Sangai Sakaun Sangai Badhaun/Opportunity Schools Program


Private Donor(s)



Professionals in the education sector have long felt the need for programming in Nepal that not only ensures that the most disadvantaged children can access education, but that they can remain there to complete secondary school and achieve learning outcomes that enable them to secure productive livelihoods. The Sangai Sakaun Sangai Badhaun ("Learning and Growing Together") Opportunity Schools project sought to demonstrate an education model that enables marginalized children to complete a quality education up to Grade 8.

Employing a multi-pronged approach to address the entire education continuum from early childhood to Grade 8, the project included interventions to improve teaching practice, classroom environment, governance and system support, assessment, and parent and community engagement.

World Education and partners focused on the three Village District Committees (VDCs) in Banke and Dang districts. The three project VDCs were selected because their 27 schools had the lowest outcomes in Banke and Dang districts of Nepal, large numbers of children from disadvantaged groups (Tharu, Dalit); low educational access and retention for marginalized groups; and a high prevalence of child labor, bonded labor, migration and other forms of child exploitation. In short, the project communities were among the most challenging contexts in Nepal.

Key project outcomes include:

  • Enrollment in ECD increased to 93% with enhancements in quality
  • Learning outcomes improved at every level from Grade 1 to Grade 10
  • Improved reading and math achievement among students in grades 1-3
  • 22 percentage point gain in learning achievement for each of Grades 4 to 8
  • Improved pass rate on national Grade 10 exam from 7% to 42%
  • Student attendance increased at every level at the same time that school open days increased
  • Reduced dropout rate for Grades 1 to 8 decreased from 23% (roughly 4 times national and regional rates) to 3% (below national and regional rates).
  • Comprehensive set of evidence-based learning materials for Tharu language developed
  • Mothers gained literacy skills, increased incomes and are more engaged in their children’s learning


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