Nepal to integrate social and financial education in the national curriculum

Kathmandu, 12 Feb 2014 - Nepal is one of the four nations worldwide rolling out an initiative to integrate aspects of Child Social and Financial Education (CSFE) in the national curriculum. Developed jointly by UNICEF and technical partner Aflatoun, CSFE enables children and adolescents to become socially and economically empowered and encourages them to lead responsible lives and become agents of change.

 Nepal’s Ministry of Education (MoE) organized a two-day workshop in Kathmandu in January to create a plan of action for the rollout of CSFE in Nepal.

 As part of the initial phase of the rollout, Nepal will test components of CSFE curriculum at 15 schools and five alternative education centres across the five development regions.

 “The national curriculum already includes some aspects of social and financial education,” said Dr. Rojnath Pandey, Under-secretary, MoE. “We hope the CSFE integration will strengthen the curriculum further and make children and adolescents more aware.”

 This initiative is also expected to contribute to the Ministry of Education's responsibilities, as stated in the National Plan of Action, on Holistic Adolescent Development in Nepal. The NPA has a 10-year vision of an empowered and competent new generation for a better Nepal.

 UNICEF will be providing a financial support of USD 100,000 for the rollout of the two-year initiative in Nepal, which is expected to last until 2016.

  “Our focus is on learning and ensuring children and adolescents secure basic skills such as literacy and numeracy as well as a wider range of competencies that will help them survive and thrive in a complex environment,” said Maida Pasic, Education Specialist for Capacity Development at UNICEF Headquarters in New York. “This is not just about focusing on saving money, but also saving resources and developing social responsibility.”

 She went on to outline how adolescents should be understood as both current and future social and economic actors, whose decisions will influence development in Nepal. Important values of citizenship and skills in managing financial resources at an early age can lessen social and financial vulnerability, thereby reducing the risk of poverty caused by debt.

 Since 2012, UNICEF Nepal has been implementing financial literacy for adolescents in out-of-school settings under its adolescent development and participation program and advocating for CSFE in schools. Through this new initiative, that work is being extended to include primary and secondary school children and adolescents.

 The workshop was attended by officials from various national educational organizations, including the Curriculum Development Centre, National Centre for Educational Development, Non Formal Education Centre, University Grants Commission, Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training, Higher Secondary Education Board as well as UNICEF.