Training of Trainers for Teacher Qualification Upgrading Program in Nepal (7259)
1.3.2013 - 31.12.2015
In Nepal, the end of civil war, removal of monarchy and emerging but fragile political stability combined with a growing awareness of the value of education have contributed to a significant increase in the expectations from public educational services. In spite of the significant improvements in access to education, many children and young people leave school without acquiring basic skills necessary for raising their standards of living and the knowledge needed to effectively function in society. In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Education of Nepal has taken initiative to improve existing services by introducing School Sector Reform Program (SSRP) 2009–2015. The reform covers all sectors of education and the aim is to improve the quality and relevance of education.
One of the main focus areas of SSRP is teacher development. Among others, teacher development includes qualification upgrading from B.Ed. level to M.Ed. level of secondary school teachers (13.000 working teachers around the country). In relation to the teacher qualification upgrading process, Tribhuvan University - Faculty of Education (TU-FoE), the oldest and nation-wide university in Nepal, and the National Centre for Educational Development (NCED, which works under the Ministry of Education in Nepal) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning implementation of the Qualification Upgrading Program through a Professional M. Ed. course. This course should be made flexible in terms of delivery period (3-4 years) with instructional methods combining self-study, on-the-job research, participation in face-to-face lectures and publications.
However, it is stated in the MoU that FoE needs capacity building in relation to implementing the Professional M.Ed. as the domain of running professional degree courses through open and distance learning is new for FoE. The HEI-ICI project 'Training of Trainers for Teacher Qualification Upgrading Program in Nepal' responds to this need. The purpose of the project is thus increased competence of Tu-FoE to implement the Teacher Qualification Upgrading Program for 13.000 working teachers across Nepal. The long-term impact is that through open and distance learning programs provided by Tribhuvan University, learners from remote and poor regions of Nepal have increased and more flexible access to higher education which in turn contributes to decreasing social inequality and increasing economic development of the country.
The approach for capacity building is that the Finnish Experts from JAMK University of Applied Sciences – Teacher Education College and HAMK University of Applied Sciences – Professional Teacher Education Unit facilitate TU-FoE to develop a contextually relevant open and distance learning study model which enables teacher students in different parts of the country to study M.Ed. while working. The project includes a Training of Trainers Program (ToT) for 62 Teacher Trainers and 7 ICTE Experts from TU-FoE Regional Campuses as well as exposure for administrative and management staff from TU-FoE and Regional Campuses.
ToT program will include four face-to-face workshops in Surkhet and Bhaktapur in Nepal, one on-site tutoring visit by Finnish Experts in different Regional Campuses in Nepal, a study visit to Finland in relation to implementation of regional teacher education programs through open and distance learning, as well as working in regional learning circles by the Teacher Trainers and ICTE Experts. The work in learning circles is supported by TU-FoE Local Tutors together with the Finnish Experts. The goal of the learning circles is to form regional implementation models for open and distance learning in the Qualification Upgrading Program.
The Qualification Upgrading Program will gradually start after the first workshops in Nepal. The following ToT seminars and work in regional learning circles will be organised along the implementation of the Qualification Upgrading Program to support the Teacher Trainers and ICTE experts in their demanding task.
Self-learning material (SLM) for 13.000 teachers to be used during the Qualification Upgrading Program is also produced during the project, as well as a Teacher's Handbook for Teacher Trainers to be used when training the 13.000 teachers. The Teacher's Handbook will be disseminated within the whole university to support other faculties in planning and implementing training through open and distance learning.
Implementation of the Qualification Upgrading Program, as well as production of self-learning material and Teacher's Handbook is on the responsibility of TU-FoE. The planned project, coordinated by JAMK, would support these processes from March 2013 until July 2015.