July 22, 2019
JICA Nepal signed Grant Assistance agreements today for projects related to education sector on projects such as School Sector Development Program (SSDP) and Human Resource Development Scholarship: JDS amidst official signing ceremony in the Ministry of Finance today.
Government of Japan extended Grant Assistance of three hundred million Japanese yen (JPY 300 million), equivalent to approximately 303.64 million Nepalese Rupees to the Government of Nepal for the 4th year of the "School Sector Development Program (SSDP)."
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shall extend grant assistance up to JPY 250 million (approx. NPR 253 million) for the 4th batch of first phase of JDS and JPY 378 million (approx. NPR 382 million) for the 1st batch of 2nd phase under the Grant Aid scheme of "the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship: (JDS)" for FY 2019/20.
Exchange of Notes (E/N) for the assistance were signed and exchanged today between His Excellency Mr. Masamichi Saigo, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, and Dr. Rajan Khanal, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of their respective Governments amidst a function held at the Ministry of Finance in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu. On the same occasion, the Grant Agreements for both projects were signed and exchanged between Mr. Shreekrishna Nepal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of Nepal and Ms. Yumiko Asakuma, Chief Representative of JICA Nepal, on behalf of Japan International Cooperation Agency.
School Sector Development Program
The SSDP started implementation from July 2016 and aims to consolidate gains from previous reform programs and continue crucial reforms needed in the school education sector through the SWAp modality. The overarching mission of the SSDP is for Nepal's schools to produce the needed human resources to elevate the country's status from a least developed country by 2022 and to reach the goal of achieving the status of the level of the middle-income country by 2030. The goal is thus to provide all citizens with the opportunity to become functionally literate and numerate, and to develop the life skills and knowledge required to enjoy a productive life, taking into account the diversity of context and the federalization of the country.
Purpose of the SSDP is to improve the equity, quality, efficiency, governance and management of the education sector. SSDP focuses on capacity and knowledge enhancement of both students and teachers by developing relevant teaching and learning methods and materials that ensures quality development. Lately, SSDP also focuses on strengthening school-level disaster management and resilience to develop school as a conflict free zone.
As present education policies and sector plan (SSDP) of Nepal target to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4: "Ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all ". It targets to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality of education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes while adhering to tackling disparities in remote area. This Grant Aid contributes in achieving the SDG and sector program targets.
Development of Education sector in Nepal is one of JICA's top priorities and it assures to continue its support to this sector for effective implementation and output.
Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship: JDS
JDS offers 2-year scholarship for masters degree to 20 government officials under 4th batch of first phase and 20 scholarships for masters and 2 for PhD under 1st batch of 2nd phase of Nepal who are engaged in formulating and implementing socio-economic development planning and to study at a graduate school in Japan for Master's Degree, with an objective to resolve development challenges in Nepal by supporting the young government officials and others who are expected to become leaders in Nepal for obtaining master's/ doctor's degree in Japanese higher educational institutions, thereby contributing to strengthen the bilateral partnership.
As per Japanese FY 2016, 2017 & 2018, 60 government officers from Nepal enrolled in eight (8) Japanese universities and 20 fellows of the 1st batch already returned back to Nepal last year after completion of their study. This will be the 4th year / batch for Nepal under first phase project and 1st batch for second phase project. JDS has been implemented in 15 countries since 1999 for supporting the human resource development. Until March 2018, more than 3,970 officials have studied in Japan under this scholarship.
During the occasion Ms. Asakuma further expressed that, "We are hopeful all the scholars will contribute to the development process of Nepal once they come back after completing their education in Japan." This agreement expects to expand and enhance the foundation for bilateral relations between Japan and Nepal by means of accepting them in Japanese Universities as overseas students.
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