Establishing a Better and Improved Public School System in Nepal
With the support of funds from Give 2 Asia, we have initiated a new project that aims to ensure accountability and transparency within the public school system in Sindhupalchok district. The project site is located in Ilaka 12 of the district and has six local bodies – VDCs; namely, Baruwa, Gunsakot, Thangpalkot, Thangpaldhap, Bhotenamlang, and Bhotang. The monitoring of public education system is not practiced best in Nepal. COMMITTED identifies that the school system has failed to capitalize on the available Village Education (VEC) structure as well as local civil vigilance groups – Parent Teacher Associations (PTA); Ward Citizen Forums (WCF).
Through this project firstly the VEC will be strengthened for all education needs, including the formulation of a Village Education Plan including resource generation. Second, a citizen driven vigilance system will be created through which students, citizen groups, and government resources are mobilized to ensure all actors in this sector are transparent, accountable and diligent in their duties. This will be complemented with raising awareness and processes regarding the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Third, the capacity of the School Management Committee (SMC) will be developed for improved planning, reporting, and operations. In addition, five school libraries will also be rebuilt using earthquake safe material as a part of the rebuilding effort in the post earthquake stage. Rebuilding libraries at these schools will assist the underprivileged children to return to formal school environment. Having a new permanent library will enable these vulnerable children from getting back to reading and enjoying school.
We believe that efforts to bring in qualified teachers and improve on infrastructure, facilities and resource generation are all necessary for an effective education system. However, without governance system to not only monitor activities and check for malpractice, but also create a plan for moving forward, all such efforts could only prove to be futile. This program will resurrect and strengthen the governance structure as well as create a system through which all stakeholders’ roles are clearly defined, their capacities built and as a result, in unison, an education governance mechanism will be built to benefit all households for current and future generations.
Our team comprising of the Senior Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator and Technical Engineer visited the six VDCs last week. They assessed the six different schools in the six VDCs which have been selected for the construction of libraries. The libraries will also serve the purpose of conducting VEC activities as when required and appropriate. Simultaneously, the team is currently rigorously involved in planning and management of the activities that will be undertaken within this project.