District education offices in dark on key document
MAHENDRANAGAR, Nov. 16: The Ministry of Education has been running various campaigns and programmes related to child-friendly teaching with the collaboration of various donor agencies.
It has also produced many guidelines and documents in that connection to make the program effective. But, a majority of the District Education Offices in the country is found to be in the dark regarding the broad framework of this program.
The government had issued and also started distributing the Child-friendly Schools for Quality Education National Framework since 2010 in connection with fulfilling the international commitment of Education for All.
It is found that this important government policy paper has still not reached the District Education Offices, the education resource centres under them and the schools in all the districts of the country. This means that the programme´s implementation has not been effective.
The teachers at the resource centres and schools are in confusion as the DEO officials themselves are not well-informed of this key document. The Department of Education had stated that it has already made the document available to most of the District Education Offices.
Under-secretary at the Kanchanpur District Education Office, Padam Raj Bhatta, said that although he has heard of the so-called child-friendly school framework from the media, they have not yet received the document proper.
He got detailed information about the framework document for the first time only at an orientation programme organized by Nepal National Social Welfare Association here recently. The orientation was organized in collaboration with the National Campaign for Education-Nepal.
A majority of the stakeholders in Kanchanpur district which is probably the first district in the country to start the child-friendly school programme also do not have a copy of the document. They have stated that it is practically difficult to provide the kind of environment and facilities to all the schools as mentioned in the framework document as they have no document for reference.
The resource persons and head teachers do not have a complete understanding of the goals and objectives of this concept of child-friendly teaching as they do not have a copy of the framework policy and orientation about this.
The framework focuses on nine indicators as effectiveness at school, inclusiveness, social justice, participation, health security, physical condition, learning process, learning in mother tongue and school management for the effective implementation of the child-friendly teaching. The main goal of the framework is the all-round development of children in an environment conducive to learning.
The child-friendly schools concept was first put into practice in Nepal from Kanchanpur district in 1998 with support from Save the Children.
Teachers at schools where this concept has been put into practice have experienced that the drop-out rate has decreased and the student performance has increased with its application.
The programme is under implementation at 80 schools in the district at present. Thirty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven students of these schools have benefited from the programme.
The government has been running model programmes on child-friendly teaching at 20 schools in ten districts throughout the country. This programme is run Dhankuta, Rasuwa, Kapilbastu, Banke and Dadeldhura districts with the technical support of the World Education and in Udayapur, Parsa, Nawalparasi, Jumla and Achham districts with technical support of IFCD.