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Education in Federalism

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Kathmandu, July 5, 2017: UNESCO, in association with the Ministry of Education, USAID, Canopy Nepal, Karkhana and the Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN), recently hosted a dialogue ‘Understanding Education, Exploring Federalism’, in Kathmandu.

Attended by more than 70 guests, the dialogue focused on how education will transform under the federal system. Participants included representatives from the government, development partners, and civil society, all working together to promote understanding about opportunities for expanding education to all in Nepal under the new federal structure.

Along with the US and EU Ambassadors to Nepal, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, Christian Manhart opened the dialogue by discussing the important research conducted by UNESCO in the lead-up to federalism. He further emphasized how the new federal structure can increase educational access to the most marginalized and disenfranchised groups in the nation.

The Secretary of Education, Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, then gave the keynote address, providing a detailed description of the Ministry of Education’s plan for implementing education under federalism.

The Secretary’s address was followed by discussions provided by Bala Nanda Paudel, former Education Secretary and Chairperson of Local Level Reconstruction Commission, Bimala Rai Paudel, former member of the National Planning Commission and Bidyanath Koirala, an education expert, who spoke on how federalism would impact the respective fields of governance, service delivery and capacity building.

Afterwards, all participants were divided into three groups to discuss the three major themes addressed by the panelists, later sharing their group ideas with the larger conference.

The dialogue was an important step in promoting understanding about education in the federal system, and enhancing the capacity of education stakeholders to better provide service delivery in the federal system.

Photographs: Robic Upadhayay/Karkhana