In Nepal, every third person cannot read and write.
Due to limited academic institution and social taboos on girl’s education, the illiteracy rate among older women is particularly high. It is estimated that 90% of women above 60 are illiterate. Elderly residing in urban areas are more vulnerable to the consequences of illiteracy. Loneliness and neglect are the major consequences that effects on physical and mental health of elderly. Being illiterate, it is hardly possible for them to participate in social life.
Despite this, none of the existing education programmes in Nepal targets older persons. That's why we initiated literacy class for older persons in 2016. In this programme, we teach older people for a year, two hours in a day. So far, 210 older people have learned to read and write in four classes with 30 in each class. The major objectives of the class are to enable them (a) how to read and write in English and Nepali Language (b) use mobile phone and (c) use basic home appliances.
It is gratifying that all previous classes were continued by the respective local government after end of the program.
Our literacy programmes have been successful to win UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2020. They are promoted and supported by different national and international organizations.