ICT in Education Master Plan 1, Nepal
Prof. Ganesh Bahadur Singh, Ph. D.
The Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal launched ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education Master Plan 2013-2017’. The main focus of this Master Plan was to effectively integrate ICT in the teaching and learning process across all education sub-sectors to contribute on access to quality of education for all. This report has reviewed the progress of the ICT in Education Master Plan 2013-2017 and provided recommendations for the subsequent Master Plan or ICT in education policy.
Basically, educational documents and status reports of the Department of Education were reviewed as secondary sources. The progress of Master Plan was reviewed in an interaction session with central-level personnel. ICT readiness was surveyed at three levels – national, school and teacher levels. An interaction session was organized where 15 Ministry of Education officials related/knowledgeable about ICT activities under the Ministry participated and shared their knowledge, information and data. Three of the Ministry officials also jointly filled up the National ICT Readiness survey.
For the School ICT Readiness and Teacher ICT Readiness surveys, the Confederation of Nepalese Teacher rendered their support for the field works. ICT Readiness survey forms, for these three levels, were provided by UNESCO, Bangkok. School and teacher readiness surveys covered all the 7 provinces and 23 (out of 76) districts of federal Nepal. A total of 47 schools and 437 teachers were included in the survey. The schools were basically selected through the accessibility of the field researcher. As assigned by the Confederation of Nepalese Teacher and teachers’ present in the school during researchers’ visit day were included in the survey.
1. Progress of the ICT Master Plan 2013-17 is mixed. ‘Development of ICT Infrastructure’ targeted number of schools (10000) and RCs (1053) was met; ut baseline survey was neither on time (target 2013) nor on proper way. In the Master Plan, phase 1, some of the important activities such as establishment of servers, data centre, resource sharing platform, development and delivery of digital contents/materials were at initial stages or partially accomplished. In case of the component ‘Development of Human Resources’; NCED has geared it up, i.e. the development of 4 training modules/packages; training to trainers (200), teachers (8050), and officials (160). An important objective in this component of establishing mechanism for continued learning for teachers and other HR in the education sector was not done.
ICT curriculum, training materials, and digital materials were developed as targeted. Some of those materials were interactive; but were with limited level of interaction- one or two levels of feedback to the learners. However, there were confusions in the meaning itself and criteria on ‘functional content management system’ which was one of the targets of the Master Plan. There has been satisfactory achievement in the EMIS and MIS and soon it will be web-based reporting; meanwhile, E-governance is in progress; and NQF and NVQF has been drafted.
The weakest implementation has been in the M&E as the progress reporting against the ICT Master Plan seems largely missing. Reports planned for the trimester, yearly, mid-term and program evaluation were not available. However, reporting on some of the components of ICT was integrated into other reports such as annual status reports, review meetings, etc.
Progress review of Master Plan 1 brought forward an issue on implementation and accomplishment of planned activities on time which was mostly missing (timeliness); progress monitoring and reporting not as planned (well planned M&E, weak implementation); unclarity in some of terms such as ’10 types of HR’, ‘functional content management system’ (uniform understanding).
Based on the finding and issues observed from the progress review of the Master Plan 1, following recommendations are forwarded for sequent Mater Plan:
1. All the components covered in Master Plan 1 are still valid and important to continue.
However, it is important in Master Plan 2 to explicitly recognize that there should be coordinated strategic implementation of projects between components.
2. The ICT Master Plan 2 Steering Committee (high-level) and Implementation Task-Force (director-level) for Master Plan 2 should be established to ensure regular reporting, implementation, and M&E is carried out.
3. M&E implementation and reporting should be ensured that there should be permanent M&E team formation, mandatory reporting, and report in open source. Responsibility with accountability should be ensured. Even research centre such as CERID can be given responsibility of M&E.
4. Develop strong partnership with province level, local level and private sectors such as in ICT infrastructure development, M&E Central level support should be continued in training, digital material development, and system development. Master Plan should clearly spell out the roles and responsibilities of centre, province, local levels and other stakeholders such as private sector and NGOs.
5. As ICT is ever growing and rapidly changing, M&E team should review and incorporate needed changes/improvement in the Master Plan in frontline manner.
2. National level ICT readiness survey shows visible commitment of government for the development of ICT in Education. Teacher Qualification Framework and Teacher Competency Framework are in place. There are also concerns and commitments to develop ICT infrastructure in the remaining schools (about 20000) and train teachers. A most important aspect that needs to be emphasized is the monitoring and reporting of ICT use in classroom teaching learning. Otherwise, the pre-service and in-service curriculum has covered ICT and there should be mechanisms to ensure the transfer of training skills in the classroom.
The ICT readiness at the school level showed a good level of understating of the ICT Master Plan (2/3 schools have knowledge about the Master Plan and 83% of those schools have school ICT policy). There is an increasing trend of equipping schools with ICT infrastructure. However, Internet connectivity to the schools is low. As for teacher development, over half of the schools had no ICT skill development programmes for the teachers and over 1/4 are still focusing on ICT literacy. ICT is not optimally used for classroom pedagogy and assessment. Moreover, the school readiness survey also pointed out the use of ICT in classroom teaching and learning to be a major issue.
ICT readiness at the teacher level showed that teachers’ perception and attitude towards ICT is good, which is very positive. The use of ICT by the teachers in the classroom and ICT access to students has also been pointed out by the teachers. The mobile phone is used less for classroom teaching learning purposes (as rated never by 39.9% of the teachers and rarely by another 17.4% of the teachers). As for the competency of teachers on ICT-supported tasks more than 50% of teachers rated their competency to be low (rated 1, 2 or 3) in 9 of the tasks out of 16 tasks included in the questionnaire. This shows that teachers need more support to enhance their ICT skills. This was also a similar response in the case of the ‘level of teacher competency in the ICT supported tasks for teaching learning’ and ‘teacher professional learning’ components. The teachers perceived needs for training are ‘basic ICT Literacy’, ‘teaching ICT as a subject’, and ‘ integrating ICT into the specific subject area’. This shows that still there is a demand for the basic level of ICT training for a high proportion of teachers whereas there are also teachers who need a proficient level of training as well.
Overall Assessment of Master Plan 1 by Review Criteria
The review criteria were relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the current Master Plan. Under each of these criteria, review study explored several specific questions. They are presented in the subsequent sections here:
Master Plan 1 was developed when there was pressing need for improving quality of education in general and of classroom teaching learning in particular. National policy and plans have put emphasis on ICT in education as a must in the global context. Thus, the development of ICT Master Plan was relevant. Particularly, perceptions expressed by the teachers on the importance of ICT in improving classroom teaching learning reemphasize the relevancy of ICT in education. Accomplishment (against the target set) in the ICT infrastructure, teacher training (specifically ICT literacy), development of digital materials and such achievements signify relevance of Master Plan 1. However, other higher levels of target set are not accomplished at the desired level such as: establishing server, data centre, and developing RCs as educational resource platform, interactiveness of the digital matierails have been partially accomplished. They need to be emphasized in Mater Plan 2.
Effectivness of programme/project usually refers to quantitative accomplishment against set target, which requires an assessement on the quality of achievements. In terms of quantitative achievement targeted foundational activites such as: establishing ICT infrastructure, training packages, teacher training, and development of digital materials were largely accomplished. EMIS and MIS are developed satisfactorily. Activites such as making digitial contents interactive, M&E, coordination, developing RC as ICT hub are not accomplished at the desirable level. To enhance effectiveness of Master Plan 2, a coordinating body should be established providing sufficient authority to oversee and monitor implementation, resolve issues, manage budgetary part and report progess periodically.
Master Plan 1 schedule was not strictly followed. Most of the activities were delayed and even sometimes haphazard, for example: Master Plan actitives should have been started with baseline study planned for 2013, but there was only raw data available in 2016 and not yet analyzed. M&E was planned to strengthen implementation of plan, but it has been weakly implemented, for example, functional national steering and coordination committees were to be established – which should have been established at the intial stage of Master Plan implementation, but it was just at the initiated stage at the end of Master Plan 1.
