The Government of Nepal approved the School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) for fiscal years (FY) 2017-2023 to continue its efforts in addressing challenges of school education in the areas of access and quality to translate into improved learning outcomes, strengthen weak governance, management, and institutional capacity. The SSDP Technical Assistance (TA) 9215 Facility is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and European Union (EU) and implemented by the British Council to support the government in key areas that are vital to ensure that capacities are strengthened at all levels and timely, high-quality and coordinated technical assistance is provided to ensure SSDP objectives as outlined in the program results framework are achieved.
The SSDP TA 9215 has been supporting the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST) since January 2019 by providing technical support to SSDP Program Secretariat and Development Partners (DP) by undertaking activities related to capacity strengthening, technical assistance, program management & monitoring, and knowledge management. The Capacity and Institutional Development Plan (CIDP) which has been approved by the ADB and the MOEST guides the TA project implementation. In response to the CoVID crisis since 2020, the TA has been proactively supporting the government in thematic various areas as well as project management and reporting through virtual means. Some of the activities that stand out are:
- Support to the MoEST to effectively manage the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLI) reporting, coordination and facilitation of Thematic Working Group (TWG) and development/implementation of the Annual Strategic Implementation Plan (ASIP), Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWPB) and the Program Implementation Manual (PIM)
- Development of Grade 8 Assessment Framework
- Curriculum Help Desk Setup at the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC)
- Support the MOEST for holding two review missions virtually, involving DPs and other stakeholders working in education in Nepal.
- Support remote learning by developing handbooks for the Provincial Education Training Centres (PETC) to help convert face to face training to virtual followed by Online skills training for PETC trainers on adaptation from F2F to remote training and development of alternate learning teachers manual.
- Development of an orientation manual on local curriculum development for the Local Governments (LGs)
- Ongoing technical support to National Examinations Board (NEB) in the foundational work (including item development and banking activities) to develop standardised tests for Grade 8 examinations
- Development of a draft Communication Strategy for MoEST
- Development of high priority communication platforms like the Push SMS service to support communication between federal, provincial, and local governments
- Support to Centre for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) for development of a handbook for construction procedure of model and other schools
- Support to CEHRD for determining the actual progress of retrofitted school buildings in various districts
- Development of a daft EMIS Policy which is currently being revised
- Support to CEHRD to deliver Training of Trainers on LG capacity building and IEMIS capacity strengthening
Further support has been envisaged towards development and implementation of digital content for teachers and pupils, capacity building for 692 LG education and planning officers, IEMIS school level training for 1000 schools, a National Conference, School Mentoring Pilot, and ongoing support to the MoEST/CEHRD on programme management and reporting.
The TA interventions are expected to create a long-lasting and sustainable impact in the school education sector of Nepal. The TA support will help enhance the sector capacity at federal, provincial and local levels, operationalize web-based EMIS for tracking policy implementation and sector performance reporting, strengthen knowledge management through one national conference, one research study and one study visit for policymakers focusing on local governance or EMIS areas, strengthen coordination mechanisms between the government and the DPs, and increase awareness of the SSDP interventions in the decentralized context through a robust communication strategy.