Kathmandu: British Council Nepal hosted its '2nd Annual Education Symposium' on 14th of January 2019. The theme of this year’s event was Teachers’ Professional Development.
The event aimed to bring together policy makers, planners, administrators, head teachers, teachers, researchers, NGO and private sector and development partners to share different perspectives and discuss issues around Teacher Development in Nepal. On the occasion of the symposium British Council is also launched the fourth phase of the Connecting Classrooms Project in Nepal which is funded jointly by the British Council and the UKaid.
Nepal has changed to a federal structure of government where the responsibility for teacher education has been deployed from the previous central government to the state and local governments. Teacher development is also a top priority in the School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) which not only talks about face-to-face training but also highlights the importance of mentoring from the senior teachers, action research and other blended forms of professional development.
These changes in structures and education priorities, paves way for challenges and great opportunities around teacher’s professional development in Nepal. This symposium provided a platform for presentations and discussions around the same at policy and practice levels, involving Nepali decision-makers and stakeholders, and members of the wider education community.
The event aimed to:
Mr. Khagaraj Baral, MoEST Secretary said “As Nepal is moving into a federal structure of government, the leadership has transferred to province and local level leaders making them directly responsible for providing Teacher’s Professional Development Training to their core implementation school areas. However, the central authorities will continuously function to formulate laws and policies and provide continuous support and resources to the local level leaders. This practice will help in addressing local level needs as well.”
The British Ambassador to Nepal HE Richard Morris said, “As I travel around Nepal, I often meet families and young people who talk about education; some of them praise their local school, while others want to talk about the challenges related to education in their village. Wherever I go, it’s an issue with considerable interest. Indeed, given the importance to education, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that teacher’s professional development really is a subject that matters to the future of the entire country. Teacher’s professional development is a top priority in the School Sector Development Program which not only talks about face to face training but also highlights the importance of mentoring from senior teachers, action researchers- another blended form of professional development. This is a subject that matters to the future of the entire country. So – this is a conference that really matters, and where the deliberations can make things better, not just for individual young people, but for the country as a whole.”
Dr. Jovan Ilic, Country Director British Council Nepal said “Teachers are an important part of the education system because they predominantly have face to face interactions with students, however, having said that, teachers can’t transform the education system on their own. It’s very much a joint effort from the very bottom starting with students who are motivated, students who have literate parents who can read to them to the very top where you have engaged secretary of ministry of education producing action, policies and laws. If any of these parts doesn’t work, unfortunately, the whole system doesn’t work. Thus, we need to keep ensuring that this process runs simultaneously for quality education system for the country.”
A panel discussion was organised on the theme of Knowledge transfer into the classroom: Expectations vs Reality. The session highlighted the status of this transfer in Nepal and the region with statistics and also explored the reasons why this transfer doesn’t happen, who’s responsibility is it – teachers, trainers, the training itself or policies.
The discussion focused that to successfully input knowledge into the classroom, the training provided should be fully practical and demand based. Along with that, it is important to engage the learners in learning, measuring impacts instead of just head counting the trained teachers, reviewing trainer’s license, using technology to enable learning and much more.
The session also discussed various causes that are contributing to the ineffectiveness of the teachers’ classroom activities, such as the lack of teacher motivation, inadequate instructional materials/resources and classroom environment.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.
Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen percent of the funding is received from the UK government.