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Multilingual Education in Nepal: Hearsay and Reality ?
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The present study entitled “Multilingual Education in Nepal: Hearsay and Reality?” was started in April 2011 and completed on 25th May 2011. The main aim of the study was to explore and analyze the realities of the Multilingual Education (MLE) programme being practiced in seven schools from six different districts. The MLE programme was launched by the Department of Education (DOE) with the technical assistance of the Government of Finland in 2007. Nepal Government has planned to implement MLE in 300 schools in the coming years but there have been no comprehensive studies conducted to give an accurate picture of the MLE programme. In this context, the present study was carried out. The research team formed an Advisory Committee consisting of individuals who were involved in the MLE programme from the beginning. The role of the Advisory Committee was to suggest the team the course it should take. A set of tools was prepared to gather information from different stakeholders of the MLE programme which was piloted in Newari medium school in the Kathmandu Valley. The
findings of the pilot were used to improve the tools. The informants included the MLE school family which consisted of teachers, the School Management Committee (SMC), parents and the children. In addition to policy makers, policy implementers and educationists were also contacted to gather information.
The research team members visited different schools to collect the data and where it was not possible due to time constraints, Resource Persons (RP) from relevant catchment areas were hired for data collection purposes. The findings of the study were found to be encouraging but there were also noted problems. The MLE practice was found to be different in different schools: instead of practicing real MLE, schools were found to be practicing bilingual classes, meaning the medium of instruction was both the mother tongue and Nepali. Mother tongue was found as the medium of instruction in some schools while both mother tongue and Nepali were used as the medium of instruction in other schools.
Policies regarding MLE were found to be good in principle but in practice the implementation was very weak. However, the MLE programme was found to be successful in creating a positive environment for learning, both at school and at home. The dropout rate has signifi cantly decreased and children like to go to school. Teachers are enthusiastic about the programme and despite many problems, they are in favour of continuing it. Parents are happy with the programme, but they would like English to be taught from the beginning.
UNESCO ,   (2011 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
11.03.00  -  Educational Systems
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