Experts Highlight Need for Student Supportive Learning Environments

16 Oct., Kathmandu : Education experts have highlighted the need for student supportive learning environments. They were speaking in a webinar on “Overcoming Pedagogical Barriers for Quality School Education”. The webinar was organized by Nepal Association of Humphrey Fellows (NAHF) with the support of the American Embassy here on Thursday. The experts said enabling and supportive environment would help students instead of  creating fear among them. The webinar is a part of the Understanding Sustainable Development Series supported by the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu.

In the beginning of the webinar, Deependra Bickram Thapa, President, NAHF welcomed and highlighted on the objectives of the programme and past activities carried out by NAHF. He highlighted the need and importance of quality education in his introductory remarks. Thapa further said that Teacher Mentoring is an immediate plan of MOEST amid many on quality front.

Chief Guest of the programme, Minister, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Rameswar Ray Yadav, underscored the need for inclusive education. He added that public schools should be enabled and strengthened for quality education. Speaking at the webinar as a Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Basu Dev Kafle, Head, Department of Special Needs Education, Tribhuvan University said students should be at the centre of the education system and there should be enough communication between teachers, students, and parents. “Quality education is everyone’s responsibility, not teachers alone.” Professor Kafle further said that irrelevant pedagogy for learner centered environment is barrier for learning.

Dr. Tulasi Prasad Thapaliya, Joint Secretary and Division Chief of Planning and Monitoring, MOEST highlighted on the plan and rogrammes of the government towards quality education. He reiterated the fact that equitable access and quality school education is at the heart of education plan and programme.

Ms. Binita Sah, Vice Principal, Shree Jaldhar Kamaldev Namuna Secondary School, Sarlahi, Province 2, explored ways to overcome pedagogical barriers for quality school education in Nepal. Sah highlighted on the need for access to technological resources. She also said teacher-centric education should shift to a student-centric system. Sah also said students should be regular in classes. Dr. Sumon Tuladhar, Quality and Equity Expert, Team leader, Samunnat Nepal presented various models for quality education to be applied.

Matt Tully, Director of Programming and Training Peace Corps Nepal spoke about peace corps in Nepal. He showed some striking examples how teaching and learning can be enhanced. Participants of the webinar raised various issues. Some made great point about letting the teachers own the change making process through subtle nudging as opposed to aggressive top down leadership.

The participants of the programme reiterated that teaching is not only about enhancing academic intelligence. Education designs the student’s future. The government must have plans to strengthen and empower community and public schools. Some were concerned about private school fees as well. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Ganga Ram Gautam, Executive Member of NAHF and closed by Dr. Meen B. Poudyal Chhetri, Understanding Sustainable Development Program Lead.