A Review of the Literature on the Role of Non-formal Education in Promoting Girls’ Education in South Asia

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Poteet, Katherine S. 

Many girls in South Asia face significant barriers in accessing education. However, non-formal education (NFE) programs are sometimes able to address or work around these barriers to reach and teach girls who would otherwise be unable to attend the traditional school system in their region. This study provides a comprehensive review of peer-reviewed, scholarly articles about NFE and girls’ education in South Asia to describe the strengths and weaknesses of NFE programs in reaching these girls. First, it provides a thorough explanation of what NFE is and the primary actors involved in its deliverance. Next, it identifies common barriers to education faced by girls in South Asia, including distance to schools, conflict, conservative cultural norms and practices, and inappropriate or irrelevant curricula. Then, it briefly describes some challenges that NFE programs face in delivering education to girls in South Asia, such as concerns relating to sustainability and proper certification for learning. It suggests that future NFE programs should focus on these shortcomings and highlights the lack of attention to educational quality compared to educational access in NFE research and programming.

girls’ education, non-formal education, South Asia, barriers to education, educational access
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CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
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