Does Gender Disparity in General Education Affect Technical Manpower Development? The Case of Nepal
Journal of the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, No. 23, (2012.3) pp. 67-85
19 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 11, 2012
Gender disparity in education has significant adverse effects on many aspects of socioeconomic development in underdeveloped countries. For example, gender disparity in (general) education (GDE) leads to slow economic growth, low family literacy, poor social cohesion, a low level of trained manpower in terms of technical/vocational skills, and beyond. Specifically, a high degree of GDE is one of the key obstacles to fulfilling the increasing need for technical manpower, defined as human resource development (HRD). Thus, this study explores relevant literature and trends on GDE and HRD in the context of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Asia. Furthermore, it analyzes the raw data from the 2008 Nepal Labor Force Survey (NLFS) to examine the relationship between GDE and HRD.
In this study, general education is defined as the mainstream education that is generally given in schools and colleges. In most cases, such schools provide no or minimum vocational or technical training; this vocational or technical training can be obtained in specialized schools or training centers. In the case of least developed countries (LDCs), where unemployment is one of the major challenges to development, people with such training are less likely to be unemployed and are considered a high quality human resource. As general education is the foundation of such vocational/technical training, GDE can be a significant predictor of HRD, which is defined by the proportion of the labor force (working age population) with vocational/technical training.
As expected, this study finds that GDE is negatively correlated with HRD in Nepal. In other words, districts with higher levels of gender disparity in general education have a lower proportion of trained manpower to the total labor force. Thus, it is argued that reducing GDE not only promotes educational equality but also advances the overall HRD of the country, which ultimately contributes to the generation of employment in LDCs, such as Nepal.
Keywords: Gender, general education, technical manpower development, labor force survey, Nepal
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation