Implementation support for new and local curriculum

A constitutional essence for education has been to make it more relevant to local contexts. Other responsibilities include designing and rolling out the local curriculum. Schedule eight of Nepal’s constitution gives the local governments responsibilities for primary and secondary education. The framework gives the 753 local governments power to develop and implement local curriculums that will cover five credit hours of teaching per week for grades 1 to three and three credit hours for grades 4 to 8. 

To support local governments to design local curricula, the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) introduced a “Guidebook on Development and Implementation of Local Curriculum” in 2019 including education in local languages. In addition to this there is also the “Local Curriculum Framework for School Education” introduced in 2014 by the government as a resource for local governments to design their local curriculum. However, transitioning and developing new local curriculums in the current education scenario has been a challenge for local governments. They are faced with the lack of appropriate human resources and absence of knowledge and local expertise in local levels in most cases.

Single point engagement with curriculum specialist 

With schedule nine of the constitution stating that education is also a concurrent responsibility of all three tiers of governments, as a federal entity, the CDC under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has introduced a platform for local governments to engage on curriculum issues. The CDC with support of the School Sector Development Plan- Technical Assistance facility has set up a Help Desk Service Center as part of its communication outreach program for local governments and schools. The help desk serves as a go-to point for local governments, schools, curriculum development professionals to facilitate local curriculum development and implementation, technical support and adaptation through direct engagement with specialist teams at the CDC. 

Curriculum related support is through face-to-face engagement, communication through phone and emails and group support through webinars and virtual meetings. Likewise, the help desk platform also has provisions for review and feedback by a subject specialist on curriculum developed at the local level. To ensure quality and timely service, the help desk has standard operating procedures to follow such as response time for phone and mail enquires, technical support and timelines for review and feedback on draft curriculum etc.


Preparation for service

A team of CDC officials and SSDP TA drafted a concept note in the lead up to establishing the help desk. Supporting the help desk at the CDC was also a program support activity defined in the SSDP TA’s capacity and institutional development plan to support SSDP implementation. Hardware and software requirements such as toll-free telephone numbers, smart television, cameras, computers, recording systems, virtual meeting software and high-speed internet connectivity were provided by the SSDP TA facility which is supported by the European Union and the Asian Development Bank. Human resources and management team members such as curriculum specialists, librarians/archivists, and computer officers were trained and oriented on the help desk’s operations and equipment used.

Operation and orientation

As a start, the CDC along with the SSDP TA facility organised a virtual orientation for  753 local governments regarding support services accessible through the help desk platform in April 2021. To expedite the transition to a new national curriculum as part of the National Curriculum Framework, orientation and Training of Trainers for implementation of new curriculum for grades 2, 3, 6 and 11 have been conducted through the help desk platform. The platform engaged close to 2200 representatives from local governments, Provincial Education Training Centres, content leads from schools for English, Nepali, mathematics, health and science, social studies and life skill education. New curricula for these grades across the country are implemented from the current academic session (starting June 2021).

The help desk has a dedicated phone line (977-1-6630588) with recording provisions to receive queries.