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Ssdp final draft --april 4, 2016

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नेपाल सरकार, शिक्षा मन्त्रालयद्वारा बनाई लागू गरिएको विद्यालय क्षेत्र विकास कार्यक्रम (२०७३-२०८०) को अन्तिम मस्यौदाको अंग्रेजी भर्सन यहाँ अपलोड गरिएकोछ।

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Ssdp final draft --april 4, 2016

  1. 1. School Sector Development Plan Nepal FY 2016/17–2022/23 (BS 2073—2080) Draft Ministry of Education Government of Nepal March 2016 1
  2. 2. School Sector Development Plan (2016) [MoE (2016). School Sector Development Plan, Nepal, 2016–2023. Kathmandu: Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal.]
  3. 3. School Sector Development Plan (2016) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY POINT BY POINT TABULAR SUMMARY OF THE PLAN i
  4. 4. School Sector Development Plan (2016) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND FOREWORD ii
  5. 5. School Sector Development Plan (2016) CONTENTS School Sector Development Plan...............................................................................................1 Nepal.........................................................................................................................................1 FY 2016/17–2022/23.................................................................................................................1 (BS 2073—2080)........................................................................................................................1 Ministry of Education................................................................................................................1 Government of Nepal................................................................................................................1 March 2016...............................................................................................................................1 [MoE (2016). School Sector Development Plan, Nepal, 2016–2023. Kathmandu: Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal.].............................................................................................ii Executive Summary....................................................................................................................i Executive Summary....................................................................................................................i Acknowledgments and Foreword..............................................................................................ii Acknowledgments and Foreword..............................................................................................ii Contents...................................................................................................................................iii Contents...................................................................................................................................iii Abbreviations and Acronyms..................................................................................................viii Abbreviations and Acronyms..................................................................................................viii 1 Background and Context.........................................................................................................1 1.1 Background....................................................................................................................1 1.2 Country Context............................................................................................................2 1.3 Key Issues and Challenges.............................................................................................6 1.4 Main achievements of the SSRP..................................................................................11 1.5 Decentralized Planning ...............................................................................................12 1.6 Opportunities..............................................................................................................13 2 Overall Vision, Objectives, Policy Directions and Strategies...................................................15 2.1 Vision 2022..................................................................................................................15 iii
  6. 6. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 2.2 Purpose.......................................................................................................................15 2.3 Goal.............................................................................................................................15 2.4 Objectives....................................................................................................................15 2.5 Policy Directions for SSDP............................................................................................16 2.6 Strategies.....................................................................................................................17 2.7 Links with Country Development Objectives...............................................................17 3 Programme Description.........................................................................................................19 3.1 Guiding Principles........................................................................................................19 3.2 Programme readiness..................................................................................................19 3.3 Methodology...............................................................................................................22 3.4 SSDP Key Performance Indicators...............................................................................22 4 Early Childhood Education and Development/Pre-Primary Education...................................24 4.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................24 4.2 Goal and Objectives.....................................................................................................24 4.3 Policy directions..........................................................................................................24 4.4 Strategies.....................................................................................................................25 4.5 Physical Targets and Beneficiaries...............................................................................27 4.6 Key Performance Indicators........................................................................................27 4.7 Key Results..................................................................................................................27 5 Basic Education......................................................................................................................30 5.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................30 5.2 Goal and objectives.....................................................................................................32 5.3 Policy directions..........................................................................................................33 5.4 Strategies.....................................................................................................................33 5.5 Physical Targets and Beneficiaries...............................................................................36 5.6 Key Performance Indicators........................................................................................36 5.7 Key Results..................................................................................................................36 iv
  7. 7. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 6 Secondary Education.............................................................................................................39 6.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................39 6.2 Goal and objectives.....................................................................................................40 6.3 Policy directions..........................................................................................................40 6.4 Strategies.....................................................................................................................41 6.5 Physical Targets/Beneficiaries.....................................................................................42 6.6 Key Performance Indicators........................................................................................42 6.7 Key Results..................................................................................................................43 6B. Technical and Vocational Education Subject......................................................................49 6b.1 Introduction..............................................................................................................50 6b.2 Goals and Objectives................................................................................................50 6b. 3 Policy Directions......................................................................................................50 6b. 4 Strategies.................................................................................................................50 6B.5 Physical Targets and Beneficiaries............................................................................51 6b.6 Key Performance Indicators.....................................................................................51 6b.7 Key Results ...............................................................................................................51 7 non-formal education and Lifelong Learning.........................................................................53 6.8 Introduction.................................................................................................................53 6.9 Goal and Objectives.....................................................................................................53 6.10 Policy directions........................................................................................................53 6.11 Strategies...................................................................................................................54 6.12 Physical Targets and Beneficiaries.............................................................................54 6.13 Key Performance Indicators......................................................................................54 6.14 Key Results................................................................................................................55 7 Cross Cutting Priorities and Priorities....................................................................................57 7.1 Teacher Management and Professional Development................................................57 7.2 Governance and management....................................................................................62 v
