The Government’s policy, Guideline on Complaint Hearing 2016, envisions that Nepal’s community schools form a Complaint Hearing Committee consisting of a female teacher, head teacher, representatives of School Management Committee and Parents Teacher Association, elected women ward member, and Child Club members. In addition, a ‘complaint box’ should be set up and operationalized on the school premises with the purpose of creating a safe learning environment. However, there is a general lack of research in this domain, especially in the context of Nepal about the state of policy implementation and its effects on the overall aspects of school education. In this context, what is the state of policy and practice on complaint hearing in schools on the ground? How relevant and effective the idea is in creating a safe learning environment in schools for children? What is its effect on improving learning outcomes and overall aspects in students?

To explore this issue, qualitative research methods are employed undertaking case study of a community/public school in Baglung district of the Gandaki Province. Specifically, in-depth interviews with teachers, parents, students, members of complaint hearing committee, and chairs and members of School Management Committee and Parents Teacher Association is conducted followed by analysing, contextualising, and generating critical insights. The preliminary observation is that the state of policy implementation is at an early phase after about seven years of its introduction for several reasons while the policy provision seems to be having somehow positive implication for creating a safe learning environment in schools. In fact, it is a time taking process to realise the policy on the ground as conceptualised at the centre. In this way, this paper aims to critique policy-making and implementation processes in the education sector.

Keywords: complaint hearing, safe learning environment, policy, and practice