Most visible impact of Master Plan 1 is in the development of EMIS and MIS, development of ICT infrastructure, raisining awareness level of schools and teachers. The most important impact desired is at the classroom level and in the students’ learning. These aspects are not propely and adequately covered and reported. In Master Plan 2, improvement in the classroom teaching learning practices through use of ICT and its impact in students’ learning should be included as important outcome. Learners are the most important stakeholders and their needs shold be reflected in the Master Plan. In Master Plan 2, ‘Student ICT Readiness’ should be assessed and cyber security and judicial use of ICT and Internet should be given priority.
ICT, for the national development as well as for the improvement of quality of education, has been emphasized by the Governemnt of Nepal. The Governemnt is also aligning buget for ICT development. Apart from government, private sectors, NGOs, individual donors are also supporting schools – basically, to equip schools with ICT infrastructure. Though the sustanability of ICT in education is focused; channelling it for improvement of quality of edcuation and improving learning of students will require substantial effort in Master Plan 2.
Based on ICT readiness survey at the three levels viz. national, school and teacher; following are the main recommendation forwarded:
1. National level cooperation and coordination among related ministries, agencies and institutes needs to be ensured.
2. It is recommended to adequately address dual challenge – equipping schools with ICT infrastructure and ensuring their qualitative use through teacher training.
3. Longitudinal formative research on the ICT integration in classroom teaching in the schools supported with ICT infrastructure and teacher training should be designed.
4. For each of the activities; it is suggested to identify responsible agency/section and person(s) to ensure timely implementation of activities.
5. There is a need to equip the remaining schools with at least minimum required infrastructure within possible short period in the Master Plan 2.
1. Use of ICT by the teachers and students should be aimed for improving learning of students. Training on employing ICT to improve pedagogy and assessment practices to teachers and orientation to their students by the teachers in proper use of ICT in students’ learning should be given priority.
2. For the safety of the students, ‘cyber safety’ and ‘intelligent use of Internet’ should be given priority in teacher training and students’ ICT use.
3. There should be open access provision to EMIS up to the school level.
4. The local private sectors should be encouraged to support and promote the local schools.
1. Teachers (over 70%) were knowledgeable about ICT policy and they were explained or were involved in the discussion about the policy. It shows a positive policy environment on ICT.
2. Increased ICT infrastructure and positive attitude of teachers set required ground. Therefore, it should be supported thorough development of required ICT skills in the teachers.
3. It is positive that teachers and students use of ICT in the classroom teaching learning has increased and it requires further push to ensure integration of ICT as a part and parcel of classroom teaching learning.
4. Positive attitudes and experiences of teachers towards the use of ICT in the classroom can be useful to promote ICT integration in other schools through experience sharing platforms.
5. As mobile phone is common among the Nepali teachers; orientation/training on the use of mobile phones in classroom teaching-learning purpose would increase integration of ICT in classroom pedagogy.
6. ICT training packages can be of novice, basic and proficient levels. The existing level of competency of the teachers should be evaluated and they should be provided with appropriate level of training.
7. Timely technical backstopping should be planned to support teachers through face-to-face and distance mode.
In addition to these, Master Plan 2 should also address the students’ needs and concerns by undertaking a study/survey on Students’ ICT Readiness.
Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok provides technical assistance to Asia-Pacific Member States in effectively positioning Information Communication Technology (ICT) to facilitate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4). With generous support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFiT), the “ICT to Facilitate SDG4 in South Asia” project aims to support four South Asian Member States, namely Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal. It aims to build the Member States’ capacity to strategically develop and systematically implement relevant policies for integrating ICT into their national education systems and for complementing their efforts to achieve the SDG4 targets.
One of the main activities of this project is to review the progress of the current ICT in the Education Master Plan 2013-2017 (Master Plan, hereafter) and to provide evidence-driven recommendations for the subsequent Master Plan or ICT in education policy. Considering that, the Master Plan of Nepal completed in 2017 and developed prior to the SDG4 era, the review of progress and impact of the Master Plan is well timed. The review is expected to assist to make informed decisions on strategic direction and investments in the use of ICT in education, and prepare for the subsequent Master Plan by taking stock of the current implementation, measuring the impact on the ground and reflecting on the lessons learned.
This ICT in Education Master Plan Nepal Progress Review aimed to:
1) Assess the progress towards the target results and actual impact of the Master Plan (e.g. whether it has translated into targeted results or not);
2) Identify the projects and objectives of the current Master Plan that remain important or have become irrelevant to the national education goals;
3) Synthesize lessons learnt from the implementation of the current Master Plan and make data-driven recommendations (national, school and teacher ICT readiness survey) for the design of the sequent Master Plan.
ICT in Education Master Plan Nepal in Brief
The ‘ICT in the Education Master Plan 2013-2017’ was formulated by the Government of Nepal (GON) in 2013 (Ministry of Education [MOE], 2013) as emphasized in School Sector Reform Plan [SSRP] (MOE, 2009). SSRP emphasized the use of ICT in education as one of the strategies to achieve the broader goals of education. This plan envisioned implementing and expanding ICT assisted teaching/learning process in all schools. The Master Plan was supposed to guide for the planning and implementation of ICT in education in Nepal for next five years (2013-2017) and provide direction for a long-term plan. The main focus of this Master Plan was to effectively integrate ICT in teaching and learning process across all the education sub-sectors so that access to education would be expanded, quality of education could enhanced and equity be promoted. The vision of the Master Plan was to ensure extensive use of ICT in education sector and contribute for access to and quality of education for all.
A rapid assessment modality was used in this review study based on the Terms of References provided to the reviewer. Various sources of data and information were used. Further, the given criteria, i.e. relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability were followed in the review of the current Master Plan.
The rapid assessment mapped out key indicators and potential data sources involving key government stakeholders, schools, and teachers. The following were the key data/informations in the review:
· Policy document analysis such as: National Plan, School Sector Development Plan, National Education Sector Plan, SDG4-related national plans;
· Status reports of Department of Education (DOE);
· Progress review at central level;
· National ICT Readiness survey;
· ICT Readiness survey of schools; and
· ICT Readiness survey of teachers.
The guiding principles for the review process were: 1) participatory in terms of reflecting the concerns and views of all the key stakeholders; 2) impartial and independent for avoiding bias and maximizing objectivity; 3) credible in terms of expertise and independence of the review team; and 4) confidential in terms of utilizing the findings.
The review criteria were: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the current Master Plan. Under each of these criteria, the review study explored specific questions as described here:
Relevance was to measure the extent to which the current Master Plan 1 was aligned with the education sector’s priorities and policies considering the following questions:
- To what extent are the objectives of the current Master Plan valid?
- Are the activities and outputs of the Master Plan consistent with the overall goal and the attainment of its objectives?
- Are the activities and outputs of the current Master Plan consistent with the intended impacts and effects?
Effectiveness was to measure to what extent the current Master Plan attains its objectives considering the following questions:
- To what extent were the objectives achieved / are likely to be achieved?
- What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?
Efficiency criteria was to measure whether the current Master Plan’s outputs – both qualitative and quantitative – were the least costly in relation to the inputs which require comparing estimated costs to final costs; to find out possible alternative approaches that could have achieved the same outputs and to see whether the most efficient process has been adopted. To do so, the following questions were considered:
- Were the projects cost-efficient?
- Were the objectives achieved on time?
- Were the programmes or projects implemented in the most efficient way compared to the alternatives?
Impact was to assess the changes produced by the current Master Plan, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended, positive or negative. For this, the following questions were considered:
- What has happened to education management and delivery at the national, school, teacher and student-level as the result of the current Master Plan?
- Has the current Master Plan achieved its targeted results and improved learning outcomes?
- What real difference has the current Master Plan made to the beneficiaries?
- How many people have been affected?
Sustainability is to measure whether the benefits of the current Master Plan are likely to continue after its conclusion with consideration to the following questions:
- To what extent is it likely that the benefits of the current Master Plan will continue after its conclusion?
- What are the major factors that influenced the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of the current Master Plan?
