Unit 5:Quality Education-The Nepal Research

Welcome to Unit 5

You have now examined and reviewed two major frameworks of quality education, both of which were developed and presented globally. One is from 2000 and one from 2005, and there is therefore no excuse for any country trying to develop its education system without some definition of quality to guide it.

One of the approaches outlined in the UNESCO review was the Indigenous Tradition, and although we do not agree with this in its entirety, it does make sense that each country should at least explore a framework that best fits its own needs.

In early 2014 we decided to sponsor one of our own Nepali staff on an MPhil in Education at Kathmandu University. She had previously been chosen as the best MEd student at KU in 2011 and has worked for us since leaving university. Sangita Bandhari had become the manager of our School Development Programme and was the joint founder of our NGO, Nepal Education Leadership Foundation. Her thesis was based on creating a framework which could be used to define, measure, develop Quality Education in Nepal, as well as providing a basis for such an initiative in ANY developing country.



To create our framework we conducted a range of experiments and observations.

  1. We ran courses and workshops for teachers.
  2. We used data we had gathered on around 200 schools and from 2000 primary teachers.
  3. The data included enrolment rates, completion rates, exam results.
  4. We assessed teachers in the classroom using an objective observation tool.
  5. We held meetings and ran workshops with parents.
  6. We designed and conducted education perception tests on thousands of students.

And slowly but surely a framework began to form, containing elements from the UNICEF and UNESCO models plus some new ones. These elements also made more sense and appeared to be more practical when we organised them in a particular way, as a process moving left to right just as in the UNESCO framework.

So, here is the summary NELF framework as developed for Nepal:



Let’s describe this framework which we have used in so many schools in Nepal systematically and in more detail.

  1. The “internal goal” of quality education is for the child to achieve three types of outcome: Cognitive outcomes are the usual items based on subject learning, Moral outcomes are based on cultural or universal values, and Social outcomes enable the child to be a valued and confident member within a range of “social groups”. This is the right hand column of the framework.
  2. The central column contains items mostly relating to the concept of Child Centred Development in the UNICEF model covered earlier. Look at each of the 4 items and you will see that each of them is a basic need of all children, and that they must ALL be met on the way to achieving the education outcomes in the right hand column. A child in a safe environment, who is receiving personal and appropriate stimulation from the teacher, who is being treated without discrimination or lacking family and peer support, and whose individual and personal learning style or needs are being met ……. is far more likely to succeed and achieve the desired outcomes.
  3. The left hand column now describes the Education Inputs required to make all of this happen. The first three items are all at the national level of the whole education system. These are policy items determined at government level. The final three items are more at the school level, they can be determined and acted upon by teachers and the school principal. Many of these items appeared in the earlier mentioned frameworks, but not in the same flowing or focused manner.




Look at this framework and write some notes about it.

  1. What are your first thoughts?
  2. What is your opinion of its structure or organisation?
  3. What is your opinion of its content/sections?
  4. What do you MOST like about it?
  5. What do you LEAST like about it?
  6. How could you use it to develop a whole education system?
  7. How could you use it to develop a single school?

To conclude this module, our proposed framework was designed in Nepal to be used in four different ways:

1. The  education  system:  The  framework  can  provide  a clear and focused strategy for transforming an entire system, with a  goal  for  what  needs  to  be achieved together with the main areas for action.

2. The  school:  The  framework  can  provide  the  headings  for  a  school  improvement plan, so that essential areas for development can be identified and worked on by the principal and teachers together.

3. The  principal:  The  framework  helps  a  school  principal  to  understand  their  role  in visionary leadership especially in working with the School Management Committee.

4. The  teachers:  The  framework  provides  greater  clarity  and  understanding  of  their role and influence over quality education with children in their care. It identifies possible areas for personal improvement.

These  are  essential  requirements  if  quality  is  to  be  improved,  and  our  experience shows  that  this  is  possible  in  even  the  most  underprivileged  and  under-resourced  of government  schools  in  Kathmandu.  The  start  point  is  the  simplest  of  definitions  of education  found  in  most  English  dictionaries,  “the  process  of  teaching  or  learning”  plus the  belief  that  quality  is  concerned  with  excellence.  Therefore  quality  education  is concerned  with  having  a  PROCESS  with  a  high  level  of  excellence  and  our  framework tries  to  reflect  this  as  already shown.


Now we have looked at two globally and theoretically created frameworks, plus one practically and national created framework, move on to Unit 6 to start to consider USING frameworks for quality Education. Click here: Unit 6:Use The Designed Framework!