This research investigates how schools, civil society organisations and municipalities collaborate to improve inclusive educational practices in Nepal. The idea of inclusion encapsulates educational processes that consider a broad range of societal factors such as gender, disability, caste, ethnicity, and geography that impede equity in access to and outcomes in education.
Equity is a key dimension of Nepal’s School Sector Development Plan (2016-2023) highlighting the need to improve access and retention rates among children with disabilities and children from marginalised groups, low caste groups (Dalits) and ethnic minorities. In recent years, progress has been made with regards to enrolment for girls, children from ethnic minorities, as well as for Dalits in primary education. However, there are concerns around inclusion in pedagogical approaches, language of instruction, curriculum, teacher recruitment, support to learning for children with special educational needs and more generally, in outcomes of learning. Access to education remains a challenge, especially for children from poor families and children with disabilities.
The Constitution of Nepal 2015 has marked the beginning of a new era of educational governance in which political federalization mandated local authorities to manage and deliver education within municipalities. From the perspective of inclusive education, local governments are well placed to identify forms of exclusions that are experienced by diverse communities of children and address their needs by promoting locally suitable policies and programming. They are now politically autonomous and can take the lead in formulating new policies; developing partnerships; and delivering inclusive learning to children.