The personnel in the ICT section of Centre for Education and Human Resources Development (CEHRD), previously in the Department of Education, was contacted for the reports as envisioned by the Master Plan. As the responsible person was recently transferred to this section, he was not able to provide all the needed information. Other three more ministry personnel were also contacted for relevant documents and information for the progress review of the Master Plan. It was suggested to have a session to seek information from the persons who were knowledgeable about the ICT works, as the progress of the Master Plan was not reported in specific documents (however, several sections or centres were involved in the ICT). Therefore, UNESCO Kathmandu organized a one-day session where 15 personnel were invited (Please, see Annex 1 for the list of participants). In this group, ICT related activities against the Master Plan were reviewed. Three of the persons also jointly filled up the National ICT Readiness survey. There was no coordination or implementation body specifically assigned for Master Plan 1. Such provision would have been supportive in implementation, coordination as well as in Monitoring and Evaluation.
A sample survey, covering all the 7 provinces of federal Nepal, was undertaken for ICT readiness survey of schools and teachers using survey forms provided by UNESCO, Bangkok. For the survey, 5 schools from each of the provinces and 10 schools from Kathmandu valley were covered. The school survey forms were filled up by the headteachers of the schools. In the case of teachers, all the teachers present at the school on the day of the survey were requested to fill-up the form.
The review employed both quantitative and qualitative methods for seeking different types of information. The quantitative methods included surveys with beneficiaries of at the national, school and teacher level to identify their ICT readiness and needs related. The qualitative methods included interaction sessions with ministry personnel and analysis of documents espcifically to review the progress against the ICT Master Plan 1 and identify the ICT needs. The draft report was shared and presented to the ministry personnel in an interaction session for validation and their additional inputs.
This review study covers two aspects – one, progress review of the ICT Master Plan 2013-17 and next, provide background information for the development of the next Master Plan. For the next Master Plan, this review study provides the present status of ICT readiness at national, school and teacher level.
Progress Review of ICT Master Plan 2013-17
The ‘ICT in Education Master Plan 2013-2017’ was formulated by the Government of Nepal in 2013 as emphasized in SSRP. There were four components in the ICT in Education Master Plan: 1) Development of infrastructure including connectivity, 2) Development of human resources, 3) Development of digital learning materials, and 4) Enhancement of education system. The Master Plan focused on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in order to strengthen the infrastructure development as well as other components of the plan. The private sectors were to be encouraged for infrastructure development and training. Another important feature of the Master Plan was extensive arrangement of ‘monitoring and evaluation’. Each of the components and activities under these components were presented in an interaction session with the ministry personnel and jointly discussed progress on each of the components/activities which are presented below.
1. Development of ICT Infrastructure
The ICT Master Plan intended to develop ICT infrastructure in the schools and educational institutions by creating ICT- enabled learning environment; expanding the Internet access to schools and other educational institutions; and expanding the accessibility to learning resources through educational resource sharing platform. Under this component; the activities planned, target, and achievements are presented in the following table:
Specification forcomputers for the schools was developed and circulated to District Education Offices (DEOs) in 2013 and specification for ICT labs was developed in 2017 by the DOEs. For the selection of schools for ICT support; priority was given to the secondary and higher secondary schools, and number of students (higher number high priority) of the concerned district. The ICT Master Plan had made provision for baseline survey on infrastructure to be undertaken in 2013. In the progress review session, it was informed that the data collection was done by the DOEs in 2016 and report has yet to be published. However, the flash reports cover some aspects of ICT in the schools. There is also a provision of collecting several types of information related to ICT from the schools before releasing the ICT support related budget. However, these do not qualify as baseline survey of the schools on the ICT infrastructure.
Nepalese Teachers’ ICT Readiness Survey was administered by UNESCO in 2015 and Teacher ICT Readiness Baseline Study in 2016 by NCED, MOE and UNESCO Kathmandu based on the teacher’s ICT competency developed by NCED. Both of these baselines showed low level of ICT readiness in the teachers. The baseline study in 2016 showed that 91.90% of the teachers in Nepalese schools still are at the novice level (UNESCO Kathmandu, 2016). If these two surveys are to be considered as baseline survey planned in the ICT Master Plan, then it seemed to have missed planned timeline of 2013.
About 10,000 schools (2000 per year) were planned to be provided with basic ICT infrastructure. Altogether, 8,137 schools have been facilitated with such infrastructure by 2016 through matching fund in which the schools were provided Rs. 140,000 by the DOE and Rs. 60,000 was generated by the schools themselves. In addition, more than 1,582 schools have been disbursed Rs. 650,000 for ICT lab. Further, more than 67 technical schools offering IT education have been strengthened and more than 165 virtual labs have been setup by September 2018. Thus, the target set for ICT infrastructure has been accomplished. The checklist for the ICT equipments to be bought by the supported schools was provided by the DOE, i.e. five computers and LCD projector were in the list of NPR 200000.00 matching fund. In case of NPR 650,000.00 support to the schools, the list included: computers, LCD projectors, internet connectivity, e-library and solar backup. Similarly, the schools have been provided with internet connectivity – nearly 10,000 schools during the Master Plan 1. Establishing the server, data centre, and developing RCs have partially been accomplished. About 1,053 RCs have received budget to develop themselves as educational resource platform (the budget has been dispersed and progress on this has yet to be reported).
2. Development of Human Resources
The ICT Master Plan intended to develop human resources in the ICT field by preparing the teachers for ICT based education; developing favourable environment for policy-making and management for ICT based education; and enhancing ICT competencies of human resources working in education sector. Under this component, the activities planned, target, achievements are presented in the following table:
The ICT Master Plan had emphasized on identifying needs to plan the inputs. There was confusion in the planned target which states needs identification for 10 types of HR and establishing ICT skills for them. The confusion was on what were the 10 types. Organizational needs assessment was done in 2013. ICT Competency Standards for Teachers were developed for basic, proficient and distinguished levels by NCED which was formally approved on 30 March, 2016 by the Ministry. Curriculum for basic and proficient levels has also been endorsed. Training modules for basic levels have been developed and by 2018 Septemebr, 8050 teachers have been trained by NECD. A total of 200 teacher-trainers have been trained by by NECD as presented in table 2 above. Similarly, ICT training has been conducted for 160 officials. NCED has developed four teacher development course packages as planned. Ten days training packages were designed by NCED with the support of UNESCO Kathmandu. Basically, the content covered introduction of hardware and software of computers, operating system, application, communication and collaboration, interactive content creation, internet security, ICT based project work etc. However, one of the major activities planned in the Master Plan seemed not been done, i.e. developing mechanism for continued learning for teachers and other HR in the education sector.
The first component of the ICT Master Plan aimed at foundation for ICT – infrastructure development. Basic infrastructure has been provided to the targeted schools. Infrastructures those were essential for the use of ICT for teaching learning were, however, weak such as: in case of servers, data centre and educational resource sharing platforms. The second component in the ICT Master Plan was to develop human resources for the optimum use of ICT. Accomplishment in the human resource development has been partial too – particularly, the development of mechanism for continued learning for the teachers and other HR in the education sector is missing.
3. Development of Digital Learning Materials
The ICT Master Plan emphasized on development of digital learning materials to facilitate the teaching learning process through the use of interactive digital contents. Under this component, activities planned, targets set, and achievements are presented in the following table:
ICT related curriculum and digital content development, in terms of numbers, was more or less accomplished which included development by private sectors. In case of ‘functional content management system establishment’ there was confusion. Does it mean sharing through website? Yes it has been done. Does it mean one platform for sharing? No it has not been done. Or does it mean different thing? Some of the contents are digital, but not interactive. In case of interactive digital contents as well level of interaction was limited. Criteria for interactive digital contents need to be explicit. About the extent of use of these materials, there were not such data available. In case of the packages developed by NCED these were based on the needs of HR in the focus as in the ICT teacher competency framework and needs assessed thorugh FGD with the stakeholders and interaction with experts.
