Date: 23 - 27 September 2020
Theme: School Leadership - principles and practice

The British Council Nepal is hosting its 4th Education Symposium in September and this time we’re going virtual! The theme of this year’s event is School Leadership. The event aims to bring together policymakers, planners, administrators, head teachers, teachers, researchers, NGOs, and private sector and development partners to share different perspectives and discuss issues around School Leadership, the principles around it and the practices in Nepal and other countries.  

For most countries around the world, school leadership has become a key point of discussion when framing education policies as it plays a key role in defining teaching and learning practices. Often considered to be the mediator between policy and practice, school leaders play an important role in developing the school infrastructure, overall management, teacher effectiveness and impact on student learning. Nepal’s School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) also stresses the need for enhancing leadership capacity in schools stating that the “head teachers will have an increased focus on instructional leadership including reviewing teacher performance, monitoring teachers' time on task and building teacher capacity.” 

Although they play such a crucial role in developing the education system, little research and dialogue have been done around the practice of effective school leadership. This virtual symposium will provide a platform for presentations, debates, workshops and discussions around the same issues at policy and practice levels, involving national and international decision-makers and stakeholders, and members of the wider education community. 

Aims and objectives 

The event aims to: 

  • create a platform for the British Council and other education stakeholders to share best practices from projects related to school leadership. 
  • facilitate informed discussion about issues and challenges relating to the practice of school leadership in Nepal and other countries 
  • provide opportunities for information sharing and constructive dialogues 

Meet the Contributors of the Virtual Education Symposium 2020

Prof. Dr. Mahesh Nath Parajuli, Ph.D., Dean, School of Education, Kathmandu University

Professor Parajuli has over 35 years of professional experience in areas related to education.  As a university teacher, he has been actively involved in teaching, researching, publishing, and supporting student research.  He feels a strong need for re-engineering the present form of schooling making it more open, flexible, and contextualized.  He believes that leadership or education leadership can be an important strategy for preparing youth for better today and tomorrow.

Semee Shafqat Qureshi, Principal, Beaconhouse Valencia Campus, Pakistan

Semee is an experienced school leader and educationist. She has worked across multiple disciplines at schools. She started her career as an English Language Teacher and has 24 years of diversified work experience in various teaching and leadership positions. Semee is the Principal at Beaconhouse Valencia Campus in Lahore, Pakistan and this year marks her eighth year in educational leadership. As an educationist, she believes in life-long learning as a philosophy and is currently studying towards her M.Phil. Educational Leadership & Management, which is intended to be an example to students and teachers that we never stop learning. 

Dr. Hari Lamsal, Secretary, Chief Minister's Office, State 3

Hari Prasad Lamsal is currently working in the Bagamati province, Office of the Chief Minister, and Council of Minister, Hetauda as a Provincial Secretary. He completed his Master from the University of Leeds, Mphil from Tribhuwan University and Phd from Kathmandu University in the education discipline. He has over 25 years of experience in the education sector under different capacities ranging from secondary school head teacher, school supervisor, District Education Officer to the senior management position in the Ministry of Education. During his tenure, he has also been involved in planning, data and information management, education management, education governance, research works and financial management.

Mr. Lamsal has published four books in the area of education governance and managemen and education financing. In addition, he has also published several articles relating to education governance and management, education financing and education in federalism and presented his papers in international seminars about education in federalism and education financing.

Girman Thapa, Director, Center for Education and Human Resource Development

Girman Thapa has more than 24 years of experience in education planning and implementation being at various roles under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST). He has facilitated and attended various trainings and workshops around school leadership and written many academic articles in national and international journals. He has done M. Phil in Educational Leadership from the Kathmandu University.

Dr. Hari Prasad Kadel, Head Teacher, Bhimodaya Higher Secondary School, Chitwan

Dr. Kadel is a high school principal at Bhimodaya Higher Secondary School, Chitwan. He is passionate about academic and student development and has a history of success in developing effective strategies to overreach curriculum goals, align academic and instructional visions and bring instructional technologies in action to enrich lesson plans for students. Dr. Kadel also received the National Best Teacher Award from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in 2019.

Tanka Prasad Dahal, Head Teacher, Manthali Secondary School

Tanka Prasad Dahal has been teaching English for 22 years. He is a Head Teacher of Manthali Secondary School since 2013. Under his leadership, the school is running as a model school in Ramechhap focusing on quality education and development of students and teachers.

Dr. Tulashi Thapaliya, Director General, Center for Education and Human Resource Development

Dr. Thapaliya is currently working as the Director General of the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD), under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Nepal. He has a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from Kathmandu University. He is associated with Kathmandu University as a visiting faculty and has worked under the Ministry for more than three decades in different capacities in the areas of policy and planning, education reform, human resource development, and monitoring the implementation of educational programmes in Nepal. He has also worked internationally in education partnerships.

