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Advancing inclusivity and quality in teaching, learning, and assessment systems in Nepal

British Council Nepal is organising its 6th Education Symposium on 24 February 2023 (in-person format). The title for this year’s symposium is ‘Advancing inclusivity and quality in teaching, learning, and assessment systems in Nepal’.  

The event aims to bring together key government stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and its line agencies, as well as provincial and local government officials, development partners, policymakers, planners, administrators, educators, researchers, and stakeholders from Civil Service Organisations (CSOs) and the private sector to share different perspectives and discuss the needs, issues and opportunities around inclusivity and quality in teaching, learning and assessment systems in Nepal. 

Aims and Objectives

The event aims to:

  • provide an opportunity for education stakeholders for informed discussions on issues, opportunities and challenges concerning teacher development, inclusive education, assessment and creative education through arts,
  • provide platform for researchers and practitioners to share evidence and experience related to the four focus areas: and
  • provide opportunities for networking, information sharing and constructive dialogues. 

This year's education symposium will focus on four areas of inclusive and quality school education in Nepal, which align with the priorities of Nepal’s School Education Sector Plan (SESP), Nepal’s Education Policy 2019, and the needs of a 21st-century school education system. The focus areas of this year’s symposium are:

Teachers’ Professional Development (TPD)

One of the key focus areas for the symposium is Teachers' Professional Development (TPD), which is a key priority for the SESP to improve the teaching and learning process in schools. Federalism brings new opportunities and challenges for TPD, and enhancing the capacity of education training centres and developing mechanisms for teacher support systems at the local level are going to be the key focus in coming years.

The British Council recently conducted a study on TPD, exploring the current situation and the need for teacher development in Nepal in the context of federalism and other emerging issues. We will be disseminating key findings from this study at the symposium. The study findings are expected to inform the government and other key stakeholders about the needs and constraints of the teacher development system and provide recommendations for strengthening it further.

 

Inclusive education

Inclusive education makes the learning experience more welcoming, pupil- friendly and impactful. While Nepal has introduced a number of measures to make school education accessible, inclusive and equitable; disparities in access, participation and learning achievement are still present. Government’s consolidated equity strategy has identified eight dimensions to strengthen equity in the school education system, viz, gender, socio-economic status, geographical location, health and nutrition status, disabilities, caste & ethnicity, language and children of vulnerable groups.

Though inclusive education is a very wide and multi-dimensional area of education, the symposium will focus on girls’ education and multilingual education.

The symposium will create a platform for discussions about the issues and challenges around girls’ education in Nepal, from policies to practices, with an aim to identify practical takeaways for responsible actors including the government of Nepal. Based on research-based evidence, the symposium will highlight the students’ right to access the school curriculum in their own familiar languages as well as receive quality English language learning experiences at the primary school level in low-or middle-income countries. 

Creative education (through arts)

The national curriculum framework has made a provision for local government to adapt and develop local curriculum based on local arts, cultures, history, traditions, skills and knowledge.  It has also recognized the needs to integrate various soft and non-cognitive skills in the curriculum to enhance students’ 21st century skills, and awareness of global challenges like climate change, and improve their learning process. The symposium will focus on creative education using arts/culture-based approaches to make teaching/learning more inclusive and relevant. The British Council has experience in developing creative engagement opportunities and resources which have evidenced the impact of arts/culture/media in the classroom as a better means of learning and teaching to address global challenges.

Our outputs can support educators to complement the existing curriculum to accommodate a range of learning inputs to make children’s education more engaging and varied and facilitate students’ growth academically and socially.

We will be showcasing the following projects at the symposium which have used creative interventions in the learning process for students.

  • Rivers of the World – visual arts/oral history
  • Camera Sika – films/filmmaking
  • In Our Own Words – literature/writing/design/illustration
  • Creating Heroines – comics/gender
  • Climate Change animation (media)

 

Assessment

SESP has identified the need to introduce assessment as a core element of the pedagogical process to improve teaching-learning activities. British Council’s observations show that the teaching and learning activities have been highly influenced by the examination (also called ‘Washback’) and mostly prepare students for assessment.  To gather evidence on this area, the British Council in Nepal, in partnership with the Education Review Office (ERO), developed and delivered the National Assessment of Student Achievement (NASA) test for grade 8 in English in March 2020.

The symposium will focus on the key findings from the NASA report, evidence-based dialogues and takeaways for the governments and the key actors working in the area of assessment.