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Year Conducted: 2015, 2012


Some 126 languages are spoken in Nepal. The language of instruction in the government system of education is Nepali, the official language. Many private schools provide English medium education. The Constitution of Nepal suggests that the mother tongue can be used in the early stages of education, but in fact there has been little implementation of this provision at the grassroots level. As a result of external funding, the Text Book Production Centre has prepared some basic elementary readers in nine different ethnic languages, but it is hard to ascertain to what extent these primers are in use. Some NGOs have begun experimental classes using the mother tongue in non-formal education contexts. There is a growing awareness of the importance of mother tongue-based education, but current political unrest makes it difficult to implement changes in local contexts. MLE mapping exercise identified two (2) non-dominant languages, Limbu, Dangaura, which are being used as a language of instruction in formal education pre-primary and primary classrooms in two districts.

Quick Facts
Name of Organization/ Institution Level of Schooling Formal or Non-formal Public or Private Which Languages Number of Children reached by level of schooling Location Use of language in classroom (see explanations below) Materials in classroom
LiLDA (Limbu Language Development Association; initiator) PR FE (Govt) PUB Limbu (lif) F: 28 & M: 25 = 53 Panchthar District 1 15
Initiator: Language Development Centre Nepal (LDC-Nepal), Implementing local partner: Help Society Nepal, Tulsipur, Dang PP, PR FE (Govt) PUB Dangaura Tharu (thl), Nepali (nep) 2.1 Shree Bal Chetana Lower Secondary School, Duruwa-6 ECD*= 26 (G=14, B=12) Grade 1= 49 (G=23, B=26) Grade 2= 55 (G=25, B=30) Grade 3= 38 (G=20, B=18) 2.2 Shree Primary School, Halawar-2 ECD*= 33 (G=18, B=15) Grade 1= 31 (G=20, B=11) Grade 2= 30 (G=17, B=13) Grade 3= 40 (G=24, B=16) Dang District (Mid Western Part of Nepal) 1, 3 Tharu alphabet, Tharu-Nepali word, building book (primer), Big Books x 20 titles, Teacher generated graded materials, Graded materials, published by CDC*, Tharu-Nepali-English spelling dictionary, Calendar
Initiator: Language Development Centre Nepal (LDC-Nepal), Implementing local partner: Limbu Language Development Association, Phidim, Panchthar PP, PR FE (Govt) PUB Limbu (lif), Nepali (nep) 2.1 Shree Siddha Saraawati Primary School, Phaktep-4 ECD*= 22 (G=10, B=12) Grade 1= 47 (G=21, B=26) Grade 2= 30 (G=18, B=12) Grade 3= 43 (G=18, B=25) 2.2 Shree Tika Bhairung Primary School, Phaktep-7 ECD*= 18 (G=10, B=8) Grade 1= 36 (G=20, B=16) Grade 2= 34 (G=18, B=16) Grade 3= 30 (G=18, B=12) Panchthar District (Eastern part of Nepal) 1, 3 Limbu alphabet, Limbu word building book (primer), Big Books x 13 titles, Graded materials published by CDC*, Limbu-Nepali-English spelling dictionary, Calendar


Name of organisation / institution: 

Give the name of the organisation(s) (NGO, local association, etc) or institution (church, pagoda, temple, university etc.) which is initiating and supporting the action. This can include government agencies and institutions. Please specify type of involvement, e.g. initiator, lead actor, funder and implementer.

Level of schooling:

Identify whether action is at the pre-primary level (PP) or at the primary /elementary level (PR). The mapping is focusing only on these two levels of education.

Formal or Non-formal:

Identify whether action is:

1. in the formal (FE) or non-formal (NFE); and
2. in the government education system (Govt) or outside the government system by non-state providers (NSP).

Public or private:

Identify whether the action is happening in the public education (PUB) system or private (PRI). If this does not apply to your country, write n/a.

Which language:

Give the name of the local or minority language(s) which the action includes. If possible, see your country’s section on the ( and find the relevant 3-letter ISO language code for these languages.

Number of children:

Give the number of children reached by school level (pre-primary and primary/elementary). Please disaggregate by gender (i.e. M: and F:),

Location of action:

Give sub-national location of action(s) either province or district

Use of language in classroom:

Identify how language is used in the classroom by using the descriptors below. Choose the most appropriate one. You can choose more than one.

1. Language of instruction (LOI) is the learners’ mother tongue (MT or L1)  and their second language (L2) .
2. Language of instruction is the mother tongue only.
3. The second language is officially the language of instruction.
4. Language of instruction is the second language with MT as subject.
5. Mother tongue is used orally, no written materials – officially.
6. Mother tongue is used orally, no written materials – unofficially.
7. Second language (L2) is taught as second language.

Materials in classroom:

Are there teaching and learning materials in MT in classroom? Yes or no. If yes, estimate the number of titles in MT.