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.