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Consultation meeting on
Air pollution solutions
ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal
21 September 2022
Our Air Pollution Solutions Initiative has been engaged in an education-oriented action research intervention for the children of brick workers in Nepal since March 2019. Conducted in collaboration with Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal, this pilot action research involves setting up and supporting information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled education programmes and facilities in Shree Kalika School, Dhading District, where over 60% of the students enrolled are children of seasonal brick workers. With this action research, we aim to provide interactive, creative, and engaging learning for the brick workers’ children, whose education is affected by their parents’ seasonal work.
An ICT-based education system requires a large investment and focus on building technical support and teachers’ competencies. Moreover, ICT-based education alone is not enough to address the complex issue of seasonal migration, livelihoods of workers and their families, and education. With this consultation meeting, we will be bringing in broader perspectives on the educational issues of children whose parents work in brick kilns seasonally, and we hope to find viable solutions and policies to ensure their education.
This consultation meeting will bring together relevant actors and stakeholders in the education sector. Among the participants will be elected officials and education officers from local municipalities of Sindhuli, Sindupalchowk, Rolpa, and Salyan districts under Provinces 3, 5 and 6, and representatives from the Department of Education (Kathmandu), Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI), education-related donors (UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO), and civil society organisations.
The United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2016 that 770,000 children aged 5–12 years are still out of school and attendance in early childhood education is still low at 51%. This is a massive problem for children of brick workers as well. The brick sector in Nepal is a part of the informal sector, which employs both men and women workers who are mostly migrants from marginalised and highly vulnerable social groups. Work in brick factories is time-bound and seasonal, generally from October to May. Brick workers migrate along with their family, including their children, during the working season.
This means that the seasonal migration has direct implications on the education of workers’ children, with interruptions to their curriculum and repetition of the academic year. When we conducted a rapid gender needs assessment in 2018 across five provinces in Nepal, brick factory owners and workers alike raised concerns about the education of workers’ children. The assessment also identified several barriers that contribute to interrupted education: seasonality of work, language barriers, social stigma, and the low priority placed on education.
Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Lynette Chettri, ICIMOD
Izabella Koziell, ICIMOD
Center for Education and Human Resource Development
Shankar Bahadur Chand, FNBI
Social Component, FNBI
Mahendra Chitrakar, FNBI
Objectives of the consultation meeting
Krishna Prasad Awale, FNBI
ICT-based education as action research for brick workers’ children
Kamala Gurung, ICIMOD
Photo session and tea/coffee break
Status of ICT-based education action research intervention in Shree Kalika Basic School, Dhading
Shiva Hari Regmi, Headmaster, Shree Kalika Basic School
Brick entrepreneurs/brick workers
Potential government-level action and support required (Department of Education, Government of Nepal; local government representatives; other stakeholders such as UNICEF-Nepal and Save the Children)
Government of Nepal and other stakeholders
Bidya Banmali Pradhan, ICIMOD
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