4. Enhancement of Education System
ICT Master Plan intended to enhance education system through development and enhancement of policy and regulatory provisions for effective and efficient use of ICT in education; promotion of Research and Development system in education; and strengthening of Management Information System (MIS) and Office Automation System (OAS) in education sector. Under this component, activities planned, target set, and achievements are presented in the following table,
EMIS and MIS schoolsreporting in hard copy have now been replaced with Microsoft Excel based data/ information reporting and the development of web-based reporting is under process. Meanwhile, the OAS, ICT based M&E system, institutional mapping, E-governance in education is in the initiation stage. In case of establishment of committee (steering, coordination) at the national, district and local levels; some are already in place and others are on the process of formation. NQF and NVQF are in draft form, whereas partnerships are based on MOU without a partnership framework. The plan to establish RCs as ICT hubs for schools is partially achieved that computers and internet facilities have been provided to 1053 RCs and 22 ETCs. Overall achievement in this component, like others, is mixed and by the end of the Master Plan 1; some of the activities are reported to be at the initiation stage only.
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
The ICT Master Plan has paid due attention to effective implementation of ICT in education program through well-structured implementation arrangement, which includes institutional arrangement, overall framework for cooperation and collaboration, and implementation structure and mechanism. In case of monitoring and evaluation, activities planned, target set, and achievements made are presented in the following table:
Establishment of baseline, benchmark, and monitoring indicators and tools were planned with envisioned achievements for the development of teacher competency developed by NCED, and integration of monitoring indicators within SSDP M&E framework and regular system. In case of reporting, the ICT Master Plan intention seems reporting progress against activities as planned in it, but it seems largely missing as such reports could not be found e.g through trimester, yearly, mid-term and program evaluation. The reporting on some of the components of ICT was, however, integrated in other reports such as annual status report, review meetings, etc.
Status of ICT Readiness at National, School and Teacher Levels
In this review study, ICT readiness surveys were undertaken at national, school and teacher levels. Five of the ministry officials jointly responded to the national level survey form; 47 schools and 437 teachers were the respondents from 7 provinces and Kathmandu Valley. The findings from these surveys are presented in this section.
Status of ICT readiness at national level
The national level readiness form was filled up jointly by five of the concerned ministry personnel. The survey contained eight sections viz. policy, ICT infrastructure, curriculum and assessment, ICT-enhanced pedagogy, ICT in pre-service training, ICT in in-service training, partnership, and R & D. They are elaborated in terms of the following sub-sections.
1. Policy. ICT policy in Nepal covers all levels of education from school to university. ICT has been emphasized as an important element in national and education plans. In education budget, ICT development budget are also provided though the budget is rather low. National education goal, vision, and mission are explicitly stated in the 14th National Plan, Higher Education Project (HEP), SSDP, SDG4 Vision, and NCF. ICT has been accorded as one of the important aspects for quality education in those documents. The ICT Master Plan has clearly stated ICT in education policy goal, vision, and mission. MOEST is responsible to coordinate the implementation of the ICT in education policy and programmes to achieve the policy’s goal, vision, and mission.
Teacher Qualification Framework is in place for the selection and promotion of the teachers at the school level. UGC has also drafted accreditation framework for teacher training institution(s)/teaching college(s) and has applied it on volunteering basis at present.
2. ICT Infrastructure. ICT infrastructure development in the schools is one of the emphasized activities of the Government in Nepal. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data shows that in 2011 in Nepal, 6 of primary and 24 of the secondary schools had electricity; internet available in just 5 per cent of schools; 500 or more pupils sharing a computer; pupil (learner) to computer ratios (PCRs) in the primary and secondary PCRs were more than 500:1 and 378:1, respectively. Recent data on these aspects were not reported in the ministry reports (2016).
Regarding digital resources provision, CDC has provided e-textbooks that are aligned with the national curriculum. CDC and several private sectors such as: Midas and OLE have developed digital teaching and learning resources that are aligned with the national curriculum. There has been technical support provision for ICT technical support staff or an outsourced service. However, it is insufficient, partial, and spatial. Also, the data on such support is not readily available.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (2018) has reported progress on some of the pertinent aspects related to ICT, i.e. mobile penetration is exceeding 100% and Internet penetration reaching is to 60%. There was an addition of 2.25 millions new Internet users in 2017 alone, translating into approximately 250 new Internet users every hour. Translating these progresses in the school and use for education is of the concern.
3. Curriculum and Assessment. In Nepalese school education system, curriculum is national and single textbooks are used as approved by the government. However, reference materials are said to be multiple. Government has measures/incentives to support innovative teaching and learning using ICT. Government is providing funding to the schools for the provision of ICT infrastructures and training of teachers. In case of student assessment, there are national exams, school-based assessments, formative assessments by teachers, and to some extent, portfolio type documentation is done in some schools. National curriculum also has a provision for ICT literacy development as separate course(s)/subject(s) as well as applying ICT within other subjects.
4. ICT-enhanced Pedagogy. National level data on the use of ICT in classroom teaching learning is not reported- specifically, regarding the use of innovative technology-enhanced pedagogies such as project-based learning, blended learning, tele-collaboration, social networking, collaborative learning, critical thinking, student centered, etc. However, these types of pedagogical approaches are suggested in the national education policy document such as National Curriculum Framework (NCF). In the teacher training courses, these types of innovative pedagogical approaches are covered; however, use of such approaches are not linked with any types of incentives to encourage educators to integrate ICT in supporting innovative pedagogical activities.
5. ICT in Pre-service Training. In Nepali school system, the required qualification to be a teacher in primary schools is minimum grade 12 graduate with short training in a normal school or teacher training college including mandatory licensing examination. Whereas, the required qualification to be a teacher in secondary schools is Bachelor’s degree in Education or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates to teach STEM subjects. In case of secondary level too licensing examination is mandatory. Minimum number of years of training that a teacher will have completed prior to entering the teaching workforce is about a year. ICT is recently incorporated in the pre-service curriculum as a compulsory subject. Moreover, ICT is included as a specialization course in Bachelor and Master level. These courses intend to prepare teachers to teach ICT as well as to use ICT in their subjects such as ‘ICT in Education’ course of Faculty of Education, Tribhuvan University- which is of 3 credit hours for the Bachelor level students in the education stream. Pre-service training is delivered face to face or in blended mode.
6. ICT in In-service Training. In-service teacher training is provided by the government institutions in Nepal, mainly by NCED. As an in-service training provider, the government institutions are not required to be accredited. In-service teacher trainings of NCED incorporates the ICT integration strategy which is highly emphasized by the government. Central government, district/local government mechanisms are in place for monitoring of in-service teachers’ ICT skill attainment. Training packages are of fixed duration and required hours/units need to be attained. Every time after the training of in-service teachers, ICT skill attainment is reported. The level of ICT skill attainment is acknowledged for the modules completed by the trainee. For the career advancement of teachers, ICT skill attainment of the teacher is not accounted as additional score for completing ICT skill training or the use of ICT in the classroom teaching learning.
In in-service teacher training, ICT is incorporated into the curriculum in various forms such as stand alone module; integrated in subject training emphasizing application of ICT into subject teaching; use of e-resources for teaching; and use of ICT to promote pedagogical transformation such as: project-based learning, interdisciplinary teaching, student-centered learning. In-service ICT training is delivered in blended mode, face-to-face and online learning.
7. Partnership. Main funding sources for ICT in schools are national budget (centrally distributed) and regional/provincial/state budget. Government initiatives or projects like SSDP, ICT lab support, Nepal Tele-Communication Authority(NTA) help increase access of schools to ICT. There are partnerships between the government and other sectors to promote the effective integration of ICT in education as well such as PPP, inter-minstrel, etc.
8. R & D. Monitoring and evaluation plan is explicitly included in the ICT in education policy through both formative and summative forms. However, not any of the research institution or agency is assigned for the monitoring and conducting research on the effectiveness of ICT in education initiatives nor is there any channel to directly feed the research findings into the improvement of the ICT in education policy. There is also little use of research results in relation to ICT in education policies and implementations. In case of EMIS, there is a national EMIS system and data are collected at teacher, school, district, and national levels.
Status of ICT readiness at school level
School level readiness survey was conducted in 47 schools covering 23 districts in all 7 provinces of Nepal. Confederation of Nepalese Teacher (CNT) supported in undertaking field survey for the school and teacher levels. The school survey form was filled up mainly by the school head teacher/principal. The survey contained seven sections, viz. demography, policy, ICT infrastructure, curriculum and assessment, professional development, partnership, and R & D components. The survey findings on these components are presented in the following sections.
