The goal of “Developing Pedagogy for 21st Century Skills in Nepal” project is to strengthen the capacity of higher education in Nepal to enhance equal access to education through digital learning opportunities. In order to achieve this, the development activities aim to provide students with 21st century skills. These goals also contribute to the national School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) 2016-2023 and are in accordance with Nepal’s new constitution.
The quality of education is influenced by the skills of teachers. Thus, this project focuses on producing digitally competent teachers in two universities, Tribhuvan University and Nepal Open University. Both universities have a remarkable role in Nepal and are developing a new MA programme in digital pedagogy for 21st century.
Also the project will develop a modular and standalone guidance and counselling course for school teachers (in-service teachers) in order to help girls and boys from disadvantaged communities remain in school and accelerate their educational performance.
As digitalization of education is seen as an opportunity of the present and the future, teachers of all levels of education need to have competences to use technology in their work and develop their pedagogy accordingly. Therefore, teacher training and teacher educators must be equipped with the required capacities first. The universities are committed to the long-term development of digital infrastructure, ODL and to developing the necessary human capacity required to exploit them.
Change starts with the great teachers.
Nepal is transitioning through a period of significant change, both in national politics and educational policy. The government has adopted a new constitution, which demands changes to educational policy, for example.
The Developing Pedagogy for 21ST Century Skills in Nepal -project is related to two of these changes:
- to improve the quality of teaching at all levels of education, the government has decreed that teachers’ minimum level qualification will be a master’s degree
- access to education, from primary, through secondary, to tertiary and higher education, must become more equitable.
Recent projects have built a more robust infrastructure and created the foundations of a student-centred approach to learning throughout the education pyramid. Moving away from traditional teacher-centred learning to a methodology that puts the student at the centre of the process
requires vastly different skills of university-level teacher educators.
To benefit from modern communication through which education can be accessed at any time from anywhere, means that teachers must learn vastly different skills than before. The process of acquiring new, modern skills must begin at the teacher educator level: people who train the teachers of tomorrow must understand and be able to adapt modern communications technology in a pedagogically sound manner.
That is where the 21stCS Nepal project begins. The consortium consists of two Finnish partner higher education institutions, JAMK and HAMK, plus two Nepalese HEIs, Trubhuvan University (TU), and Nepal Open University (NOU).