Residential Workshop for Government of Nepal Officials on Education Delivery in Future Federal Nepal
Godavari, Lalitpur, was the setting for the UNESCO/UNPFN workshop on “Education Planning and Effective Delivery of Education in a Future Federal State”. Held from the 15 to 18 July, this residential seminar was aimed towards capacity building of education officials from both central and regional levels, as well as members of other ministries of the Government of Nepal. A highly versatile group was gathered, including the Ministry of Education officials involved with planning, policy making, and financing. District Education Officers from various districts around the country were present as well, making this a highly inclusive and pertinent training program.
Lina Benete and Satoko Yano of the UNESCO Office in Bangkok were the facilitators for this program. Their presentations included explanations of federalism and decentralization, the fundamentals of these processes as Nepal moves towards becoming a federal state, federalism and decentralization practices as seen in other nation-states, and how these practices could be fit within the Nepali context. Other topics of discussion included policy, planning, budgeting, monitoring & evaluation, as well as the significance of financial management in effective education delivery. Lengthy discussions and debates occurred, which highlighted the various achievements of the education sector in Nepal, as well as the gaps that exist in effective and equitable education distribution, and the challenges that exist for those working at both the central and regional levels.
One of the outcomes of the workshop was to produce a matrix on the allocation of responsibilities in the education sector across the three tiers of government. A keen examination was made of the composition of legislative (policy making) and executive (implementing) aspects of education delivery. Participants deliberated at length about the need to separate these two modes of action, and about the delegation of legislative and executive roles at the central, regional, and local governments.
As many concepts were shared, along with the diverse experiences of the officials involved, this workshop generated many possible solutions that may be used by concerned stakeholders in planning and implementing an effective system of education delivery in Nepal. One of the crucial suggestions of this program was the need to conduct such capacity building exercises for other sectors of aside from education in order to ensure the active participation of all levels and ministries of government in providing inclusive and equitable education, which is a basic human right.
At the closing of the workshop, Amita Vohra, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, was pleased to note that one of the primary objective of the UNESCO/UNPFN project to foster concrete dialogue among a range of diverse stakeholders had been met in this workshop. The level of discussion and the passion demonstrated by the participants to engage in the discourse on how to ensure the effective delivery of education in a future Nepal was not only encouraging, she said, but crucial for the success of the project.
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