to 320.
It is hoped that, with concerted effort in the early grades, children will learn to read in Grade I, and will achieve the level of fluency in Grade III that will enable them to tackle any reading material at their grade level. Early grades achievement builds confidence and will help students do well across the subject areas and develop a love for reading.