Reproduction of nationalist and neoliberal ideologies in Nepal’s language and literacy policies

Sah, Pramod K. (2021). Reproduction of nationalist and neoliberal ideologies in Nepal’s language and literacy policies. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 41(2) pp. 238–252.



The paper explores how the discourse of nationalist and neoliberal agendas have shaped the conceptions of literacy education in Nepal, the ramifications for social stratification. As the review shows, the ruling elites tactfully imposed their language, culture, and knowledge in literacy curricula in the name of national unity, but to maintain their status quo. Later, literacy planning was ideologically oriented to the neoliberalism, which overtly espoused the English language and its associated culture and knowledge as must-have literacy skills for global socioeconomic mobilities. In both cases, the local languages, culture, and knowledge have been ignored in literacy education, resulting in an ideology for minoritized groups to accept Nepali-English bilingual/bicultural literacy skills as valid and their languages, cultures, and knowledge as deficit and valueless. The article, therefore, argues that the increasing growth of globalization and neoliberal logics is altering the construct of literacy, especially in terms of its purposes and uses, taking it beyond the local cultural and communicative practices to the global.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 83073
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1742-6855
  • Keywords
  • Literacy education; neoliberalism; nationalist ideology; critical literacies; language planning; literacy policy; Nepal
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2020 National Institute of Education, Singapore
  • Depositing User
  • Pramod Sah