Shak Bahadur Budhathoki
In the last two decades, Nepal’s community (public) schools have been preparing, implementing and reviewing School Improvement Plans (SIPs) periodically. SIP consists nine topics as specified by the Government of Nepal: introduction of school (historical and geographical aspects, school catchment area, composition of school community, school context, etc.), student profile, internal efficiency, learning outcomes, teacher profile, the condition of school operation, facilities of physical infrastructure, management apparatus for school and availability of teaching material. Schools submit SIPs to the Local Government (LG) to get disbursed school funds annually. Yet, there is a general lack of research on the process of making SIPs and its effects on teaching and learning processes and outcomes. To fill the existing lack of knowledge in this field this research aims to answer two interrelated questions. First, what is the process of preparing SIP and how it is practiced? Second, what are the effects of teaching and learning process envisioned in the SIPs in students’ learning outcome?
This research will apply qualitative methods. It analyses content of selected SIPs of five community schools in Kailali district, looking at the plans to improve learning outcomes. Building on these findings, case studies will be conducted in two schools by taking into consideration experiences of teachers, students, parents, SMC/PTA Chairs and members, resource persons and LG Presenterities. The case studies will explore how SIP has been understood on the ground and how it has been realized in practice. It is generally claimed that the process of preparing SIPs has positive correlation with learning outcome. This general claim does not take local variations, specific context and varying capabilities of different schools into consideration. The aim of this research is to explore those gaps in relation to policy and practice relating to education decentralization in Nepal.