Dr Jane Doughty, Director of Leadership Development, National College for School Leadership

Jane has worked with a variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. In the UK, she held posts as a secondary Headteacher, Senior Inspector and Director of Leadership Development at the National College for School Leadership. She has worked with school leaders and teachers on projects in a number of countries, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, UAE, Thailand, Ski Lanka, Serbia, Albania, Zambia and Algeria. These projects have included developing school leadership standards, designing a headship qualification, training, accrediting and coaching trainers, creating and delivering webinars, and delivering leadership training on topics like instructional leadership, school self-evaluation, and leading effective teams.

Dr. Laxman Gnawali, Professor and Head, Department of Language Education, KU

Professor Laxman leads the English language teacher education programme at Kathmandu University. He taught the English language for primary, secondary and tertiary levels in rural and urban parts of Nepal for fifteen years. After his graduate studies in Teacher Training for ELT from the University of Exeter, UK as Hornby Scholar, he came to the field of teacher education and training. He also played a key role in integrating ICT and digital technologies and setting up an online mode of delivery of the teacher education programme in the Kathmandu University. He has published articles in the areas of language pedagogy, teacher professional networking, and ICT integration. Currently, he serves NELTA as its Senior Vice President.

Amy Lightfoot, Regional Education and English Academic Lead, British Council South Asia

Amy is the Regional Education and English Academic Lead for the British Council in South Asia. She oversees the Connecting Classrooms programme in the SA region and leads on the academic strategy and quality assurance of other education projects and related research activities. She has been working in the field of education for 20 years, with over a decade of specialising in South Asian contexts. She has special interests and expertise in multilingual education, the use of digital platforms and alternative models for teacher professional development and the monitoring and evaluation of teacher competence and performance, with a variety of published works exploring these areas. She holds an MA in Education and International Development from the University College London and an MA in English Language Teaching and the Cambridge DELTA from the University of Bath.

Chris Tweedale, Education Learning Consultant

Chris Tweedale began his career as a teacher and secondary headteacher. He moved on to work in the UK national government, as a policy adviser on school improvement and as an associate member of the education team in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. After this, Chris became a Senior Civil Servant in England and later Schools Director in Wales. Since moving back to England in 2013, Chris has been the Chief Executive of three chains of primary and secondary academy schools.  He has undertaken international assignments in Nepal, China, India, Algeria, Lebanon, Lithuania and Sudan on teaching and learning, school leadership, school improvement and education system leadership. 

Susan Douglas, Senior Adviser, Schools, British Council

Since leaving school headship in 2006, Susan has held a number of key roles with a variety of national and international organisations including the British Council, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), Teaching Leaders and the Eden Academy Trust. In her position as Senior Adviser at the British Council, Susan provides sector expertise and advice to a wide number of educational programmes involving ministries of education, school leaders and teachers across approximately 40 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She is particularly interested in leadership and professional development and inclusion.

Wasim Haider, Course Coordinator, School Leadership Programme, Pakistan

Wasim has 30 years of work experience in multiple fields of public services as administration, event management, training coordination, conduction and materials development. Currently, he works as a Course Coordinator of the School Leadership Programme and International School Award in Punjab and has introduced new dimensions in online training and resource development. He has also received training on Assessing Core Skills from the British Council South Africa. He now conducts online trainings of School Leaders across Punjab on Core Skills and Citizenship in this Covid-19 situation.

Leigh Humphries, Head Teacher, The Leys Primary and Nursery School, UK

Leigh Humphries is an experienced educator, who has taught in every year group (3-11 years), in a range of schools, both in New Zealand and UK. She has a Masters’ Degree in Education from the University of Education in Exeter, UK and a Postgraduate Certificate in Art and Therapy Education. She is always driven to work in schools that include high numbers of pupils in challenging circumstances and is privileged to have led a very dedicated team of talented professionals at the Leys in Stevenage for the last eight years.

Geeta Joshi, Head Teacher, Padma Public Mukti Narayan Secondary School, Doti

Geeta Joshi is the only female secondary level headteacher in the Doti district. Usually, this position is occupied by men in the district, but Geeta has been leading the school as a principal for the last six years. She believes the success of an institution depends on shared leadership and supports other teachers in her school to improve their leadership skills.

Gopal Basyal, Teacher Educator

Gopal is an instructor at the Education Training Centre in Palpa, Nepal. He previously taught English in secondary schools for 10 years and then Bachelors and Masters level students for 15 years. He has authored several English language training and other education books.

Amit Sijapati, Teacher Educator

Amit is a teacher educator for primary and secondary school teachers focused on 21stcentury pedagogies. He is also a core skills trainer for the British Council's Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme in Nepal. Amit is currently pursuing an MPhil in Education Leadership.

Download a volume of research on the British Council's publication on 'Developing effective learning in Nepal: Insights on curriculum, teaching methods and school leadership'. Click HERE.

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See also