Background of Leadership and the Educational System in Public Schools in Nepal
Education system in Nepal has just recently started to develop. For many years, few schools were established, and only few elite people had able to acquire proper education. In the 20th century, women were not allowed to go to school, but as the time goes by, this tradition has changed, which brought about by joint efforts of many organizations and mass media; plus the external factor brought by globalization explosion. In spite of the fact, that education system has already been established in the country, there are still thousands of families who can not afford to send their children to school due to extreme poverty conditions. As a matter of fact, a free primary education had been established by Nepal government for the children. But, due to far away locations of the schools, many children could not still afford to attend classes, especially those who lived outside the villages. In addition, the cost of living in towns was so high, that many families could no longer afford to maintain their daily cost of living. So, most of the families were forced to leave the town, that caused their children to miss their schooling.
Furthermore, the main problem that many public community schools are facing nowadays in Nepal; is the very low standard of educational facilities, classrooms and books. There are tremendous numbers of students, but most schools are not capable of accommodating students for proper learning process. In other words, the quality of education is very low. In addition, all schools have only few teachers, and the worst thing is; they lack of basic teaching materials such as pens, pencils, notebooks and papers. There are many community (public) schools that do not have any sports equipments for the students to play with outside. Besides, innovation and technology are the two most important factors at this time and age; but only few schools have computers and libraries. And, the most important thing is the sanitation condition of many schools; most schools do not have toilets and drinking water, so as do not acquire decent school classrooms and enough compound space for the students’ curricular activities. More often, students who cannot be accommodated inside the classrooms, attend their classes outside. This situation of the students is a big problem during rainy seasons.
Accordingly, for the past 50 years, there has been a significant increase of numbers of expansions of education facilities in the country. In fact, adult literacy rate has been reported to be 48.2 %. While female literacy rate is 34.5 %, on the other hand, male has 62.2 % rate. From 1952 to 1954, there were about 300 schools and two colleges that have 10,000 total numbers of students who were enrolled in the said schools. And, now, there are 49,00o0 numbers of schools including higher secondary, 415 colleges, five universities, and two academies of higher studies. All in all, there are 7.2 million students who are in those schools and colleges; with more than 222,000 teachers and professors. Despite this educational developments and expansions, there are still numerous problems and challenges that the country faces today; when it comes to education management. Similarly, gender inequality is still an issue until now in the country, as well as poor economic condition.
In view thereof, the Ministry of Education, being the responsible government agency for education system in the country; assisted by the state to provide political leadership to the Ministry. As a result, the Ministry of Education, the Secretary of Education has headed the central office, various functional offices, and other offices at the regional and district levels. This is in order to create a policy development, as well as to plan and monitor, at the same time to evaluate the different aspects that may help in modifying the existing education management; and promoting a high quality education system in the country. The main goal is to bring a modern education management closer to the poor families. Relatively, the Ministry has already been able to establish five regional directorates and 75 district education officers in different regions and in 75 districts in the country. This is in order to make sure that there is decentralized management that will oversee the overall performances of non-formal and school-level education systems in the respective areas. Aside from those, three are 34 Educational Training Centers or ETCs under NCED to give the public school teachers appropriate assistance if needed in teaching methods and strategies to further raise the standard of teaching of the educators. More than anything else, “Teacher Education Project” is being established; to give training to the pre-service and in-service educators across the country.