  8. 8. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 7.3 Capacity Development................................................................................................65 7.4 Disaster Risk Reduction and School Safety..................................................................67 7.5 Monitoring, Evaluation and Assessment.....................................................................70 7.6 Examination and Accreditation...................................................................................73 7.7 International Economic Cooperation and Coordination..............................................74 8 Financing...............................................................................................................................78 8.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................78 8.2 Objectives....................................................................................................................78 8.3 Policy directions..........................................................................................................78 8.4 Strategies.....................................................................................................................78 8.5 Education Expenditure................................................................................................79 8.6 Allocations within the education budget.....................................................................82 8.7 Funding modalities and flows......................................................................................83 8.8 Financial Management and reporting.........................................................................84 References...............................................................................................................................85 References...............................................................................................................................85 Annexes...................................................................................................................................88 Annexes...................................................................................................................................88 Annex 1: SSDP Logical Framework...........................................................................................89 Annex 1: SSDP Logical Framework...........................................................................................89 Annex 2: SSDP Result Framework............................................................................................93 Annex 2: SSDP Result Framework............................................................................................93 Annex 3: Growth Scenarios for Nepal’s Education Sector......................................................124 Annex 3: Growth Scenarios for Nepal’s Education Sector......................................................124 Annex 4: Sub sector/ thematic breakdown of SSDP budget cost............................................125 Annex 4: Sub sector/ thematic breakdown of SSDP budget cost............................................125 Annex 5: School Education Sector Institutions in Nepal.........................................................135 vi
  9. 9. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Annex 5: School Education Sector Institutions in Nepal.........................................................135 vii
  10. 10. School Sector Development Plan (2016) ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ASIP Annual Strategic Implementation Plan AWPB Annual Work Plan and Budget BS Bikram Sambat (Nepali Calendar — official Nepali date system) CAS Continuous Assessment System CB-EGRA Classroom-based EGRA CBO Community Based Organisation CBS Central Bureau of Statistics CDC Curriculum Development Centre CLA Central Level Agencies CLC Community Learning Centre CPD Continuous Professional Development CSO Civil Society Organisation CSS-DRR Comprehensive School Safety and Disaster Risk Reduction CSSP Community School Support Programme CwD Children with Disabilities DEO District Education Office DoE Department of Education DRM Disaster Risk Management DRR Disaster Risk Reduction ECCD Early Childhood Care and Development ECD Early Childhood Development ECDC Early Childhood Development Classes ECED Early Childhood Education Development EFA Education for All EGRA Early Grade Reading Assessment ELDS Early Learning and Development Standards EMIS Educational Management Information System EOP End of Project ERO Education Review Office ESPIG Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (GPE) ETC Education Training Centre FCS Foreign Coordination Section FMAP Financial Management Action Plan FMR Financial Monitoring Report FNCCI Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry GER Gross Enrolment Ratio GESI Gender Equity and Social Inclusion GIR Gross Intake Rate GIS Geographical Information System GoN Government of Nepal GPE Global Partnership for Education viii
  11. 11. School Sector Development Plan (2016) HSE Higher Secondary Education HSEB Higher Secondary Education Board HSLC Higher School Leaving Certificate I/NGO International NGO and NGO ICT Information and Communication Technology IE Inclusive Education IEMIS Integrated EMIS IT Information Technology JFA Joint Financing Arrangement JICA Japan International Corporation Agency LDC Least Developed Country LDE Local Department of Education LLL Lifelong Learning LRC Lead Resource Centre MDG Millennium Development Goals MEC Minimum Enabling Conditions MGML Multi Grade-Multi Level MoE Ministry of Education MoFALD Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Government MoHP Ministry of Health and Population MoU Memorandum of Understanding MoWCSW Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare MToT Master Training of Trainers NASA National Assessment for Student Achievements NCED National Centre for Education Development NDHS Nepal Demographic and Health Survey NEB National Education Board NEGRP National Early Grade Reading Program NER Net Enrolment Rate NFE Non-formal Education NFEC Non-formal Education Centre NGO Non-government Organisation NIR Net Intake Rate NLSS Nepal Living Standards Survey NLSS Nepal Living Standards Survey NPC National Planning Commission NQF National Qualification Framework NVQF National Vocational Qualifications Framework OAG Office of the Auditor General OCE Office of Controller of Examinations PMEC Priority Minimum Enabling Condition PPC Pre-primary Centre PPE Pre-primary Education PTA Parent Teacher Association SDG Sustainable Development Goal ix
  12. 12. School Sector Development Plan (2016) SESP Secondary Education Support Programme SIP School Improvement Plan SLC School Leaving Certificate SMC School Management Committee SSDP School Sector Development Plan SSDS School Sector Development Strategy SSRP School Sector Reform Plan STR Student-Teacher Ratio SWAp Sector Wide Approach TEP Teacher Education Project TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages TEVT Technical Education and Vocational Training TPD Teacher Professional Development TSC Teacher Service Commission TVE Technical and Vocational Education UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNFPA United Nations Population Fund UNICEF United Nations Children Fund USAID United States Agency for International Development WFP World Food Programme x
  13. 13. 1 BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT 1.1 Background Nepal is at a crossroads both at the global level with the beginning of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era and at the national level with the rollout of the federal system under the recently promulgated constitution (GoN 2015a). The School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) (MoE 2009) is the current Education Sector Plan, which was initiated in 2009 and ends in July 2016. As the follow-on of the Education Sector Plan, the government has developed this School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) for the seven year period [mid-July 2016 to mid-July 2023(BS 2073–2080)] in line with Nepal’s vision to graduate from the status of a least developed country (LDC) (NPC 2015a). The SSDP continues the government’s efforts to ensure access to quality education for all through programmes such as Education for All (EFA; 2004-2007), the Secondary Education Support Programme (SESP; 2003-2008), the Community School Support Programme (CSSP; 2003-2008), the Teacher Education Project (TEP; 2002-2007) and most recently, the SSRP (2009-2016). Building upon the lessons learned and the gains made in the sector under these programmes, the SSDP is designed to enable the school education sector to achieve unfinished agenda items and to accomplish the targets defined under SDG number 4: “Ensuring equitable and inclusive quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all’. As such, the SSDP aligns with the commitment expressed by Nepal to the Incheon Declaration of the World Education Forum and its Universal Declaration on Education by 2030 agenda (UNESCO 2015): “to transform lives through education, recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development and in achieving the other proposed SDGs [….through] a renewed education agenda that is holistic, ambitious and aspirational, leaving no one behind.” The SSDP also aligns with Nepal’s international commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were ratified by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. In the case of Nepal, the development of the SSDP is aligned with the broader framework of developing a national plan that encompasses the entire education sector and leads up to 2030, similar to the Nepal National Plan of Action (NNPA) that was developed for the EFA implementation timeline (2000-2015). The SSDP was developed through an inclusive and participatory approach and is based on an analysis of the education sector. Starting in June 2015,Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) were formed, background papers developed, and knowledge gaps filled by carrying out thematic studies. Consultations were undertaken with stakeholders at all levels to confirm and validate strategic priorities. These processes led to the development of the SSDP Approach Paper (MoE 2015a), which outlined the broad policy directions and way forward and provided the basis for 1
  14. 14. School Sector Development Plan (2016) the SSDP document. At this stage it was decided that, unlike the SSRP (2009–15), this SSDP document (2016—23) would encompass the broader policy framework as well as the plan. The SSDP requires an expansion in emphasis from access to quality and equitable access, participation and learning outcomes in education. Nepal’s new constitution (2015) demands a thorough reorientation of the education system through structural and functional reforms including the policy and regulatory frameworks. The constitution guarantees the fundamental right to education and lays down the directive principles of the Federal State (the State) on education and concurring rights. The long awaited Bill (Eighth Amendment) to Education Act (1971) was tabled in the cabinet on 7 September 2015 (GoN 2015b). The parliament briefly discussed the amendment on 28 December 2015. This has generated hope among education planners and policymakers that the Bill will be enacted soon. Note that much of the reform agenda introduced by the SSRP was put on hold due to the lack of appropriate regulatory provisions. The promulgation of the new Education Act is expected to ensure compatibility between and among educational institutions and will also pave the way for necessary reforms in line with the new constitutional mandate. Amidst the development of the new national education plan, the earthquakes of April and May 2015 seriously disrupted education services. Over 35,000 classrooms were mostly or totally damaged, leaving more than one million children lacking access to safe, permanent places to learn (NCE 2015). This has reversed much of the recent progress in the education sector in the 14 most affected districts and is expected to cause an increase in the number of out-of-school children. The SSDP therefore prioritises reconstruction and recovery works as identified during the Government’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) (NPC 2015b and 2015c)and in line with the Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that was adopted at the 2015 UN world conference in Sendai (United Nations, 2015). In short, the SSDP addresses the educational reform and developmental needs of the country in the current context. Reform in the education sector is necessitated by the forthcoming changeover to a federal system of governance. This will require changes in existing rules and regulatory frameworks. On the other hand development works are needed to improve quality, efficiency and service delivery and to ensure equitable access and participation, reaching out to children and youth from communities and groups that have been unable to access or benefit from the education system. This requires revisiting development programmes and building the capacity of delivery units and agencies. Thus, in broad terms, the SSDP focuses on the reform and development of the education sector in line with the new constitutional mandate. 1.2 Country Context Formal education system in Nepal is relatively new as the access to school education was confined to limited number of schools opened to serve the elites and wealthy populations for decades. Planned expansion of school education began with the promulgation of the new education system plan in 1971. Thus the history of public education system in Nepal has a history of less than 50 years. However, within this short period of time Nepal has achieved phenomenal growth in number of schools and enrollment rates. This expansion of the education 2