1. Demographics (sample characteristics). Altogether, 47 community secondary schoolsin 23 districts of 7 provinces of Nepal were covered in the survey. There were 52.1% girls and 47.9% boys. The total number of students in the schools was maximum 2630 (1150 girls and 1480 boys) and minimum 200 (120 girls and 80 boys). The number of teachers ranged from 10 to 85 in a school. In case of gender of the teachers in the schools, there were 48.9% female teachers and 51.1% male teachers.
2. Policy. The ICT Master Plan 2013-17 phase has been completed. Over 2/3 of the schools reported that the teachers have knowledge about the existing national policy for introducing ICT in school. It is also encouraging that 83% of those schools have their school policy for introducing ICT in their schools. Similarly, 1/4 of the schools reported that they had an opportunity to participate in the national education policy development which is also logical because national level consultation would be in small sample. Six of the schools were not sure of their school participation in such consultation as they were new in the leadership position. The responses on the ICT policy are presented in the following table:
3. ICT Infrastructure. The schools were asked to provide information on the availability of computers. Of them, 38.3% reported that there were no computers in the classroom; whereas 17% did not answer it. In two of the schools, the average number of computers was nine and in one school, it was 10 in a classroom. In rest of the schools, it was three or less than three number of computers per class. About the number of computer labs in the school, three (6.4%) schools had no such labs, 33 (75%) schools had one, seven had two and two had three computer labs in the schools. Eighteen (42%) of the schools had less than 10 computers in their computer labs; whereas two of the schools reported of having 40 and 45 computers in their computer labs. In case of availability of computers in the school library, 34% of the school reported having one computer in the school library; whereas one school each reported having 10, 17 and 19 computers in the school library. In 1/4 of the schools, there were no computers in their school library.
When asked about how many of the teachers were provided with a computer by the school; 53% of the schools said that none of the teachers was provided with a computer by the school. Whereas, four of the schools reported they had provided one teacher a computer; five schools had provided computers to two of the teachers; 8.5% had provided computers to four teachers and there were one school each, which provided computer to three, five, six, thirteen and thirty five teachers. In case of the desktops, laptops and tablets provided to the students by the school during school hours, more than 40% of the schools reported less than 20% of the students had access to the desktop or laptop at the school. There were two schools, which reported over 80% of the students having access to the desktop and one school reported that upto 41-60% of the students at maximum had access to the laptop at the school. In case of the tablets and other handheld devices, there were no responses from over 60% of the schools. This shows that the schools are trying to provide their teachers and students with the computers, but there is not an adequate access to such devices. The provision at the schools for the access to the computer is mostly in the computer lab as reported by over 83% of schools.
Regarding the connection to the internet to different types of technologies, only seven schools reported that classroom had the internet connection – one classroom in 1 school, 2 classrooms in three schools, three classrooms in two schools, and 20 classrooms in one school. Whereas, regarding the internet connection in the computer lab- 10 schools reported that they had devices connected to the internet in the computer lab ranged 1 to 45. Similarly, six of the schools reported that they had the internet connection in the school library and for the teachers. The ICT related facilities in the schools is presented in the following table:
Of the the total, 55.3% schools reported that they secure budget for technical support. These supports included an in-house technical support team by teachers (31.9%); district level technical support (19.1%); an in-house technical support team specifically hired for this assignment (12.8%) and a technical service support from the manufacturer (10.6%) as stated by the teachers.
4. Curriculum and Assessment. In Nepalese schools, the national level curriculum and textbooks are used. The schools and teachers are expected to strictly follow the national curriculum and government approved textbooks. This was affirmed by 60% of the respondents. Schools (10.6%) also reported that the teachers in their school are given several choices for textbooks and learning materials as long as they comply with the curriculum. In this case, the teachers need to follow the given sequence to enact the curriculum activities. These are mostly the cases related to additional textbooks and reading materials or textbooks in English language. Though 15.9% of the schools reported that their teachers are allowed to design and implement learning activities, materials, sequences and assessment within the broad national curriculum framework; it is not clear what they are talking about – may be local curriculum (stated by one school only) or the curriculum and textbook still prescribed at the national level. The government also provides support to the school innovation as reported by 44.7% of the schools. Specifically, these supports are provision for computer teacher, buying computers, training, and seminar workshop.
The student assessment practices in the schools are of various kinds – participation in nation-wide examination, school based assessment, formative assessment as used at the classroom by the teachers, student portfolio as presented in the following table
Regarding the extent to which ICT is reflected in the curriculum, 25.5% of the schools replied that it is not used at all. In 48.9% of the schools, ICT is mainly related to develop students’ ICT literacy as separate course(s)/subject(s). In 14.9% of schools, ICT is applied within discrete subjects. Three of the schools expressed that they have been using ICT to develop 21st century skills (collaboration, communication, creative and critical thinking, etc.).
5. Professional Development. Regarding school based professional development programme for teachers, over half of the schools said that they did not have. However, 27.7% of the schools reported that they had on ICT literacy; and only one school said that the school had professional development programme for teachers related to how to use government eresources for teaching. Similarly, in 46.8% of the schools, school based system was in place to assess teachers’ needs in using ICT for teaching and learning; and in 40.4% of the schools, there was a school based system in place to record and assess teachers’ performance progress in using ICT for teaching and learning. This shows that schools need orientation/training on employing ICT to improve pedagogy and assessment practices, which is in less use at present.
6. Partnerships. The schools acquire ICT equipments in the school in general through school budget (46.8%), central level government (38.3%) and district level (36.2%). In the sample schools contribution of the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) was also significant (17%) as presented below:
As PPP is emphasized by the government, the schools also are being supported by private sector, NGOs, Alumni, and even PTA. The government and schools should seek for sustained partnership with the private and local partners.
7. R & D. School participation in an evaluation project of the government initiatives on implementing ICT in education; opinion sharing; access to national EMIS system were also explored in the survey. The schools, which responded as ‘yes’, are presented in the following table;
School participated in R & D
% of schools
School participated in an evaluation project of the government initiatives on implementing ICT in education
School have a channel to express its opinions on policy evaluation and improvement
School provided with access to the national EMIS system to enter the data
School provided with access to the national EMIS system to retrieve and analyze the data
School based data system linked to/integrated with the national EMIS
As to the utilization of school’s own student data system, 46.8% of schools use it for enrolment purpose; 53.3% for student achievement test; 31.9% for attendance: and one school reported that they use it for preparation of grade sheet.
Status of ICT Readiness at Teacher Level
Teacher level readiness survey covered 437 teachers in 47 schools in 23 districts in all 7 provinces of Nepal. All the teachers present in the schools on the day of field researcher’s visit were requested to fill teacher ICT readiness survey form. The survey contained eight sections, viz. demography, teacher attitude on ICT in education, ICT infrastructure, policy environment, teacher ICT competency – ICT skills and ICT for teaching and learning. The survey findings on these components are presented in the following sections.
1. Demographics (sample characteristics). It was planned to cover 50 teachers from each of the provinces and 100 teachers from Kathmandu Valley (Province 3). Thus, there were 147 teachers from The Province 3, 86 from Province 1 and around 50 teachers each from other provinces. The teachers were from metropolitan/sub-metropolitan (41.2%), municipality (38.9%), and rural municipality (19.5%). The sample covered 63.2% male and 35.9% female teachers. The age range of the teachers was highest (38.7%) in 31-40 year old. There were 29.5% teachers in 41-50 year range and 20.8% were 30 or under. In case of teaching experience of the teachers, around 30% each had 11-20 years or 5-10 years. There were 1 16.5% teachers who had 4 years or fewer years of teaching experiences. There were 50.7% of teachers with permanent tenure (i.e. 0.7% first class, 11% second class, and 30.6% third class; whereas 8.4% did not mentioned their level) and 43.1% were temporary teachers. The others were managed through other arrangement such as private funding. In case of academic qualification, 53.5% of teachers had Master’s level qualification, 36.4% Bachelor level, and 9.2% high school degree.
The grade level in which teachers were teaching was mainly from grades 5-9 (49%), grades 10-13 (33.2%), grades 1-4 (13.3%), and pre-primary (9%). The subjects taught by the teachers were Language (36.2%), Mathematics (18.1%), Social Studies (16.7%), Science (13.3%), ICT/Computer (6.9%) and Literature (2.7%). There were also the teachers teaching various subjects at grade 11 onwards. About 85% teachers had some kind of professional training to teach their subject area.
