Since the Muscat Agreement of 2014 a new set of goals, Sustainable Development Goals, have been put forward with Quality Education being one of them. This is something we have been advocating since 2009 when Nepal’s School Sector Reform Plan was published, because to focus on getting children INTO school without improving how they were educated when they got there was negligent to say the least.
Part of the problem has been caused by the complexity and a lack of clarity of the meaning of “quality education”, as well as knowledge of how to measure it and develop it. Frameworks had been developed over the years by UNESCO and UNICEF for example, but were largely forgotten or unused in the race to get more children into school. As practitioners trying to train teachers and to develop schools, the absence of a framework or model of quality education was a real hindrance; how could we get somewhere if we didn’t know where we were going? In our opinion this is a recipe for ad hoc approaches and piecemeal courses and programmes instead of systemic transformation of the whole system. Unsurprisingly this is what we see happening in Nepal, and our network of other organisations working in African countries paints a similar picture.
Our success in developing many Kathmandu primary schools has been achieved because we were able to create a framework defining quality education which was clear, measurable and practical. We have developed tools to ensure that quality is improving, that teachers change behaviour, that principals and school management committees provide effective leadership, and that more children are retained for longer. We are constantly seeking more public primary schools to join the programme, it’s free ……. and can be fun too!
Some of the research conducted into the development of quality is now being made public and you can download a copy of the descriptive article above or here Quality Education Research and if you know of a school who we should work with ask them to contact Sangita Bhandari on (Nepal) 9841 828545.