  15. 15. School Sector Development Plan (2016) sector took place in a context of highly diverse needs and areas, in terms of socio demography and culture and in a period of political reform and restructuring. Socio-demography and culture The 2011 census recorded Nepal as having a population of 26.5 million (2011 National Census) (CBS 2012). The population has a high level of social, cultural, and ethnic diversity. The census recorded 126 ethnic groups and 123 languages of which more than a dozen are in active use by more than 100,000 people. Religion has a central place in Nepalese life and society. In the early 1990s, Nepal was the only constitutionally declared Hindu state in the world. The 2001 census reported that 80.6% of the people were Hindus and 10.7% were Buddhists with the remainder being mostly Muslims, Kirats, Christians and Jains (CBS 2010). The new constitution (GoN 2015a) declares Nepal to be a secular state. Politics and the economy In 1990, the country transformed to a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. A decade-long conflict between insurgents and government broke out in 1996, culminating in a peace accord and the promulgation of the Interim Constitution. The monarchy was abolished soon after and the Interim Constitution declared Nepal to be a federal democratic republic. Nepal’s new federal constitution was promulgated on 20 September 2015. A country in transition Federal structure and decentralization— The new constitution defined the Federal State of Nepal as an “independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive, democratic, socialism- oriented federal democratic republican state.” (GoN 2015a: 1). The transformation into a federal democratic republic is building on the decentralization of governance that the country had initiated during the 1990s. Decentralization was adopted as a major government policy in the Third Five Year Plan (1965-70). The aim was to engage people on planning and development- related decision-making in the areas under local bodies. The government established village development committees (VDCs), municipalities and district development committees (DDCs) as the main local administrative units for decentralised governance. Since the beginning of the 1960s, these local bodies have been involved in local planning and development works. After the restoration of multiparty democracy in 1990, and especially since 1999, the local bodies have been responsible for local governance under the Local Self Governance Act (LSGA), 1999 and the Local Self Governance Regulation (LSGR), 1999, Local Body (Financial Administration) Regulations, 2007 and other rules and operational manuals(HMGN 1999a, 1999b and GoN 2007b). From MDGs to SDGs — Another major transition that is taking place as the SSDP is initiated is the global move from the MDGs agenda (2000–2015)to contextualizing and adopting the SDGs agenda (2015-2030). Nepal has made very good progress across most of the MDGs. It has halved the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day (MDG 1) with the rate dropping from 33.5% in 1990, to 19.7% in 2010, and to 16.4% in 2013. The drop about one percent per year meant that the 17% target for 2015 was achieved ahead of schedule (NPC 2013a). 3
  16. 16. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Poverty in Nepal has thus declined at an impressive rate. An unpublished report suggested that the annual rate of poverty decline increased from 1.5 percent between 1996 and 2004 to 2.5 percent between 2004 and 2011 (NPC 2013a: 10). The decline continued even during the ten- year armed conflict. However, disparities remain, with poverty rates in rural areas, where over 80 percent of the population live, being higher than those in urban areas and also being higher among certain population groups. Nepal has also achieved substantial gains with regards to its MDG 1 target for reducing hunger. The 2015 target for the prevalence of underweight children (29%) has been just met at 28.8% while the target for the proportion of the population with below minimum dietary consumption (25%) was far exceeded at 15.7%. The education sector Education is a priority sector of the government as reflected in the large share of the budget allocated to it and the rising public investment in education over the past decade. The education sector has received the largest share of the government’s budget in recent years. Furthermore, public investment in education as a fraction of gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from less than 2.9 percent in 1999 to over 4.7 percent in 2010. Considering that Nepal’s GDP has been growing at around 4.4 percent per year during this period, the increasing share of education of GDP represents a very significant increase in investment in absolute terms. More than 80 percent of the government’s education budget goes to school education each year (Grades 1-12 inclusive). Good progress has been made on the provision of and access to basic education over the past two decades. As such, several visible gains have been documented in this sub-sector. Education for All (EFA) Goal 2 is to ensure that all children, particularly girls and children in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to disadvantaged ethnic groups have access to and complete free and compulsory good quality primary education. The net intake rate in primary schools has risen to 92.7 percent of eligible girls and 93.3 percent of eligible boys. Net enrolment rates have also steadily improved (to 88.7 percent in 2015), although they have fallen short of the SSRP target of 98 percent. Despite the decade-long conflict and other political challenges, Nepal has made remarkable progress in expanding learning opportunities for children and adults. Yet the quality of education is generally low, as are secondary school completion rates. Insufficiently prepared teachers, the lack of adequate and appropriate materials, and insufficient support at home are some of the main factors that prevent many children from developing foundational skills for life that will allow them to learn throughout their academic careers and beyond. Nepal has achieved substantial, albeit uneven, progress towards its goal of ensuring universal primary education, with it meeting the MDG indicator on enrolment in primary education but not meeting the indicators on primary education survival and literacy despite the progress shown on these indicators over the years. However, this progress should be viewed in the light of the damage wrought by the 2015 earthquakes and the economic blockade, which both had an immediate and significant impact on the enrolment, retention and completion rates within education and is expected to have longer term effects that also further reduce the achievement and disrupt the positive trends in other education outcomes. The overall negative impacts of these things has yet to be calculated although they may well have significantly reversed some of 4
  17. 17. School Sector Development Plan (2016) the large gains made over the past two decades. As such, Nepal will be unable to meet the targets committed to under MDG 2 and will be challenged to graduate from the status of a least developed country (LDC) in 2022 (UNESCO 2015). The structure of the education sector Nepal’s education system comprises school education and higher education. School education includes Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED)/pre-primary education, primary education and secondary education including lower secondary and higher secondary education. However, the School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) proposes basic education in Grades 1 to 8 and secondary education in Grades 9 to 12 amounting to 12 years of formal school education. Currently, the ECED/pre-primary classes have one to two years duration to prepare three to four year old children for primary education. Primary schools provide five years of education (Grades 1 to 5) with the prescribed age for entry into Grade 1 being five years completers. Lower secondary education consists of three years (Grades 6 to 8), secondary education is Grades 9 to 10 while higher secondary education is Grades 11 to 12. The intermediate level, which is equivalent to higher secondary level, is also being offered under the system of university education. Higher education consists of bachelor's degrees of three to four years duration (depending upon the subject) and two year-long masters’ degrees. Some universities also offer postgraduate diploma and Master of Philosophy (M Phil) courses. The Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree offered. A technical stream of education has developed to produce basic and mid-level human resources. The proposed SSDP intends to strengthen vocational education from Grade 9. The technical schools and centres that are spread across the country, provide short and long-term training courses on different subjects. Some courses are offered to Grade 10 students while other courses are for students who have already passed the School Leaving Certificate (SLC). The School Sector Reform Programme (2009-2016) The SSRP (2009-2016) is being implemented by the Ministry of Education (MoE) through a sector wide approach (SWAp), with financial contributions from the GoN and a group of development partners, including support from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The SSRP is the latest and final programme in the 15 year EFA National Plan of Action, 2001-15 (EFA-NPA). MoE is responsible for implementing both recurrent and development programmes within the school education sector under the SSRP in accordance with the agreed strategic framework, a joint financing arrangement (JFA), annual strategic implementation plans (ASIPs), and annual work plans and budgets (AWPBs). The programme has focused on the three pillars of access, inclusion, and quality, structured across the following three components: 1. Basic education (Grades 1-8), Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) and literacy and lifelong learning. The primary objective is to prepare pre-school-age children through ECED for basic education, ensure equitable access to and quality of basic 5
  18. 18. School Sector Development Plan (2016) education for all 5 to 12 year old children, and deliver basic numeracy and literacy to youths and adults, especially women and marginalized groups. 2. Secondary education (Grades 9-12) and technical and vocation training pilot programmes. The aim here is to improve access, equity, and quality and relevance of secondary education for 13 to 16 year olds. This component also focuses on improving the relevance of secondary education by introducing and exposing children to vocational and technical education programmes that facilitate the school to work transition. 3. Institutional capacity strengthening (including teacher management) for the planning, delivery and monitoring of educational services and products. This component aims to improve the capacity of SSRP implementation agencies and partners to enhance delivery and monitoring of educational services and products. Education stakeholders Nepal’s education sector caters for a highly diverse group of stakeholders in terms of culture, context and needs. The main implication of this diversity for the education sector is the many different first languages of students. A recent study found that nearly half of all schools in Nepal had a majority of students who upon enrolment had no or limited understanding of Nepali as they had until then spoken a different language (RTI 2014). Of these schools, more than half had students that had two or more first languages. Also related to cultural diversity is the different levels of educational attainment among different ethnic groups and castes, and the gender- based disparities in access to and participation in education within these groups. The geographical diversity means a great variation in the number of children living in schools’ catchment areas ranging from only a few in the high mountains to hundreds in the Terai plains (MoE 2014). In terms of composition of the school going population, about 22% of 4 year old children are out of pre-school/primary school in Nepal, with no significant difference between girls and boys. In basic level (Grade 1-8), Nepal has 6.13 million children (boys 51.1%, girls 48.9%) of age 5 to 12, and1.39 million children (boys 49.2%, girls 50.8%) of age 13 to 16 who are enrolled in secondary level (grade 9-12) (DoE 2016) 1.3 Key Issues and Challenges Large achievements have been made in securing access to education and it is now necessary to focus on quality and efficiency of education provision. It is necessary to address the challenges related to the quality of education and the achievement of learning competencies without leaving those behind who have not been able to access education. The SSDP therefore needs to balance the limited capacity and available resources between safeguarding and completing the agenda of the SSRP and the EFA while having a defined reform agenda towards the envisioned quality transformation. This is all the more challenging given the damage wrought by the April/May 2015 earthquakes and the economic constraints due to the constitution-related agitations in the Terai. Furthermore, the institutional capacity within the education sector will be partly consumed in the near future by the expected roll out of the federal structure and the decentralization of planning and education management. The following are the major challenges that face Nepal’s education system: 6
