Disaster Resilient Communities in Nepal by 2050

Supporting the response to the COVID-19 crisis in the education sector: Strengthening Education Clusters at Federal, Provincial and Local Governments

Supporting Agency: UNICEF in collaboration with European Union (EU)

COVID 19 pandemic significantly disrupted education services and severely impacted the learning outcomes of all students from pre-school to grade 12 due to prolonged closure of schools. Government of Nepal has envisioned the mobilization of clusters in any types of disasters. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) leads education cluster that works to ensure continuity of learning as guided by National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF), 2075.

European Union and UNICEF have collaborated to support the government for COVID-19 response in education sector, focusing on strengthening cluster and education stakeholders responsible for preparedness, response as well as the recovery of learning loss.

UNICEF in collaboration with European Union (EU) has established a standby partnership with the Civil Society Organizations; Mercy Corps and NSET to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and Central for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) to implement "Supporting the response to the COVID-19 crisis in the education sector: Strengthening Education Clusters at Federal, Provincial and Local Governments" program.

This initiative aims to strengthen cluster coordination and response mechanism to support local governments and schools for COVID-19 response to recovery and other interventions for preparedness and resilience for learning continuity, ensuring an adequate capacity for management and coordination during the response/early recovery of education services from the COVID-19 period in local governments.

This intervention for cluster strengthening is an integral part of UNICEF's Core Commitment to Children in Emergency. It falls under UNICEF's safe school output that includes education emergency preparedness and response.

The overall goal of this partnership is to reduce disparities in educational outcomes for children in basic and secondary education during the emergencies /early recovery and school reopening in the Nepal education sector. The following are the specific objectives are to:

» Strengthened Nepal Education Cluster (NEC) coordination and response mechanism at federal, provincial, and local levels, supporting schools for overall preparedness, response, and resilience, ensuring learning continuity.

» Enhanced Local Government (LG) management and coordination of the response/ early recovery of education services from the COVID-19 period.

» Improved and targeted support of acceleration of learning for school-going children, especially vulnerable/ at risk students in the early grades (1-3), facilitating recovery.

Targeted Group:

» All 7 provinces, 80 Local Governments, and 300 Schools are estimated to directly reach 0.63 million children of Basic and Secondary levels through program interventions.

Expected Results:
This partnership will contribute to achieving the following UNICEF Education outputs:

»  Enhanced NEC coordination and monitoring capacity
»  Increased capacity of the education cluster members to align COVID-19 response support
»  Enhanced capacity of LGs to develop and implement need-based and evidence-based interventions supporting recovery of learning loss and acceleration of learning
»  Enhanced capacity of Provincial- and Local Governments (PGs - LGs) on education cluster coordination
»  Strengthened capacity of PGs and LGs in their roles to support schools on planning of emergency response and safe reopening
»  Enhanced capacity of the school education sector, at central and local levels, to develop and implement a roadmap for the recovery of learning loss
»  Strengthened capacity of LGs to initiate education sector COVID-19 response planning in a gender responsive, inclusive and sustainable manner Interventions

Federal Level Intervention
»  Develop Education Cluster Guidance document
»  Update Nepal Education Cluster Contingency Plan and disseminate in all 7 provinces
»  Cluster Coordinator and information management TA support staff at CEHRD
»  Loss of learning quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis training for officers of ERO, CEHRD and MoEST
»  Develop emergency education response planning module guideline
»  Information management support for the expansion of NEC portal and EMIS system Strengthen

Provincial Level Interventions
»  Develop/review Education Cluster Contingency Plan
»  Consultation, printing, and dissemination of Education Guidance Note and Contingency Plan
»  Technical assistance on Cluster Coordinator and Information Management support
»  Education Cluster Coordination training for key provincial officials
»  Develop education emergency response plan in all 7 provinces

Local level interventions
»  Emergency Education Response Planning Module and training
»  Development of Emergency Education Response Plan
»  Recovery of learning losses incorporated in local level annual plan
»  Education Response Plan as per need based costed strategy for vulnerable groups
»  Integration of education plan in Comprehensive School Safety (CSS), Climate, Energy and Environment (CEE)
»  Provision of Gender Focal Point (GFP) and Complaint Response Mechanism (CRMs)
»  MToT on assessing learning of students by teachers
»  Training for key officials of local level on cluster coordination
»  Learning Continuity Campaign training
»  Welcome to school campaign intervention to risk students and training
»  Education plan development adapted CSSMP, Climate change and inclusive education training

School Level Interventions
»  Develop school disaster risk reduction and management plan
»  Training on learning loss assessment to teacher and SMC
»  Strengthen Education Information Management System
»  Self-learning materials support
»  Psychosocial counselling training support to teachers
»  Public service announcement for tele-teaching and parenting education for recovery of learning loss

Expected Outputs
»  6000 Children from ECD group from 200 schools reached
»  64000 students of Grade 1 to 12 from 200 schools reached
»  20 Provincial Officials trained
»  200 Palika officials and Education Stakeholders trained
»  625 Teachers trained on psycho-social support
»  320 Teachers and SMC Members trained on accessing learning of students
»  1500 Palika officials, Teachers, Parents, and relevant stakeholders oriented Program Coverage:
»  Federal level: MoEST/CEHRD, Education Cluster and Stakeholders
»  Provincial level: All 7 provinces
»  Local Governments: 80 local governments of 3 provinces (Madesh, Karnali, and Sudur Paschim)
»  School Level: 300 schools

Project duration: March 2022 to March 2023 (13 Months)

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