2. Teacher Attitude on ICT in Education. The teachers’ were asked to rate various statements related to attitude on use of ICT in education. The percentage of their rating in each of the statements in the scales is presented in the following table:
The teachers’ attitude towards the use of ICT in education is generally positive. About 94.2% of responses were agreeing or strongly agree that the use of ICT by students can support student-centered learning. Similarly, there were 93.3% of responses on agreeing side for the statement ‘ICTs provide valuable resources and tools to support student learning’ and 92.2% for the statement ‘ICT plays an important role in the professional development of teachers’. However, there were 52.7% of agree response in the statement ‘ICTs have limited capacity to provide benefits in the classroom’ and 69.8% in the statement ‘It takes a lot of resources and time to use ICT in my teaching’ – higher percentage of agree rating in these two statements show some attitudinal hindrances on the use of ICT.
3. ICT Infrastructure. ICT infrastructure in the schools is more inclined in the positive half of agreement scale. Over 76% of teachers reported that there is sufficient power supply for computers in their schools; computers provided by the schools are in working condition as reported by 71.6% of teachers, and 67.7 of teachers stated having access to a functional laptop/desktop computer provided by the school for administrative tasks. Use of devices for EMIS (68.6%); internet connection (65.1%); availability of technical support (64%); appropriateness of software for teaching learning (58.9%); sufficiency of digital resources (55%) all are inclined in the agreement half. Moreover, 76.4% of teachers stated that they prefer to use thier own device even in school. The summary of their responses is presented in the following table:
About the use of any of the ICT tools/applications to support administrative work such as attendance records, grading, student transfer; 39% of the teachers stated that they use the prescribed ICT applications, tools, and templates as part of their administrative system. Nearly, 10.6% of them also mentioned that they explore other ICT applications, tools, and templates outside of their administrative system. Whereas, 11% of the teachers showed unfamiliarity with any of the ICT tools that could support their administrative tasks and 14.9% stated that administrative work in their school is still paper-based.
Teachers were asked to rate frequency of use of different ICT devices for their classroom teaching learning activities. The devices that teachers use in their classroom teaching and the frequency of their use as reported by the teachers is presented in the following table:
There is a significant number of teachers using ICT devices at least once a day for the classroom teaching, i.e. tablet (52.5%), TV (51.4%), digital camera (42.7%), radio (41.3%), projector or whiteboard combined (67%). The teachers using those devices at least once a week also added the number these devices. One important device, the mobile phone/Smartphone is comparatively less used as rated never by 39.9% of teachers and rarely by another 17.4% of teachers. As the mobile is common among the Nepalese teachers, orientation/training on the use of mobile in classroom teaching learning purpose would increase integration of ICT in classroom pedagogy.
As for the different types of digital resources that are used for classroom teaching, around one fourth of the teachers mentioned these sources and two of the teachers even mentioned the virtual classes being used, which are presented in the following table:
Frequency (in %)
CDs/DVDs from the Ministry of Education
National database of online resources
Open educational resources (OER)
Various educational websites
I develop them on my own
Others (Virtual class)
4. Policy Environment. The teachers were also asked about their knowledge of and perception on the policy environment with respect to ICT in education at the national and school levels. Approximately, 73.5% of teachers were familiar with national policy on ICT in education. Among the teachers who were knowledgeable about the national level ICT policy, 79.2% of them said that they were explained or were involved in the discussion about ICT policy. Specifically, 31.8% of teachers informed that they knew about ICT policy during professional development courses, 29.3% during pre-service education, and 18.1% in school meetings. As for the opportunity for the teachers to participate in national consultations, 63.4% said they had and 40.8% of them had also participated in focus group interview or discussion (19.1%), seminar/ conference (11.2%), policy planning workshop (1.8%), or public consultation (3.6%) as presented in the following table:
Nearly, 54.5% of the teachers reported that there is school policy for using ICT at their school and for 86.6% of them school policy for using ICT had been discussed with or explained to. In case of the implementation of school ICT policy, 63.9% of the teachers remarked that these were partially enforced, 16.4% said that it was strictly enforced and 14.3% stated that it was up to the teacher. Over 87% of the teachers remarked that the ICT policies in their schools have made positive impact in their classes, i.e. 30.7% agreed that it has changed most aspects of their classroom practices and 56.7% agreed on making changes in some aspects of classroom practices. The positive attitude of teachers and their positive experiences towards use of ICT in the classroom can be utilized to promote ICT integration in other schools as well through experience sharing platforms.
5. Teacher ICT Competency – ICT Skills. The teachers were asked to self-rate their level of competency in the ICT supported tasks- where 1 was rated as the least competent and 7 the most competent. The percentage of teachers rating on each of the ICT supported tasks at each of these levels is presented in the following table;
V. Summary of Findings, Issues and Recommendations
In this section, the summary of findings are presented, issues highlighted and recommendation forwarded specifically in the context of the sequent Master Plan.
‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education Master Plan 2013-2017’ covered four components of ICT and M&E plan. Progress on these has been as following:
1) Development of ICT Infrastructure
· Target (2013) for baseline survey on infrastructure was missed but accomplished in some form (collection of data, coverage in Flash Report, UNESCO Kathmandu survey 2015 and 2016).
· Targeted number of schools and RCs were provided with basic ICT infrastructure; and internet connectivity was accomplished as per the target. However, there is no confirmation what amounts were spent on which devices or infrastructure or connectivity. Exact data/information is also not available to inform actual status of infrastructure in schools from the Master Plan’s activities.
· Establishment of servers, data centre, resources sharing platform, development and delivery of digital contents/materials were initiated and have been partially accomplished.
2) Development of Human Resources
· Needs had to be identified for 10 types of HR, but there was lack of clarity on types of HR itself. Organizational needs were assessed, competency standards for teachers were developed for the basic, proficient, and distinguished levels. NCED also developed training modules/packages for the teachers.
· NCED developed four teacher development course packages and ICT training was conducted for trainers (200), teachers (8050), and officials (160).
· Mechanism for continued learning for teachers and other HR in the education sector was not implemented.
3) Development of Digital Learning Materials
· CDC, NCED and private sectors developed or revised the ICT curriculum, training materials, and digital materials – some of those were interactive as well, but there was limited level of interaction.
· There is confusion on the meaning and criteria on ‘functional content management system’.
· It isn’t clearly and precisely stated in the Master Plan ‘why’ and ‘how’ the digital learning materials should facilitate the teaching and learning process, for example: digital learning materials can be read by the computer or zoomed in for visually and audially impaired students; hence, it is needed. Traditional textbooks and classroom teaching do not address the students’ special needs and affect their learning.
· There was also weak coordinated implementation across the components such as the digital materials developed did not seem to have been used in the HR component’s that the ICT training or infrastructure rollout was not coordinated with HR training.
4) Enhancement of Education System
· EMIS and MIS are well developed and development of web-based reporting is under the process.
· OAS, ICT based M&E system, institutional mapping, and E-governance in education are initiated.
· Partial achievement is made in the establishment of RCs as an ICT hub for schools – mainly equipped with infrastructure.
· NQF and NVQF are drafted but partnerships framework is not developed.
· Steering and coordination committees (at national, district and local levels) are established in some of the places and in others, they are in the process of formation.
5) Monitoring and Evaluation
· The reporting progress against the ICT Master Plan seems largely missing. Reports planned for the trimester, yearly, mid-term and program evaluation are not available.
· The reporting on some of the components of ICT was, however, integrated in other reports such as an annual status reports, review meetings, etc.
Successes, weakness or even failures are the lessons for the sequent Master Plan development. Elaborated M&E component in the Master Plan 1 was an important component to ensure implementation of the Master Plan. However, it was weak in implementation. Reporting on budget allocation and its expenditure should be part of M&E report. Infrastructure development and EMIS are satisfactorily achieved but some other important aspects such as system development, resources sharing platform, were at the initiatial stage, which in fact should have been significantly achieved in 5 years time of the Master Plan 1. There was also weak coordinated implementation across the components such as the digital materials developed did not seem to have been used in the HR components that ICT training or infrastructure rollout was not coordinated with HR training. Therefore, there have been some weaknesses that need to be paid attention in the Master Plan 2:
· Implementation of the Master Plan as planned is partially accomplished,
· Timely implementation of planned activities is mostly missed,
· Progress monitoring and reporting iare not done as planned in the Master Plan.