  19. 19. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Quality of basic education Under the SSRP, the strengthening of quality across the system and with regard to education outcomes was flagged as a key issue both in the SSRP mid-term review (MTR) (Cummings et al 2012) and the SSRP independent joint evaluation (Poyck et al 2016). Whereas access and other education sector indicators have progressed, this is yet to be translated into quality outcomes. The current challenges related to the quality of education have resulted in many children not learning as they progress through the system. As a result, school dropout and repetition rates are still quite high, especially in the early grades and in grade 8, although the repetition rate in these grades is showing a declining trend. The basic and secondary education survival rate and Grade 10 School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam scores are generally low with large disparities in achievement between public and private schools. About 86.8% of children who enrol in Grade 1 reach Grade 5 and only 74.6% survive up to Grade 8 (UNICEF 2016). In terms of learning readiness, access to ECED and pre-primary centres (ECED/PPCs) has increased significantly in recent years, and has been shown to be strongly correlated with reduced drop out and repetition in early grades. Students’ learning is further compromised as the level of early grade reading and maths proficiency is very low, thus preventing students from progressing across other subjects due to low levels of literacy and numeracy. As such, learning is to be at the centre of the reforms under SSDP. For this, the quality of inputs needs to be assured in terms of teachers, teaching-learning resources and the enabling education environment. Furthermore, the process needs to become child-centred in terms of inputs matching the learning needs and learning styles of children. Teachers, especially core subject teachers, need to strengthen their subject knowledge. The teaching process is too textbook-focused, lecture- oriented, and needs to be strengthened to foster creative thinking and to enable core skills. The professional development of teachers needs to be revisited to ensure that it results in a more child-centred approach to teaching. On governance and management, the management and distribution of teachers is yet to be rationalised and the requirements for appointment are defined by certification and training rather than also by competencies. Also, many teachers do not spend the required time-on-task. Despite the strategy to reduce disparities in enabling learning environment through the establishment of Minimum Enabling Conditions (MECs), and based on this, the selection of five Priority Minimum Enabling Conditions (PMECs) that were envisioned to be established within all schools and expanded into the broader set of MEC, only a small percentage of all schools will be meeting all 5 PMECs at the end of the SSRP implementations. Furthermore, these PMECs do not yet include the necessary condition of classrooms being constructed to disaster risk reduction (DRR) standards. The great majority of school buildings do not meet minimum safety standards. Following the earthquakes, ongoing disaster risk reduction campaigns to ‘build back better’ should mean that schools are (re)constructed in line with guidelines and specifications to provide safe learning environments. Due to the April/May 2015 earthquakes, the existing MECs in the 14 most affected districts have largely been reversed and thus a new baseline is being established on the new targets that need to be established. Resource limitations are a major challenge to establish or ensure minimum standards in schools with limited means. Furthermore, classroom-level formative assessments are currently not being used by teachers in a systemic way to guide, improve and adapt their teaching. The implementation of the 7
  20. 20. School Sector Development Plan (2016) classroom-based assessments by teachers has not brought about the envisioned improved quality outputs. And, many students do not receive the minimum prescribed number of teaching-learning days. Quality of secondary education As teaching and learning in the classroom is largely driven by the nature of the board exams in Grades 10, 11 and 12 (SLC and HSE), teachers and students tend to focus primarily on memorisation and knowledge recall. Critical thinking, analysis, and creativity are not sufficiently emphasized. Other issues related to the examination system are the lack of standardisation of board exams and the irregular evaluation of exams, while recognizing the contemporary move away from the standardized testing of children within education discourse. One reason for the high SLC failure rates is the current examination-focused approach that requires students to pass all subjects at the same time. With regard to the enabling learning environment, the MECS for secondary schools have yet to be finalised. Furthermore, supplementary, age-appropriate, self-reading material for helping children develop a reading habit and interests are mostly not available. Many teachers, especially those who teach science, maths and English in community schools, are in need of strengthening their subject knowledge. Many schools have an inadequate number of subject teachers. The government only funds two teachers at the higher secondary level of schools. This is wholly inadequate. The secondary level textbooks have issues with regards to quality and consistency and the timely receipt of textbooks by students is a major concern. The upcoming federalization of the education system will establish a large autonomy for provinces in terms of resource allocation, planning and implementation of education programs. As such, it will be a challenge to ensure that minimum quality standards are guaranteed for children in terms of learning environment and teaching-learning processes, while allowing the flexibility for the different provinces to manage the education sector according to the needs and diversity within their constituencies. Equity and access Nepal’s large language and cultural diversity means that the country’s children have diverse learning needs. Meeting the diverse learning needs poses a challenge not only in terms of access but also the appropriateness of content. The access of children from the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities, groups and remote geographical areas has not improved in line with the national increase in access, therefore increasing the disparity between these groups and the rest of the school-aged population. The mountain areas have the highest proportion (24.3%) of 4 year-olds not in pre-school or primary school followed by children from the Terai. In terms of absolute numbers, the Terai has the highest numbers of out of school children due to its higher density of primary aged children. According to the 2011 census, Nepal had approximately 0.77 million children not attending school, of which 0.57 million were of primary school age and 0.19 million of lower secondary school age. About 46.5% (0.36 million) of the out-of-school population in Nepal are in the Central Development Region, while the Eastern Development Region is home to 20.5% (0.15 million) of out of school children (UNICEF 2016). 8
  21. 21. School Sector Development Plan (2016) While the overall education outcome indicators have shown progress in terms of enrolment, retention and completion, certain groups have not been able to adequately gain from this progress and in certain cases disparities have increased (MoE 2014). As such, equitable access will remain a priority under the SSDP alongside strengthening the quality of education. Another major remaining challenge is to ensure access to quality education for those children affected by natural disasters and living in disaster prone areas. While the net enrolment rate (NER) at the basic level increased significantly during the SSRP period, there continues to be a large and persistent number of out of school children. Given that these children may be facing multi-dimensional barriers, it is important to have evidence-tailored and targeted programmes to bring them into the education system. A priority here is the full-fledged implementation of the Consolidated Equity Strategy for the School Education Sector (MoE 2014), including the incorporation of the Equity Index within the Education Management Information System (EMIS), to allow for such targeting. The disproportionate provision of early childhood education development (ECED) opportunities, currently concentrated in urban areas increases the disparities in access and retention in basic education for children from disadvantaged groups. The rapid expansion of the one year ECED programme has gone ahead with insufficient attention to ensuring quality programmes. A priority here is therefore to improve the quality of these programmes and carry out limited targeted expansion to strengthen equitable access. Children with disabilities suffer from by far the largest challenges in terms of access, participation and learning outcomes in the education sector. At the same time, the data on education outcomes for this group is very limited for allowing analysis and classification to inform targeted interventions. The strengthening of diagnostic and referral mechanisms and the linkage and reflection within EMIS of further disaggregated data is very important. At the secondary level, low enrolment at this level, including higher secondary level, continues to be a concern. Many students drop out of the school system as they progress to higher levels of education. Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS) data show a strong correlation between households’ economic status and participation in schooling at secondary and higher secondary levels. These data also shows that having to help with household and family farm work as being key reasons given by children for dropping out of school. Furthermore, since most of the higher secondary schools charge monthly fees, it is often difficult for poorer students to pursue further studies. The fact that higher secondary schools are mostly located in more accessible areas and urban centres makes it difficult for children who do not live nearby such a school to continue their studies beyond Grade 10. The upcoming restructuring of the system of government is likely to have implications for the access to resources within the newly established provinces against the resources needed to address the needs within the public sectors. The Mid-Western hills and mountains (known as the Karnali zone) and the Central Terai have been identified as so called pockets of marginalized communities in terms of education outcomes (MoE 2014) As such, the challenge is to establish a strong evidence and need-based resource allocation formula that allows for need-based targeting of education interventions that reduce disparities within access, participation and learning outcomes. 9
