Pathways to successful higher education for girls in rural mountain communities in Nepal


How to create the most effective enabling environments and support systems to further girls’ education in rural Nepal was the focus of the article, “Identifying paths to successful higher education for girls in the Solukhumbu District, Nepal”.

The article is written by Mountain Partnership members Sally E. Wier, President and Co-founder of The Small World USA, and Martin F. Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies. Their findings help inform where efforts can be made to directly support girls in achieving higher levels of education in Nepal, as well as in other regions.

The study focused on the girls attending the Salleri Girls’ Hostel for Higher Education, an all-girls boarding school run by The Small World in the district’s capital city. Each year, The Small World sponsors 40 girls from around Solukhumbu to live and study at the Salleri Hostel. The 40 girls who were part of the present study all have parents are farmers, and none of their mothers were able to finish 11th or 12th grade.

Wier and Price found that four main factors were the reason for these girls’ success: their personal motivation, their family support, their childhood teachers’ support, and the financial and practical assistance provided by the Salleri Hostel. Living at the school eliminates the obstacle of distance between the girls’ homes and school, otherwise prohibitive due to the remote location of the girls’ home villages. The hostel also eliminates financial burden on the girls’ families by providing lodging free of charge and covering all school-related fees and expenses. By addressing two major hurdles - remoteness and financial difficulty - the Salleri Hostel promotes girls’ education in Solukhumbu.

The researchers make recommendations for effective future initiatives to support girls’ education in the region, including the establishment of more hostels for girls, more financial support to families and the creation of community awareness programmes about the importance of girls’ education.

Read the article in Mountain Research and Development

Learn more about the Salleri Girls’ Hostel for Higher Education

News from The Small World USA

Photos by Sally E. Wier

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