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Dalits in India and Nepal: Policy Options for Improving Social Inclusion in Education
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Dalits are a particular caste group found in South Asia, largely in Nepal and India, where the manifestation of their social exclusion is very similar. Despite certain measures, the issues surrounding Dalits are still embedded deep in the social structure and the psychology of both institutions and individuals. As the following problem analysis will show, Dalits in both countries are discriminated against and suffer educational disadvantage. The issue is a social one.In both Nepal and India, suffer educational disadvantage. In Nepal, Dalits are poorer than most other social groups.1 In India, scheduled caste (SC) children remain disadvantaged across many social indicators. There has been a significant increase in overall literacy rates and school participation rates across the country since the early 1990s. Gender and social disparities have also declined with an overall increase in school attendance. However, disparities still exist. According to a UNICEF suported Baseline Survey in India, there are significant disparities in attendance rates and also learning achievements between children from scheduled caste and other castes. Dalits lag behind other social groups in terms of educational attainment in Nepal also.Reasons for the exclusion of Dalits include insufficient education facilities, poor teaching methods and discriminatory attitudes towards Dalits by teachers and children of other caste groups. Limited and inequitable distribution of budget affects the poor (and thus many Dalits) more, and their exclusion from savings and credit schemes has further increased their poverty. Additional factors in Nepal have been the effects of the conflict and the fragmentation of the Dalit movement. This paper examines how the educational opportunities of Dalit children in India and Nepal are affected by their caste status and sets out policy options for overcoming the impediments to their inclusion in education.
UNICEF ,   (2007 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 UNICEF : Children Fund
11.01.00  -  Educational Policy And Planning
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