  22. 22. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Efficiency The envisioned reforms in the institutional structure of the education system are yet to be accomplished. School management, especially school management committees (SMCs) are yet to institutionalize their role in need based planning and the quality assurance1 of education in schools. Results based monitoring and evaluation of progress to inform children’s education rather than to rate their performance (assessment for education instead of assessment of education) is yet to become institutionalized and embedded in planning processes. Government rules and regulations in schools are yet to be enforced effectively. Finally, to note that, between Grades 1 and 9, dropout rates are particularly high in Grade 1 (6.4%) and Grade 8 (6%) (DoE 2016). Regarding the sector’s internal efficiency, there has been continuous improvement in the SSRP period. The key performance indicator that has been monitored during the SSRP on internal efficiency shows an increase from 65% to 73% on internal efficiency. Despite this, ‘wastage’ can be seen especially in the early grades (which does not affect the efficiency rating as much as wastage in the higher grades), as well as in the transition from primary to lower secondary (Grades 5 to 6) and from basic to secondary (Grades 8 to 9). Regarding the expected private and socioeconomic rates of return of education (the sector’s external efficiency), this continues to be low as opportunities for translating educational achievements into employment opportunities remain limited and one of the largest employment opportunities is unskilled labour abroad. Furthermore, the frequent transfers of civil servants and duty bearers within the sector remains one of the main efficiency challenges within the sector (ADB 2013). Governance and accountability Weak public financial management leads to the commonly late release of funds throughout the education system, ineligible expenditure, reporting delays, and lapses in financial record-keeping by schools. While social and financial audits are carried out by most schools, this has not yet led to the envisioned strengthening of schools’ public financial management. Although the EMIS is a robust data management system, the quality, accessibility and use of its data need strengthening to prevent the inclusion of inflated enrolment numbers. The school-based Integrated EMIS (IEMIS) will address the need for individual student level data and should inform equity-based education indexes and targeted allocations and record the distribution of scholarships and incentive schemes. The availability of textbooks remains a key issue in terms of their timely printing and distribution. Finally, issues related to the position of head teachers needs to be addressed as their role in teacher performance evaluations and their authority to take actions against teachers remain limited. The effective implementation of School Improvement Plans (SIPs) continues to be a challenge, and the mechanism for allocating district budgets to schools is not adequately aligned with these plans. 1 The role of SMCs here refers to the quality of schools’ physical environment and teaching and learning in classrooms. As such, SMCs are expected to engage in the pedagogical area of teaching and learning. Further discussion is needed on this issue and the role of SMCs needs to be redefined and approaches to strengthen SMCs re-considered. 10
  23. 23. School Sector Development Plan (2016) As perthe School Management Committee Act, (MoE 2004), SMCs are to take a part in the areas related to pedagogy in schools. However, this leaves the question of whether SMCs should have this area of responsibility and what type of assurances should be in place to ensure that SMCs are equipped to fulfil this role adequately. Also, existing rules and regulations need reviewing to align school governance and management with the new constitutional mandate including functions of SMCs, which should include reviewing the role of SMCs, especially in terms of pedagogy. Financing The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates projected under the Thirteenth Plan, and the projections forecasted in the Education Sector Analysis (MOE 2016) have been used to draw a high growth and a low growth scenario FOR Nepal’s education sector. The average growth rate of GDP in the last seven years (2008 to 2015) has been used to calculate a medium growth scenario, with an adjustment made to project a realistic envelop for the SSDP based on the expected impact of events that adversely affected Nepal’s GDP in 2015. All three scenarios are presented in Annex **. The total estimated cost of the seven year SSDP comes to around US$ 11,030 million, of which US$6,900 million is estimated for the first five years (2016/17-2021/22). Furthermore, the SSDP will be implemented in a time where the sector analysis has projected a decrease in the number of children in basic education and a bulge of children moving into secondary education, which requires the refocusing of priorities and carrying their cost implications. This also provides the unique opportunity to strengthen the quality of basic education by increasing average investment per child in as the number of students decreases. In this fast changing context in terms of governance and financing structure and needs based on demographics, rationalization of investment is crucial. The SSDP will seek to ensure standardized minimum quality standards while allow for flexible approaches that cater to the diverse context and needs in which the programme is implemented. Federal restructuring is expected to be accompanied by a large demand on the existing human and institutional capacity within the system, as well as for additional roles and responsibilities to execute the further decentralization of educational management and planning. At the same time, the existing institutional capacity has been identified as in need of strengthening to ensure performance-based management and adequate skills and competencies. Establishing the federal transformation while at the same time ensuring that there is sufficient institutional capacity will be a major challenge. There is a large need to progress“from a narrow training focus to a comprehensive planning for capacity and institutional development (CID) exercise, which would greatly improve sustainability both of strategies and outcomes for educational development into the medium and long terms” (EU 2015). 1.4 Main achievements of the SSRP Overall, it was found that awareness about the importance of education has increased during the SSRP period (2009-2016), which in turn has increased overall expectations on the public education system to provide this. One of the most important innovations of the SSRP is the restructuration of the basic education which now comprises grade 1 to 8. With regard to access and equity, the SSRP helped address existing disparities linked to caste, ethnicity, religion and geography, but also helped avert potential conflicts and political divisions. Though access has 11
  24. 24. School Sector Development Plan (2016) increased across the board, disparities still exist, especially for certain geographical areas, children with disabilities and children from specific castes or ethnic groups. With regards to the establishment of an enabling learning environment, learning outcomes and student-teacher ratio have improved considerably, though there again, large disparities persist. Furthermore, a set of minimum enabling conditions have been designed to provide school communities with a benchmark for their operational planning, which was further prioritize to 5 prioritized minimum enabling conditions (PMECs). This has increased need based support to schools to reduce disparities in learning environments although resource constraints and the impact of the 2015 earthquake left a considerable amount of schools not meeting all of these 5 PMECs. The timely distribution of textbooks has been identified as one of these PMECs. To reduce delays in textbook distribution, the production process was decentralized and opened up to private companies. This has reduced delays to a certain extent. 1.5 Decentralized Planning The SSRP introduced decentralized planning strategies and institutional arrangements to strengthen planning and implementation within the school education sector at all levels. The introduction of School Improvement Plan (SIP) enabled the local stakeholders to prepare plans for the individual schools and was aimed at bringing local education stakeholders together for planning and monitoring. The SSRP furthermore introduced School Management Committees and Parents Teacher Associations at local level, as well as the creation of the Education Policy Committee (EPC) and the ERO at central level. Furthermore, the institutional capacity for monitoring and need based planning was strengthened under the SSRP in terms of the comprehensive Education Management Information System (EMIS) and the introduction of National Assessment for Student Achievements (NASA), as well as the establishment of the Education review Office (ERO). SSRP’s unfinished agenda Despite the gains made under the SSRP, the program’s objectives are yet to be fully met in a number of areas, most notably those of quality, learning outcomes and efficiency. With regard to the program’s reform agenda, the adoptation of the 8th Amendment of the Education Act, is considered the main institutional reform that is yet to be achieved in order to fully embed the school sector structure reform into the education act and regulations. Where most SSRP strategies aimed at improving access were found to be adequate, efforts on capacity building and management are required to ensure the implementation of these strategies is further strengthened. With regard to quality, teacher professional development and management is a key agenda that is yet to be achieved. Whereas the SSRP has launched a number of initiatives to strengthen teachers’ professional development, this is yet to be transformed in overall improved teaching- learning processes within the classroom. With regard to the management the harmonization of the different types of teachers and their distribution across regions and sub sectors within the school education is another priority that will need to be further addressed in the years to come. In addition to this, promising reforms and initiatives have been initiated under the SSRP period, such as the National Early Grade Reading Programme (NEGRP) and programmes strengthening learning outcomes through improved provision of Medium of Instruction and Languages of Education (MILE). Furthermore, competency-based curricula were developed and soft skills 12
  25. 25. School Sector Development Plan (2016) programmes were piloted. The didactical material produced by different projects is yet to be integrated into the curricula. Whereas the SSRP has been successful in strengthening the use of EMIS and establishing NASA and ERO, school level monitoring and evaluation is still facing challenges. Schools have been found to lack the required capacity and conceptual clarity to implement the Continuous Assessment System (CAS) as envisioned. Supervision capacity at school level remains limited in terms of the SMC capacity. The current structure of School Supervisors (SSs) and Resource Persons (RPs) has been found insufficient in terms of meeting the needs for evaluation and support of pedagogical processes within the school. Public Financial Management (PFM) has been considered as one of the priority areas for improvement. As such, a number of measures to mitigate fiduciary risks have been taken and initiated, namely the review of the financial management improvement action plan, the fund flow tracking mechanism, the teacher development plan, the database of student and school facilities, as well as the transfer of teacher salaries to their bank accounts. These measures helped reduce ineligible expenses, such as double payment of salaries and incorrect per capital funding to schools. Finally, the earth-quake of March/April 2015 brought new challenges, as large reconstruction and recovery needs have emerged within the education sector, as well as non-infrastructural needs such as the need for teachers to teach several grades in one classroom in an environment that is still affected by infrastructural damage. The implementation of SSDP will have to balance those needs emerged from the disaster with those already present prior to this. 1.6 Opportunities The strong foundation that has been laid for Nepal’s system of school-based education provides many opportunities for determining and implementing new plans and programmes. The new constitution reaffirms education as a fundamental right: “Every citizen shall have the right to compulsory and free basic education, and free education up to the secondary level.” The following are the main opportunities: • School-level education is given a high priority in government plans and policies. • Schools have been opened in sufficient numbers down to village and community levels, and these schools have the capacity to sustain the demand for pupil enrolment. • The (re)construction of schools, post-earthquakes, in line with approved guidelines and technical specifications to provide disaster risk-reduced and safe learning environment. • The Governments’ Consolidated Equity Strategy for the School Education Sector is the first of its kind and the envisioned implementation of its two folded approach to prioritize resource allocations disparity based formulas to strengthen equitable education outcomes, as well as to consolidate and target existing strategies will be a major opportunity under the SSDP. • Since the beginning of SSRP in 2009 and under the ICT in the Education Master Plan (MoE 2013), the Ministry of Education has include computer and information and communication 13
