British Council Nepal is hosting the Languages in Education Symposium in collaboration with the Language Commission on 23 January 2018. The event aims to bring together policy makers, planners, administrators, teachers, students, NGO and private sector and development partners to share different perspectives on the role of languages in the education system of Nepal.
Nepal is now changing to a federal structure of government where powers are being devolved from the previous central government to the Federal Ministries, Provincial Ministries and Local Government Departments. Under the guidance and direction of the constitution, provincial and local governments will now have the power to make decisions on key issues in education including the medium of instruction in schools. At the same time, Languages of Education has been identified as one of the 10 key priority areas on the School Sector Development Plan (SSDP). With these changes and priorities, we see both challenges and great opportunities for schools in the country.
The symposium will provide a platform for presentations and discussion at policy and practice levels, involving Nepali decision-makers and stakeholders, and members of the wider education community. The discussions throughout the day will be framed by the idea that it is possible to both advocate for mother-tongue based multilingual education and maintain a significant emphasis on strengthening teaching of English as a subject; indeed the two go well together even though mother tongue and English are often positioned as pulling in opposite directions. A key focus will be on real-life experiences and evidence and data from schools across Nepal. It will also feature two separate panel discussions between among government and other stakeholders and students on the critical question of medium of instruction in schools.
The symposium aims to -