Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is going to provide a total of US$95 million assistance aiming to ensure better education for Nepalese children.

The ADB’s Board of Directors has approved an Education Sector Program (ESP) Subprogram III, which will contribute to the restructuring of the school system by extending the current five-year primary education into eight years of basic education, the ADB said on Tuesday.

The assistance package, consisting of a $70 million grant and a $25 million loan, will also help the government initiate pilot projects to improve secondary education as well as technical education and vocational training.

Currently, 25 percent of Nepalese children aged between 5 and 12 years old are out of school, compounded by high dropout and repetition rates at the primary level, according to a press statement.

The Subprogram III will finance the initial phase of the government’s School Sector Reform program from fiscal year (FY) 2010 to FY2012.

The ADB approved the Education Sector Program Subprogram I in 2006 with a program loan of $30 million to be used from FY2007 to FY2009. The $8-million Subprogram II, approved in 2008, supports the preparation for the School Sector Reform program from FY2008 to FY2011.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-22September09-8:06 pm (BST)