  26. 26. School Sector Development Plan (2016) technology (ICT) support to schools on a regular basis. This has increased access to computers and the internet across Nepal, which is allowing for the scaling-up the use of information technology (IT) in school education. • Nepal has articulated its commitment to the Universal Declaration on Education by 2030 (UNESCO 2015). As such, it is expected to foster international cooperation and collaboration for educational development in the country. • The professional knowledge of teachers is increasing. The recently deployed cohorts of teachers are entering the profession through a competitive process, a practice that is likely to continue. • Structural mechanisms have been put in place and are functioning for curriculum development and for school management for overall quality, examination systems, teacher selection, teacher training, professional development and measuring student achievements. • Public investment in education is increasing and private sector involvement is increasing dramatically. • Parents are becoming more eager to invest in their children’s education. • The activities of NGOs and civil society organizations are increasing in the education sector. • The interest and commitment of all sectors in skill-oriented education is increasing. • The desire for lifelong education is increasing among adults. • The education sector has comprehensive data on the impact of the 2015 earthquakes. The sector initiated a DRR strategy, the resilience of education stakeholders has been strengthened and contingency planning updated. The valuable lessons learned need to inform the planning and implementation of reconstruction and recovery in the education sector and best practices, such as the retrofitting of schools, need scaling up. • The institutional set up envisaged by the new constitution will allow state and local governments to oversee the provision of school education. 14
  27. 27. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 2 OVERALL VISION, OBJECTIVES, POLICY DIRECTIONS AND STRATEGIES 2.1 Vision 2022 A Nepal that protects and promotes democracy and human rights, and is committed towards continuous education, in which its citizens have a positive perception of labour, are oriented towards self-employment, have the agency and ability to be active and healthy citizens of their communities and the country; and contribute to solving the emerging challenges faced by people, society and the nation in the twenty-first century. 2.2 Purpose For Nepal’s school education to equip its citizens with the skills and agency needed to elevate Nepal’s status as Least Developed Country. 2.3 Goal The Goal of the SSDP is to contribute to socio-economic development and reduce disparities within the country through a continuous and inclusive development of its human resources capacity by facilitating all citizens with the opportunity to become functionally literate, numerate, and develop the basic life skills and knowledge required to enjoy a productive life, raking into account the diversity of context and needs and with regards to the forthcoming federalization of the country. 2.4 Objectives In order to attain Vision 2022, the education sector needs to prepare human resources that: • protect and promote democracy and human rights; • are committed towards continuous education; • have a positive perception of manual labour and vocational trades; • are oriented towards commercial agro-business, self-employment and to an extend industrialization; • have the agency and ability to be active and healthy citizens of their communities and the country; and • contribute to solving the emerging challenges faced by people, society and the nation in the twenty-first century. On a more specific level the objectives of the education sector are as follows related to equity, quality, efficiency, relevance and governance: • Equity; to ensure that the education system is inclusive and equitable in terms of access, participation and learning outcomes, with a special focus on reducing disparities among and between groups that have been identified as having the lowest level of access, participation and learning outcomes. o Access; to identify and mitigate existing barriers for groups with the lowest level of access by applying need based strategies to reach these children and 15
  28. 28. School Sector Development Plan (2016) identifying and tracking these children through a strengthened Education Management Information System. o Participation; to ensure the school sector has mechanisms in place with regards to tracking the retention of marginalized children throughout the school system, as well as preventative and rapid response strategies for when children from at risk groups are irregular attending or have dropped out. • Quality; to increase students’ learning through enhancement of the relevance and quality of education. o Through sufficient competed and motivated teachers at all levels and subjects equitable distributed across all schools. o Establishment of enabling learning environment — enabling Students develop knowledge, skills and attitudes as envisaged in the curriculum at all levels, relevant to the present and future need of the country and comparable to global standards. o Ensuring proficiency in Reading and Math skills for students completing grade 3 as building stones for further learning o Assessment for education allowing analysis and informing planning based on identified trends and needs o Relevance; to facilitate the realization of Nepali’s aspirations within the global and national context. • Efficiency; to strengthen and reorient governance and management systems in the education sector to make them robust and accountable to local government while assuring agreed overall minimum standards in teaching and learning processes and the learning environment. • Governance & Management; to accommodate the political and administrative restructuring of the education sector in line with the identified needs and the federal context, develop a disaster resilient system and ensure sustainable financing and strong financial management by introducing a cost-sharing modality between central, provincial, and local governments. 2.5 Policy Directions for SSDP 1. Reform rules and regulations to align school governance and management with the new constitutional mandate. 2. Continue decentralization of school sector with handing over schools management to communities 3. Fulfilling the commitment towards universal primary completion and strengthening linkage between ECED and Basic level, bringing all basic level age children to schools and retaining them until the end of grade 8. 4. Strengthening linkage between basic and secondary level to ensure children complete the full education cycle. 5. Diversification of secondary education to meet diverse learning needs, abilities and aptitude. 16
  29. 29. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 6. Instruction in mother tongue in early grades and teaching Nepali as a second language are critical to enhance learning opportunities for children whose mother tongue is other than Nepali. 7. Improving the relevance, quality and equity in basic education, in particular teacher professional development to be oriented toward core competencies and linked to in service follow up support and monitoring of performance and strengthen focus on development of early grade reading and math skills. 8. Improving the relevance, quality and equity in basic education, in particular need based allocations and monitoring to reduce disparities in minimum enabling conditions. 9. Focus on value-based skills-oriented pre-vocational education at basic level and school based occupational and vocational education through a technical stream at secondary level. 10. Strengthening the curriculum in terms of relevance to the present and future needs within peoples’ livelihoods (including health and occupational related needs) and those of the country, comparable to global standards. 11. Ensure all (re)construction of educational infrastructure is done according to approved norms and regulations for ‘safe schools’ and with adequate technical oversight. 2.6 Strategies 1. Review and assess rules and regulations to align them with the constitutional mandates. 2. Strengthen engagement and accountability of communities in general and parents in specific in the management and monitoring of the quality of education at the local level. 3. Focus on improving the quality of basic education. 4. Introduce programmes to improve access to and quality of secondary education. 5. Strengthen the efficiency of the school education system by maximizing graduation and completion rates and minimizing repetition and drop-out rates at basic and secondary education. 6. Introduce a separate stream of technical and vocational education in secondary schools. 7. Improve the relevance and value of education for peoples’ livelihoods, well-being and agency. 8. To strengthen the Education Management Information System to reflect all school education sector related data (NASA, NFE-MIS, DRR & Reconstruction EMIS, Equity Index) and to be based on the school based Integrated EMIS. Mainstream and enforce comprehensive school safety and disaster risk reduction (CSS-DRR) to create safe and secure spaces conducive for teaching and learning 9. Upscale the retrofitting of schools in the Kathmandu valley based on the good practice under the school safety flagship program. 2.7 Links with Country Development Objectives • Align the SSDP with country development objectives as stated in the Thirteenth Development Plan (NPC 2014). 17
  30. 30. School Sector Development Plan (2016) • Underscore the need to change the discourse on educational reform from a social development intervention into a human resource investment that is as important, if not more important, than capital investments. • Advocate for more visibility for education reforms in the national development goals as put forward by the National Planning Commission (NPC). It is important to underscore that the sustainable achievement of these seven goals is contingent on highly qualified human resources. • Demonstrate that a key condition of integrated and systemic planning is to demonstrate the importance of a shared commitment about common national priorities. A key expression of political commitment to reform is that SSDP should not only be seen as a Ministry of Education priority. Champions for SSDP should be identified and engaged from the Cabinet, NPC, and all relevant ministries to ensure that the reform agenda is adequately supported and funded, and well integrated with other national development programmes. 18
