Education and Federalism

©UNESCO\R. Upadhyay -
Promoting Mother Tongue based Multilingual Education

As laid down in The Constitution of Nepal, which was promulgated in 2015, the country has transformed into a federal democratic republic and is currently going through a rapid process of federalism rollout. Nepal now has seven provincial and 753 local levels (including six metropolises, 11 sub-metropolises, 276 municipalities and 460 rural municipalities). Under this federal governance system, the local levels have been provided with the authority for planning, financing, and delivery of basic education (a year of pre-primary, followed by Grades 1 through 8), secondary education (Grades 9 through 12) and non-formal education programmes. It is hoped that this change in the governance system will bridge the gap between government, schools and the community and allow for improved accountability, better-informed curriculum development, promotion of mother tongue-based instruction and effective education service delivery. 

During 2013-2015, UNESCO initiated the dialogue for better understanding of education in the federal system and supported efforts aimed at building capacity of education stakeholders to better provide service delivery in the federal system. The Office is currently extending its support to federal, provincial and local governments to mitigate the existing challenges related to providing education during the transition to federalism and to increase their capacity to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. 

Key Partners

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (at federal level); Ministry of Social Development (at provincial level); Local Governments and Local Sectoral Offices (at local level); Non-Government Organisations; Civil Society Organisations; Education Journalists

Extra budgetary Project(s) Portfolio

  • “Planning Effective Delivery of Education in Future Federal Nepal”, with the support of UN Peace Fund for Nepal (2013-2015, completed)


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