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Country Profile: Role of NCE Nepal in a Federated National Context

NCE NEPAL

NCE Nepal members hard at work!

Empowering local government

After Nepal moved to a federal system after 2007, there was hope for the strengthening of public education in Nepal. With federalism, the responsibility of basic and secondary level education is now back in the hands of the local government. The National Campaign for Education Nepal (NCE Nepal), a network of more than 339 civil society organizations, has been engaging with local governments to empower them to be more aware regarding their responsibilities for ensuring the right to education. This includes capacity building on SDG 4, the School Sector Development Plan (Education Sector Plan of Nepal), Education 2030, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) concluding observations, Human Rights mechanisms, as well as other national educational policies. NCE Nepal emphasizes an institutionalized role of civil society so as to ensure sustainability of civil society organizations’ role.

NCE Nepal published a resource material incorporating the constitutional provisions of education rights and models from different countries that could be replicated at the local unit level for public education strengthening. Engagement by NCE Nepal with these local units has shown some positive results as local government are more willing to collaborate and partner with CSOs.

“The Mayor of Phalebaas Municipality (one of the local units of Parbat district of Nepal) during one of the programs mentioned that the contribution of NCE Nepal has explicitly helped them to understand their roles and responsibilities as well as the international and national treaties made by the Government regarding the Right to Education.”

The recognition and collaboration of NCE Nepal with local governments has proved to be such a good example that some of the local governments have allocated funds to support the work of NCE Nepal district coordination committees. 

NCE Nepal’s voice at the national level

NCE Nepal has been able to submit its positions to political parties, parliamentarians, the High Level Education Commission, and to government authorities on education financing, privatization, governance and accountability, school zoning, monitoring and evaluation, language, curriculum, textbooks, safe learning environment, and the role of CSOs in the federal context. Suggestions submitted by NCE Nepal have been reflected in the manifesto of political parties and the preliminary report of the High Level Education Commission and in Local Level Operation Guidelines. In preparing the CSOs’ positions and reports, NCE Nepal conducts grassroots consultations in all the provinces of Nepal.

NCE Nepal urges strong demand for the localization of the Education Sector Plan

NCE Nepal was engaged in monitoring of the progress of School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) – (the Education Sector Plan of Nepal) and came to the conclusion that with federalism in the nation, a blanket approach to educational targets and indicators does not work. The monitoring conducted by NCE Nepal was based on an analysis of the provincial status of the progress made in terms of SSDP indicators set out for three years to 2018-19.

Based on the Civil Society monitoring findings, NCE Nepal strongly spoke up in the Joint Annual Review meeting as well as other meetings with Ministry and Department of Education. NCE Nepal also voiced its findings in the Development Country Partner meetings, in the country application for the GPE grant, and also with the GPE mission. Ultimately, a good sign of hope can be expected with the notice from the Ministry of Education that they are preparing a transition plan in terms of implementation of the SSDP.

By Ram Gaire, NCE Program Manager