Stakeholders of secondary education of Nepal should now focus on using governance-tools for ensuring quality education at local – municipal- level in Nepal. This would be a great step forward for contributing to Sustainable Development Goals particularly the number 4 which refers to inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The constitutional provision for providing secondary education to Nepali children is noble: it intends to offer secondary education leaving no child behind; it makes local government responsible for this. If governance-tools are utilized properly the same could be arranged through 753 local governments.
One basic requirement for making the above provision a reality is a federal education bill including policies, procedures, appropriate Acts and Regulations which has, unfortunately, not been endorsed by the parliament despite pledge by five ministers in the past five years. If the current session of parliament could prioritize it, it would be a great contribution to the cause of SDGs.
Officials tuned to traditional mode of operation question the capability of local governments to man secondary level education. They therefore feel reluctant to hand over the responsibility to local authorities. Elected municipal officials complain that they have not been able to run secondary education despite having mandate for the same.
The difference among them could be tackled through dialogue, mutual cooperation, sympathetic consideration and a strategy structured for implementing federalization of education. Local authorities should also be determined through a strategic plan to make themselves efficient and competent to offer quality secondary education.
Offering standard or quality secondary education is a must for it prepares foundation of future human resources of the country. All factors in this regard particularly the curriculum, teaching learning method, students’ participation, textbooks, laboratories, trained teachers, evaluation-tests, examinations and other school facilities should be considered in a professional manner. A facilitation-package could be worked to enable those local authorities requiring capacity-building. Periodic monitoring of the same should also be done properly.
The dream of educated Nepal could be realized within 2030 if all those in governance of education commit themselves today – the first year of the second cycle of federalism in Nepal – to enabling municipalities –rural or urban –to offer secondary education in a standard way. That could emerge as being instrumental in producing energy for aiding accomplishment of other targets under the SDGs.