· Clarification of terms such as ’10 types of HR’, ‘functional content management system’ is needed for uniform understanding.
Based on the review of progress of the Master Plan 1, following recommendations are forwarded for the sequent Mater Plan:
1. All the components covered in the Master Plan 1 are still valid and important to continue. However, it is important in the Master Plan 2 to explicitly recognize that there should be coordinated strategic implementation of projects between the components.
2. The ICT Master Plan 2 Steering Committee (high-level) and Implementation Task-Force (director-level) for the Master Plan 2 should be established to ensure regular reporting, implementation and M&E is carried out.
3. M&E implementation and reporting should be ensured so that thre would be permanent M&E team formation, mandatory reporting, and report in open source. Responsibility with accountability should be ensured. The research centres like CERID can be given responsibility of M&E.
4. Strong partnership should be developed with the province level, local level and private sectors such as in ICT infrastructure development, M&E. Central level support should be continued in training, digital material development, and system development. The Master Plan should clearly spell out the roles and responsibilities of centre, province, local levels and other stakeholders such as private sector and NGOs.
5. As ICT is ever growing and rapidly changing, M&E team should review and incorporate needed changes/improvement in the Master Plan in frontline manner.
Based on progress review of the Master Plan, following programmes and activities are suggested to be incorporated in the sequent Master Pla:
Suggestion to incorporate in the sequent Master Plan
Development of ICT Infrastructure
· School status on ICT is to be collected through Flash Report if possible, otherwise randomized representative sample based baseline is to be established in the first six months of the Master Plan 2 so that progress can be monitored of if anything lacking or lagging these can be corrected on time.
· All the remaining schools (about 2/3) are to be provided with at least one computer lab and basic ICT infrastructure (room, furniture, electricity, ICT equipments and accessories, internet ). The ICT lab is now to be priority of the government. It is also necessary to discuss and deliberate on possibility of other models of ICT infrastructure development and optimization of use.
· Functional servers, data centres, digital interactive resources should be in more priority.
· Web-based EMIS system – most part in open access should be implementd (for this modular data centres can be used: public data in the single central level server and modular separate server for critical data)
· Higher education institutes, specifically, Faculty of Education should be covered in the Master Plan and mobilized for teacher training.
Development of Human Resources
· ICT HR requirement should be well defined; and standard set, training plan, courses and materials are to be prepared within first six months of the Master Plan.
· ICT training packages should be prepared for Novice and Basic level – target should be set such as: 50% Novice level teachers be trained and upgraded to Basic level and 25% trained and upgraded to Proficient level (this will involve large scale resources and technical input)
· Faculty of Education and other institutes are also to be mobilized for the ICT training, which can be school-based and regular backstopping modality as well.
· ICT training is to be made made mandatory for promotion.
Development of Digital Learning Materials
· The Ministry should encourage the private sectors to develop interactive digital contents/materials and ensure to buy them. Standards and specification for the materials should be developed and publicly shared.
· Independent technical body is to be formed to evaluate digital materials developed by government, NGO, or private sectors to maintain the standard of digital materials and ensure their pedagogical value.
· National level resource sharing portal has to be accessible to the schools, teachers and students free of cost.
· At least in the model schools virtual classes are to be set.
Enhancement of Education System
· Final push for Web-based EMIS is required.
· Paperless system should be initiated such as in admission, school record, student record, basic school data/survey/reporting, teacher information and that gradually cover other aspects.
· CGAS, LMBIS, OAS, E-governance have to be strenghtened.
· There should be functional and supportive National, Provincial and Local committees.
· It is necessary to update NCED teacher competency if required and it should be strictly implemented.
Monitoring and Evaluation
· M&E tools need to be developed.
· M&E should be implemented and reported periodically.
· M&E team has to be established with specific roles and responsibilities.
· M&E report against the Master Plan 2 should be put into practice.
· M&E should be covered in the budgetary provision.
· Policy level commitment is visible in the government document and plans. Teacher Qualification Framework and Teacher Competency Framework are developed and approved by the government. Recent plan of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (2018) aspires for unlocking Nepal’s growth potential through digital Nepal initiative.
· Despite the government commitment, ICT infrastructure at the school level is less, still the number of teachers who have received training on ICT is low and as the consequences of these integration of ICT in the classroom teaching learning is not up to the intended level.
· The national level data on the use of ICT in classroom teaching learning is not monitored and reported.
· The pre-service courses at the Bachelor and Master’s level offer specialization in ICT as well as include ‘ICT in Education’ as a compulsory subject. In-service teacher training is designed on ICT integrated pedagogy. However, the transfer of training skills in the classroom feeble.
· R & D plan is weak and even research results are not visibly implemented. In case of EMIS, there is a national EMIS system and the data are collected at teacher, school, district and national levels.
· The Nepal Tele-Communication Authority, Nepal Electricity Authority, and several ministries such as education, communication, hydropower and private/non-governmental sector partnership and collaborations are low.
Proper planning is the first and crucial part for better result. National readiness in terms of plan and commitment is there. One of the issues is implementing the plan as designed in timely manner, which is also a shortcoming pointed out in the review of the Master Plan 1. Another issue is on meeting numerical target and maintaining the quality and integrity of activities. Unless the teachers use their skills in the classroom teaching/learning and have impact on student learning; the usefulness of educational initiative will be low. Maintaining the utility of ICT initiatives in terms of making it an impact on classroom teaching/learning and improving student’s learning is a challenge. Therefore, making M&E robust is another pertinent issue/challenge. Therefore, the Master Plan 2 should focus on the following aspects:
· It should ensure the timely implementation of activities, i.e. should identify rtheesponsible agency/section and person(s).
· It should make use of ICT in classroom teaching/learning which is one of the components of M&E .
Based on the review of national ICT readiness, following recommendations are forwarded for the sequent Mater Plan:
6. It is recommended to ensure the national level cooperation and coordination among the related ministries, agencies and institutes.
7. It is necessary to adequately address the dual challenge – equipping schools with ICT infrastructure and ensuring their qualitative use through teacher training.
8. It is also necessary to design the longitudinal formative researches on the ICT integration in classroom teaching in the schools supported with ICT infrastructure and teacher training.
9. For each of the activities, there is a need to identify responsible agency/section and person(s) to ensure timely implementation of activities.
· Proportion of the schools that are aware about the ICT Master Plan is high and 83% have their school policy as well, which is encouraging.
· Over 1/3 schools have computer labs in the school; availability of computer in the classroom, library and the use by teachers and students has been reported. This shows an increasing trend of equipping schools with the ICT infrastructure. However, the Internet connectivity to the schools is low.
· Over half of the schools had no ICT skills development programme for the teachers and over 1/4 are still focusing on ICT literacy. This indicates that ICT has not optimally been used for classroom pedagogy and assessment.
· The schools are benefitting from partnerships from outside the government as well such as NGOs, Alumni, PTA and private sectors need to be strengthened.
· EMIS is well developed and it is gearing towards a web-based system. However, the use of data for the students is mainly for administrative purposes (e.g. enrolment, exam records, attendance).
The provision of ICT infrastructure, mainly providing computers to the schools, is largely achieved in terms of the target met in the Master Plan 1. However, still there are about 2/3 of the schools where government has to provide with the ICT labs. As infrastructure is the first step in ICT integration, remaining schools need to be provided with short period in the Master Plan 2. Increasing use of ICT by teachers and students should be the focus. It is also equally important to ensure quality of ICT use. This part is challenging, specifically in terms of low transfer of training skills in the classroom as reported regarding previous teacher training. Another pertinent issue is the quality of use so that the ICT is not limited to the administrative matters and EMIS only, and could be used for improving learning of the students. A school is public property and has o be a public responsibility but, at present, the schools are largely dependent upon the government. Hence, breaking this limitation and making partnership with the private sector is required.
