Our three articles on Nepal’s education system and our efforts to help transform it have been read, circulated and shared ‘000s of times in the past week, yet the silence about them has been deafening apart from a couple of commenters who defended the MoEs record and made some incorrect assumptions. Nothing will change for a very long time in Nepal’s education system unless more voices are heard and those accountable are challenged. Why should the same people who messed up SSRP be still in office? Why should absent, unproductive and unprofessional teachers still be paid or employed? Why should bilateral donors and major INGOs continue to pour $billions into a third rate “system”? Why should any 5 year old child turn up to school on day 1 and have ANY excitement or high expectations?
So for the record here is a summary of the articles, some indisputable facts, and some final opinions.
- Our work and views were formed over 10 years, not 6 months
- We worked with 200 schools, not 5 schools
- We focused on what happens INSIDE the classroom not the BUILDING of the classroom
- We only employed qualified teachers as trainer/coaches some who had been trained in UK schools
- Our work involved the holistic development of the school and its education delivery and this included teacher training, management training for principals, governance training for SMC, awareness training for parents, values for children.
- Our formal research was for an MPhil over two years and investigated a clear definition for Quality Education in Nepal, how to measure it, how to develop it.
These are all indisputable facts about our work and are well known.
Some different facts relate to how our work was received or treated as follows:
- The MoE signed an MOU with us in 2010, but from that day refused to work or engage with us. We honoured every point on the MOU, they did not.
- DFID, British Council, MoE twice cancelled meetings with us at short notice in 2014 with no subsequent rearranging
- NCED praised our approach in 2013 but would NOT work with us, and we were subjected to almost complete harassment to hand over our materials
- Two Valley DEOs refused to authorise schools to attend our programmes
- Social Welfare Council held up our 2015 NGO re registration for 9 months preventing the legal transfer of funds from uk to pay our staff salaries
The main points of our critique:
- The SSRP was pointed out as being incorrectly focused in 2010 but ignored by all
- It was a huge error not to concentrate efforts towards improving quality education, or at least defining it first
- Key SSRP indicators included increasing Grade 5 survival rate from 54% to 90% which was ignored and not achieved
Serious concerns which follow:
- A whole generation of primary children have been denied quality education even though they initially enrolled in school, this is a betrayal!
- Nobody has been held accountable for Nepal’s miserable education record
- The SAME people responsible for SSRP failure are now in charge of SSDP
- There is nobody in Nepal with the faintest idea about systemic change or how to apply it to whole education systems
- The MoE, INGOs and many educationists in Nepal are in denial
Remember your silence leads to this question: “Why should any 5 year old child turn up to school on day 1 and have ANY excitement or high expectations?”