Govt all set to bring 60,000 street, HIV-hit kids into school system

The government is all set to bring around 60,000 street and HIV/AIDS affected children into the school system and give them free education up to the primary level.

Such a programme to be implemented by the Ministry of Education, in coordination with the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), is targeted at achieving the Millennium Development Goal that envisions universal primary education for all by 2015. Government estimates show around 700,000 (around 5 percent) children are outside the school system, while 60,000 of them are HIV/AIDS-affected and out in the streets. Records at the MoE show that a majority of the street children are in big cities, while the largest share of the HIV/AIDS-affected and infected is in districts in the Mid-Western and Far-Western Development Regions.

According to the director general at the Department of Education (DoE), Lava Deo Awasthi, the government has started homework on a detailed programme. He said the governments’ priority project will be implemented once a survey of such children is completed. The new programme will begin in earnest from the new academic session in April next year, Awasthi said.

Children without their parents and guardians will be provided with residential facility, while those with them will only be given free education. “Our first priority will be reintegrating street children with their families or localities,” said Awasthi. “Those who don’t have or don’t wish to return to their families will be given hostel facilities.”

According to the DoE, around Rs 50,000 will be needed for residential education for a child per annum, while Rs 10,000 per child will be needed for non-residential education. The DoE aims to invest around Rs 100 million in the first phase. According to the executive director at the CCWB, Tarak Dhital, I/NGO’s will also be approached for support.

source: the kathmandu post,23 July 2013