Global report calls for reallocation of scholarship funds for countries including Nepal
A global monitoring report on progress made worldwide towards attaining universal primary education by 2015 has called for better allocation of funds to make education accessible to more youth in the developing world, the UK's The Guardian reported.
The amount of money that developed countries spend on providing scholarships for students to go abroad, could be better utilised if such aid is given for students to study locally, said the report, 'Putting Education to Work'.
The document says that looking at current global trends, it can be projected that the commitment made by global leaders to attain universal primary education by 2015 'will be missed by a large margin'.
Authors of the report say that of the $3.1 billion of aid to post-secondary education, only little reaches developing countries as it is used up to fund foreign students in donor countries. "In 2010, for example, France spent four times as much on foreign students studying in France as it did on aid to general secondary education and vocational training," it said.
Citing the case of Nepal, the report said that the cost of providing one Nepali student scholarship in Japan could give 229 students access to secondary education back home, "These funds could be better spent addressing the skills deficit for disadvantaged youth in poor countries," it added.
Talking to Nepalnews about the report, Education expert Vishnu Karki said there is another side to the story that the report is missing. The report should also have said that money spent on a single foreign consultant in the sector could be used to provide education to thousands of students, he said.
He argued that donor countries should not cut funding for Nepali students to go abroad. "Nepalis who are capable of competing at an international level deserve better opportunities.”’
Instead of reallocating scholarship funds, the donors should make it compulsory for Nepali students to return home after completing their studies, added Karki. “Thousands of people can reap benefits from what a single person has learnt abroad." nepalnews.com