Based on the review of school ICT readiness, following recommendations are forwarded for the sequent Mater Plan:
1. It is recommended to equip the remaining schools with minimum required infrastructure within a possible short period in the Master Plan 2.
2. The use of ICT by the teachers and students should be aimed at improving the learning of students. Training on employing ICT to improve pedagogy and assessment practices to teachers and orientation to their students by the teachers in the proper use of ICT in students’ learning should be given priority.
3. The students ‘cyber safety’ and ‘intelligent use of Internet’ should be given priority in teacher training and students’ ICT use.
4. There has to be an open access provision to EMIS up to the school level.
5. It is necessary to encourage the local private sectors to support and promote the local schools.
6. Updated and recent ICT related data should be collected and reported on time.
· The teachers’ perception and attitude towards ICT is high, which is very positive. However, the teachers’ responses also showed their confusions regarding the use of ICT which need to be clarified.
· During the school survey, the teacher survey showed that more number of schools have basic ICT infrastructure. Moreover, there is also a significant number of teachers using ICT devices in the classroom teaching. The teachers also mentioned that the students use ICT devices mainly in the the computer lab, school library, and multimedia classrooms.
· Teachers about 87% observed that the ICT policies in their schools have made positive impact in their classes.
· Though the mobile phone is common among the Nepalese teachers; its use for the classroom teaching/learning purposes has been low (as rated never by 39.9% of the teachers and rarely by another 17.4% of them).
· Among nine (out of 16), ICT supported tasks more than 50% teachers rated their competency to be low (rated 1, 2 or 3). Three of the tasks which the higher number of teachers has rated their competency to be high (rated 5, 6 or 7) were less than 40% teachers. This shows that the teachers need more support to enhance their ICT skills.
· For all the 13 statements on the level of teacher competency in the ICT supported tasks for teaching/learning, the rating were in the low side (rated 1, 2 or 3). In 9 of those statements, there were more than 50% teachers who rated their competency to be in the low level. Such rating indicates that the teachers need further training/orientation and support on the use of ICT for teaching learning.
· In case of the professional learning too, for all the 6 statements on the level of teacher competency, the statements rating was in the low side (rated 1, 2 or 3) ranging from 64.9% to 50.8%. Such rating also indicates that the teachers need further training/orientation and support on the use of ICT for their professional learning as well.
· The teachers perceived needs for training on ‘basic ICT Literacy’, ‘teaching ICT as a subject’, and ‘ integrating ICT into the specific subject area’. This shows that still there is a demand for the basic level of ICT training. There are also demands for the higher level of ICT training by the teachers – from the teachers who are above the novice or basic level. Thus, the teachers’ requirements need to be addressed with appropriate level of ICT training. This suggests that ICT training packages need to be varied and also need the training to be provided by teacher’s competency level.
The teachers’ responses indicate their positive attitude towards ICT and they perceived that ICT could make classroom teaching/learning effective. Their responses also show that their competencies on ICT skills are low. The challenge is on designing the training appropriate to the competency level of the teachers. Another concern is ensuring transfer of training skills in the classroom. The specific context of each teacher’s classroom and school environment and the teacher’s needs are different. So, it is important to incorporate these considerations into teacher professional development activities.
Based on the review of teacher ICT readiness, following recommendations are forwarded for the subsequent Master Plan:
1. The teachers (over 70%) were knowledgeable about the ICT policy and they were explained or were involved in the discussion about the ICT policy. It shows a positive policy environment on ICT.
2. Increased ICT infrastructure and positive attitudes of teachers set required ground and it should be supported thorugh the development of required ICT skills in the teachers.
3. It is positive that the teachers and students’ use of ICT in the classroom teaching learning has increased but it requires a further push to ensure the integration of ICT as part and parcel of classroom teaching learning.
4. The positive attitudes of teachers and their positive experiences towards the use of ICT in the classroom can be used to promote ICT integration in other schools as well through experience sharing platforms.
5. As the mobile phone is common among the Nepalese teachers, the orientation/training on the use of the mobile phone for classroom teaching/learning purpose would increase integration of ICT in classroom pedagogy.
6. The ICT training packages can be for the novice, basic and proficient levels. The teachers should be evaluated for their existing level of competency and provided with an appropriate level of training.
7. A timely technical backstopping should be planned to support the teachers through face-to-face and distance mode.
Limitations of the Review Study
This review study was undertaken in a rapid study modality. The Confederation of Nepalese Teachers provided support for the survey. Though they were provided with sampling guidelines, they seem to have approached schools they are familiar with. The government has provided 1/3 of the schools with the computer lab though, in the survey, the schools with the computer lab were about 90%. This would have helped to give a flavor to the positive environment of ICT in the schools. The teacher training part and use of ICT in the classroom teaching learning is still weak which suggests that still more is to be done at the foundational level and there are basic level challenges to be overcome. Hence, Master Plan 2 needs to draw lessons from it.
Overall Assessment of the Master Plan 1 by Review Criteria
The review criteria were relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the current Master Plan. Under each of these criterion, the review study explored several specific questions as mentioned in terms of the following sections.
The Master Plan 1 was developed when there was a pressing need for improving the quality of education in general and of classroom teaching/learning in particular. The national policy and plans hves put an emphasis on ICT in education as a must in the global context. Thus, the development of the ICT Master Plan was relevant. Particularly, perceptions expressed by the teachers on the importance of ICT in improving classroom teaching/learning re-emphasize the relevancy of ICT in education. The accomplishment (against the target set) in the ICT infrastructure, teacher training (specifically ICT literacy), development of digital materials and such achiements signifiy the relevance of the Master Plan 1. However, the other higher level of target sets which are not accomplished at the desired level (such as in terms of establishing server, data centre, and developing RCs as educational resource platform, interactiveness of the digital matierails) and that have been partially accomplished. They need to be emphasized in the Mater Plan 2.
Effectivness of programme/project usually refers to quantitatively accomplished results against the set targets which also requires an assessement on the quality of achievements. In terms of quantitative achievement, the targeted foundational activites such as: establishing the ICT infrastructure, training packages, teacher training, and development of digital materials were largely accomplished. The EMIS and MIS are developed satisfactorily. Activites such as making digitial contents interactive, M&E, coordination, developing RC as ICT hub are not accomplished at the desirabed level. To enhance the effectiveness of the Master Plan 2, a coordinating body should be established; with sufficient authority to oversee and monitor implementation, resolve issues, manage budetory part and report progess periodically.
The Master Plan 1 schedule has not been strictly followed. Most of the activities were delayed and sometimes haphazard, For example, the Master Plan activities should have been started with a baseline study planned for 2013 but there only raw data available in 2016 and not yet analyzed. The M&E had been planned to strengthen the implementation of the plan but it has been weakly implemented, for example, the functional national steering and coordination committees were to be established – obviously at the initial stage of the Master Plan implementation but it was just at the initiated the stage at the end of Master Plan 1.
The most visible outputs of the Master Plan 1 are the development of EMIS and MIS, development of ICT infrastructure, and increased awareness of using ICT in schools and among teachers. However, this rapid review did not assess the changes produced by the Master Plan 1 as it was beyond the available time, information and resources to carry out an impact assessment. Based on the review, the lack of monitoring of the progress towards the desired outcomes of the Master Plan (improve service delivery nationally and the equity and quality of education at the classroom level and in students’ learning) needs to be improved for Master Plan 2. In Master Plan 2, these changes, such as improvement in the classroom teaching and learning practices through the use of ICT and its impact on students’ learning should be included as key outcomes. This will provide a basis for impact assessment for the Master Plan 2.
ICT, for national development as well as for the improvement of quality of education, has been emphasized by the government of Nepal. The Ministry officials have verified that the government continues to allocate budget for ICT development. Apart from the government, the private sector, NGOs, and individual donors also support schools by equipping schools with the ICT infrastructure. The sustainability of ICT in education can be further, be improved through coherent coordination between the federal government, states and local government offices, together with other stakeholders at the school levels. This would ensure that the resources which are channelled into the ICT in education meet the national and local needs, leading to an improvement in the quality of education and learning of students. This will require substantial efforts in Master Plan 2.