  31. 31. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 3 PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION 3.1 Guiding Principles The changed context and evolving socio-political order under the new constitution provide the foundation for reforming the country’s governance and management systems. As such, sectoral development planning and its operational mandates are also not intact from these reform. Alongside this national and international best practices and the following policies and instruments have provided the guiding principles for developing the SSDP document: Constitutional provisions and legal instruments – The recently promulgated constitution (2015) and subsequent policy, act and regulations as they are enacted, served as the main guide for developing SSDP. The governance and management of the educational system and its delivery mechanisms need reorientation to fulfil the intent and mandates of the new constitution. For example, free and compulsory basic education and free secondary education remain as the major agenda in SSDP. Also, the gradual devolution of governance and management to the local level is another major focus of the plan. National periodic plan – The current national periodic plan (2013–2016) (NPC 2014) has the goal of Nepal graduating from a least developed country (LDC) to a developed one by 2022. All sectoral objectives, including those in the SSDP, must therefore be aligned with this overarching national goal. International and regional covenants and commitments – Nepal is a signatory to various covenants where it has made global and regional commitments. Its commitment to Education for All (EFA) by 2015 (2001-2015) and to the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (NPC 2015) are the major covenants directly related to the education sector. These commitments provided the basic guidelines for drafting the SSDP’s programme and strategies for the next seven years and beyond. EFA/SSRP reflections – The EFA national plan of action 2001-15 (NNC-UNESCO 2003) and the School Sector Reform Plan, 2009-2015 (SSRP) (MoE 2009) are the two major recent programmes of the education sector. Their implementation provides an abundance of lessons learned and the challenges faced. SSDP is largely build on lessons learned from these experiences. The SSDP partly reflects the legacies of EFA and SSDP alongside new initiatives to address the emerging needs of the country and the people’s aspirations. 3.2 Programme readiness To ensure the smooth implementation of SSDP, several strategic reform and provisions have been made in terms of institutional and functional arrangements: Enabling environment – The enabling environment for school education will be improved through structural and functional reforms. This requires realigning the existing school structure with Grades 1-2 and into basic (1-8) and secondary (9-12) levels of education. Within the overall basic and secondary levels, sub-structures will also be created at 1–3, 1–5, 1-8, and 1–12 levels to ensure easy access to basic and secondary education. 19
  32. 32. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Education resource centres and district education offices (DEOs) are the local administrative units and provide technical backstopping to the delivery of education at the local level. Their functions and operations need reviewing and restructuring based on a comprehensive study and assessment against SSDP’s requirements. Regulatory provisions – Appropriate laws, rules and regulations are the basic instruments for the implementation of SSDP’s programmes. The full implementation of SSDP therefore requires amending existing laws, including the Grade 1-12 school structure, teacher qualifications and career path (basic and secondary levels), education streaming into general and vocational education, endorsing the National Qualification Framework as the guiding instrument for certification and accreditation, and forming a National Examination Board. An amendment bill to the Education Act has been already tabled in the parliament and is expected to be promulgated soon. Governance and management – As per the Education Act and its regulations, school management committees (SMCs) and parent teacher associations (PTAs) have major responsibilities for school governance and management. However, it is necessary to realign their roles of responsibilities given their prominence in school governance and management and the heightened roles bestowed upon village development committees (VDCs) and municipalities in the new constitution. The roles of SMCs and PTAs need to be realigned with the roles by reactivating and strengthening the village education committees (VECs). While SMCs need to focus more on school level planning, head-teachers need to carry out more technical functions including teacher performance reviews and teachers' time on task and teacher capacity building. The possibility will be explored of establishing single governing bodies for school education led by elected local government within their jurisdiction. This will facilitate the zoning of schools based on their catchment areas as well as the planning and allocation of educational resources and local delivery mechanisms. School zoning will allow more effective resourcing, planning, entitlement and accountability. Internal management and the day-to-day functioning of schools will rest with SMCs and PTAs while the ‘external’ administrative and logistical functions will rest with VDCs and municipalities. Thus, the internal management and delivery service of schools will rest with SMCs and PTAs whereas external functions, including financing and accountability to provide access to quality education will rest with VDCs and municipalities. Resource allocation – Different modes of financing will be explored to balance between schools’ basic requirements and their developmental needs. Differential cost sharing will be adopted (depending on local capacity). The possibility of generating funds locally and engaging in public- public and public-private partnerships will be explored. Capacity building – Teacher professional development is the major capacity development component of SSDP. Individual, organizational and systemic capacity building are discussed in a separate chapter of this document. A separate plan will be developed to focus on capacity building in line with the restructuring of the governance system under the new constitution. To make the teacher recruitment process simple accessible to all potential candidates, the 20
  33. 33. School Sector Development Plan (2016) functions of the Teacher Service Commission at the local level will be reviewed and innovations piloted in a few areas. Sector analysis, including risk analysis As the implementers of the SSDP work on reforming existing rules and regulations to align school governance and management with the federal constitutional mandate, part of the transition challenge is to propose a plan with policies that demonstrates technical feasibility, value acceptability, tolerable cost and political viability: 1. Technical feasibility: Do the policies reflect understanding of actual mechanisms by which they would be implemented in practice? Have these mechanisms been tried before? What is the evidence that the proposed policies succeeded or will succeed? Is there adequate staff at the federal, provincial, and local levels who understand the proposed changes and will implement them successfully? 2. Value acceptability: Are the proposed changes compatible with the values of the subject matter specialists? Among the many value laden issues on which specialists’ positions may collide are: language(s) of instruction, role of governments in education, type of school governance, efficiency versus equity, public versus private, student assessments, and school to career pathways. Reflecting on value compatibility, Aryal (2014) wonders how the Nepali school and educational system, which is linked to the dated political ideology of the Panchayat regime (1960–1990), will handle the federal implications of history content, language use, school management and financing, and religious schools. The challenge with value acceptability is that, if not addressed, it can result in policies that are too polarizing to implement. 3. Tolerable cost: The rights, educational policies, and social justice articles in Nepal’s new constitution are equity concerns with cost implications. An essential component of the financial feasibility of the SSDP rests on there being actionable and fundable strategies that politicians, interest groups, and other stakeholders can support. 4. Political viability: Ensuring that the transition to the federal education system is not framed as political rhetoric entails education reform architects being able to argue that SSDP reflects public aspirations about equitable and quality education. The preamble of the new constitution commits to: ending all forms of discrimination and oppression created by feudal, autocratic, centralized, and unitary system. It further commits to embracing multi-caste, multi- lingual, multi-cultural, and diverse geographical specificities, by ending discrimination relating to class, caste, region, language, religion, and gender including all forms of racial untouchability. Making the case in the public arena that SSDP contributes to achieving the ideals of the new constitution is an important step to secure its political viability. 21
  34. 34. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 3.3 Methodology 3.4 SSDP Key Performance Indicators SSDP Sub sector/ Thematic area Indicators Current Status (2015/16) 3 year target (2018/19) 5 year target (2020/21) 7 year target (2022/23) PPC/ECED GER IN ECED/PPC 81a 90 94 96 % of PPC/ECED teachers with required qualification 42.16a 75 95 100 % of PPC/ECED teachers with one month training 0 50 75 100 % of grade 1 new entrants with ECED experience 62.4a 78 86 90 Basic Education Gross Intake Rate in Grade 1 136.7a 125 115 110 Net Intake Rate in Grade 1 93.9a 95 97 100 GER of basic (Grades 1-5) 135.4a 125 115 102 NER of basic (Grades 1-5) 96.6a 98.5 100 100 GER of basic (Grades 1-8) 120.1a 115 112 110 NER of basic (Grades 1-8) 89.4a 94 97 100 GPI in NER in Basic (Grades 1-8) 1a 1 1 1 Survival Rate for Grade 8 Completion rate for basic level 69.7a 80 85 90 % of out-of school children in basic level (age 5-12) 11.3a 6 3 0 Students’ Learning achievement scores (%) in Grade 5 Math 48.3b 53 57 60 English 46.8b 50 55 60 Nepali 46.3 b 55 60 65 Students’ Learning achievement scores (%) in Grade 8 ( based on NASA) Math: 35c 55 58 62 Nepali: 48c 57 60 65 Science: 41 c 50 55 60 Secondary Education GER in Grades 9-10 75.1a 90 95 98 GER in Grades 9-12 56.7a 80 85 90 NER in Grades 9-10 57.9a 85 90 95 NER in Grades 9-12 37.7a 45 55 60 Survival rate to Grade 10 37.10a 50 65 75 GPI in NER in Grades 9-12 0.99a 1 1 1 Transition rate from Grade 8 to 9 93a 95.38 98.0 100 Number of 0 200 500 1000 22
  35. 35. School Sector Development Plan (2016) SSDP Sub sector/ Thematic area Indicators Current Status (2015/16) 3 year target (2018/19) 5 year target (2020/21) 7 year target (2022/23) model/comprehensive schools Number of students enrolled in technical subjects in grade 9-12 9750a 72,540 102600 126,600 Non-formal Education and Life Long Learning Literacy rate 6+ 65.9d 80 85 90 Literacy rate 15-24 87.5e 93 95 98 Literacy 15+ 57f 65 72 80 Teacher Management and Professional Development % of female teachers in basic level 38.8 42 45 50 Sector finance % of Education sector budget out of national budget. 12.04% 15% 17% 20% a. DoE (2016). Flash I Report, 2015/16 b. ERO (2016). NASA Report 2016, c. (2016). NASA Report 2015, d. CBS (2011). National Statistics Report, e. NPC (2070). 13th plan f. CBS (2011). NLSS Report 23
  36. 36. School Sector Development Plan (2016) 4 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT/PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION 4.1 Introduction The importance of early childhood education has been highlighted by research as a key intervention for improving the quality of education in schools. Significant gains have been made in improving access to early childhood education and development/Pre-Primary Education (ECED/PPE) during the EFA and SSRP periods (2001–2015).The Gross Enrolment Rate in ECED has reached to almost 78 percent (DoE 2015). There has been remarkable progress in ECED/PPE. While in 2002, only about 10 percent of students in Grade 1 had taken part in ECED/PPE, the proportion had reached 60 percent by 2014. And the average enrolment rate of 4 year-old children in ECED/PPE programmes is now almost 78 percent. The number of ECED/PPE centres had increased to over 35,000 in 2014. The National Policy on Early Childhood Development (DoE 2004a) provided the basis for these achievements. However, quality and equity in early education remain as major challenges as this service is not equally available to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Girls, children with special needs, orphans, children on the streets, and other vulnerable children have least access to these services. Other challenges include the capacity of management committees, the limited or lack of training of ECED/PPE teachers, poor implementation of the curriculum due to inadequate teacher preparation and poor infrastructure. 4.2 Goal and Objectives Goal: To promote a comprehensive approach to ECED/PPE programmes to safeguard the rights and fully develop the physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and moral potential of children below 5 years. Objectives: • To foster early childhood development. • To ensure children’s school readiness at an appropriate age upon entering Grade 1. 4.3 Policy directions a) Ensure school readiness through access to one year early childhood education development/Pre-primary Education (ECED/PPE) programmes for all children that will be/turn four years during the academic year in line with the Constitution. b) Ensure expansion and relocation is done based on agreed criteria to prioritize access by marginalised communities and areas while expanding through a phase wise approach. c) All basic education school are to establish a one year school based ECED program d) Develop and approve regulations and guidelines for ECED facilities to be school-based where possible, and for the different types and modalities of ECED including their administration and management linkage with the school in their vicinity in the other cases. e) Mandate local governments to operate and manage ECED programmes in their jurisdictions and allocate revenue to fund expansion of ECED. 24
  37. 37. School Sector Development Plan (2016) f) Coordinate involvement of non-government actors through Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with private sector and Community Based Organizations (CSOs) to run ECED programs in unserved areas. g) Develop and approve regulations and guidelines for an additional year of childhood development programmes by communities or non-government actors, including schools. h) Develop and approve regulations and guidelines for minimum quality standards of ECED programmes, including minimum enabling learning environment standards, enabling children to obtain Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS). i) Formalize technical and administrative support to be provided to ECED program based on guidelines and requirements in terms of monitoring of approved minimum quality standards. a) Enforce mandatory pre-service training to all ECED facilitators and approve action plan for all ECED facilitators currently employed without this training to be trained. j) Remuneration of ECED facilitators is aligned with Grade 10 level of government employees. 4.4 Strategies Equity a) Need based expansion of ECED facilities through identification of areas/locations in communities in collaboration with central government with VDCs and municipalities to conduct ECED mapping to identify locations with high disparity in terms of access to ECED, prioritizing expansion to most needy communities and geographic locations based on observed low basic level NIR and low % of children that enrol in grade 1 with ECED experience. k) Relocation and merging of ECED facilities in line with school catchment areas will be undertaken aligned with mapping of schools in basic education, to ensure access to ECED is maximized with the available resources and where possible non-school based ECED is relocated to, or linked with the school in the vicinity to strengthen management and increased access to education facilities. b) Expansion of ECED facilities through engagement of communities and non-government actors by local government, in line with regulations and framework to standardize contributions and with Government coordination to accelerate expansion in most needed areas and mitigate overlaps and duplication in services provided by different actors. a) Establishment of different models of ECED services, such as school-based, community- based and home-based programmes, responding to the identified needs and projected trends, and in compliance approved norms and implementation frameworks for the different models. b) Strengthening of parental/community engagement in ECED, through the provision of packaged programs, linking ECED with family literacy, income generation, health and hygiene awareness, and skills training programmes. 25
  38. 38. School Sector Development Plan (2016) c) Establishment and strengthening of diagnostic and referral mechanisms to identify and support children with disabilities (CwDs), including establishment of specialized CwD ECED facilities and home-based support for children with complex or severe disabilities. In addition, all ECED facilitators will receive a module as part of their induction training on identification and support of children with disabilities. d) Development of a specific component for the recovery of the ECED subsector from the impact of the 2015 earthquake as part of the overall recovery roadmap, including both infrastructure and other needs. Quality b) Development of norms and guidelines to support SMCs, ECDMC sin the management and monitoring of ECED programs operating in line with the approved minimum quality standards, including standards for minimum enabling learning environment, to ensure relevance of operation and use of educational resources with Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS). The Ministry of Education will standardize the existing curricula through CDC and prepare one year and multiple year packages, of which the prior will be mandatory across all ECED program and the latter is optional for schools that operate multi-year ECED programs. c) The MoE, in collaboration with VDCs and municipalities will conduct ECED mapping to identify locations and groups with limited access to ECED services. Based on the results of the mapping, local governments in collaboration with the DEO, plan strategies to reach out to populations deprived of ECED services. d) Provision of on month pre service intensive training for ECED facilitators, including those already employed based on child development methodology and in line with the ELDS. e) Development of an ECED career path, including provision of performance based incentive, and specification of different levels and remuneration. f) Introduction of ECED as a module for graduates of basic education (at Grade 9) to increase number of competent and committed ECED facilitator candidates to become available, with provisions made available to graduates of this course, such as priority enrolment in ECED related academic courses. g) Enforcement of regulation of all ECED facilitators to have minimum qualifications (SLC graduation) and increase of remuneration in line with Government norms accordingly. In addition, facilitators not meeting these qualifications will be supported to obtain this within three years, after which they will be classified in the approved remuneration scale, or retire. h) Development of interaction classroom based assessments of children’s overall development against the ELDS and guidelines for facilitators to document and track trends in the outcomes of these assessments minimizing administrative implications. i) Engagement of parents, facilitators and communities in monitoring and feedback on ECED program and development outcomes. Parents will be engaged through scheduled interaction programs at the centres to increase their awareness and involvement on the development of their children. 26
  39. 39. School Sector Development Plan (2016) Efficiency a) Support community schools with community-based ECED centres in their vicinity to establish functional and effective links between. all ECEDs are aligned with neighbouring schools for technical and administrative support and receive individual EMIS codes b) Strengthen the roles of local governments to supervise and monitor ECED with the focus on follow-up support. c) Strengthen coordination between central level ministries for integrated interventions across health, nutrition, education and protection, and take a more holistic approach to drive results for children. d) Strengthen cross sectoral coordination within district on early child development and preparation of multi-sectoral ECD district plans with input from DEO, DHO Relevance a) Empower local governments to run ECED programmes by developing norms, guidelines and incentives to operate such programmes in partnership to support early childhood education development on demand. b) Explore the use of traditional and local knowledge transfer practices particularly for imparting skills. 4.5 Physical Targets and Beneficiaries By the end of SSD: 3.6 million children by age four receive at least one year ECED learning 32,000 school/community based ECED centres established 32,000 ECED facilitator position filled. 1,400 master training of trainers (MToT) courses run on giving ECED facilitators basic training. All 32,000 ECED facilitators receive ECED basic training 4.6 Key Performance Indicators ECED Percentage of grade 1 new entrants with ECED experience Number of ECED facilitators with required qualification Number of ECED facilitators with one months’ training GER in ECED/PPC 4.7 Key Results SSDP Key Results — Early Childhood Education and Development 1. Improved access and equity in ECED 1.1 Need based expansion of access to ECED a All children have access to ECED facilities within the approved student-facilitator norm b Communities and local Government supports additional year of ECED c Expansion of services are resourced form local Government revenue d Local Governments are accountable for their progress against the targets of access to ECED within their jurisdiction. e Multiple modes of ECED delivery are operational, responding to the diverse context and needs of the communities in which they are located. f Expansion of ECED services in unserved areas through partnerships with CSOs and private sectors 27
  40. 40. School Sector Development Plan (2016) to implement ECED programs. 1.2 All children in earthquake affected areas will have access to ECED facilities within the approved student-facilitator norm a Reconstruction of ECED facilities in earthquake affected districts based on the identified post disaster needs 1.3 Reduced disparities in enrolment of age appropriate children in ECED a Age appropriate children not or irregular accessing ECED services are identified within the communities. b Parents increase demand towards communities and local Governments to enrol their children in ECED services before the age of 5. c Context appropriated ECED models are provided for groups with lowest NIR and grade 1 with ECED experience enrolment in remote areas and children with severe/complex disabilities. 2 Improved quality of ECED 2.1 ECED programs operating in line with approved minimum quality standards All ECED programs are being monitored to operate in line with the approved minimum quality standards. Curricula across all ECED programs and different types and modalities is standardized along learning objectives, upward linkages with school education and non-text based instruction is adopted 2.2 Competent ECED facilitators are attracted and retained A ECED facilitators have completed grade 10 as minimum requirement and receive remuneration aligned with minimum wage for SLC graduates B Increased perception of ECED facilitator as a career opportunity. C ECED facilitators complete pre service induction training and annual in service refresher training and are certified. D One year ECED course is introduced as an optional subject in Grade 9 2.3 Increased school readiness of children enrolled in ECED programs A Regular interaction based assessment to monitor children’s development. B Increased participation and contribution of parents, communities and local bodies in planning ECED resources monitoring development outcomes for children enrolled 2.3 ECED learning materials and environments are in line with minimum quality and relevance standards a ECED classrooms meet approved minimum learning environment and learning material standards ECED programs apply an interactive and experiential pedagogical approach, aligned with measurable development outcomes 2.4 ECED centres operate in compliance with the resilience and risk reduction norms Relevance: Flexible and multiple modes of ECED programmes are introduced – based on mapping, and local demand packaged programmes are designed. 2.9 Strengthened cross-sectoral institutional linkage at local level to support holistic child development 3. Effective governance and management system A central level joint committee is formed to coordinate inter-ministerial functions, roles and 28

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