Nepal National Framework on SDG 4: orientation for Karnali Province’s local government

With the technical and expert support of UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology developed, approved, and published the SDG4 Education 2030 Nepal National Framework. This framework has been a major guiding document in strengthening education systems in the country and includes the national vision, objectives, priority areas, and strategic approaches to align with SDG4 and its targets.

With an objective of sensitizing local-level policymakers, implementers and concerned stakeholders, leaving no one behind, a series of ten orientation sessions on SDG 4 Nepal National Framework were organized in Karnali Province between 25 July and 20 August 2021. With the support of UNESCO, Karnali Foundation coordinated to organize these series in close collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development of Karnali Province. A total of 411 participants (out of which 30% were women) from ten municipalities in Karnali Province participated. These were Sarada Municipality in Salyan, Chaurjahari Municipality in Rukum, Lekbesi, Panchapuri, Birendranagar, and Gurbhakot Municipalities in Surkhet, Narayan, Athbish, and Dullu Municipalities in Dailekh, and Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot. The framework functioned as a guide to assist participants in developing and implementing SDG 4 action plans at the local level.

During the orientation, mayors and policymakers expressed their commitment towards improving the education sector with the support of the federal and provincial governments and further implementing the plans and activities in their municipalities.

Similarly, Bishal Sharma, Mayor of Chaurjahari Municipality, Rukum, highlighted the ways that education has been prioritized in the municipality, how a strategic plan was developed, and the work that is being done towards the reformation of the education sector.

It is challenging for local governments to implement the plans as there is a lack of coordination between provincial and local governments. Hasta Pun Magar, Mayor of the Gurvakot Municipality, Surkhet, said, “The plans and decisions made at the provincial and federal levels are difficult to implement at a local level due to a lack of funds and human resources. There should be coordination among the three tiers of government to resolve these issues. Many other problems exist at the local government level, including a lack of teachers and physical infrastructure.”

The stakeholders provided input towards the development of a five-year strategic plan in line with the SDG goals, targets and framework. They also requested consistent support and guidance from the federal and provincial governments to implement these plans and policies, and policy dialogue among the three tiers of government to implement the framework in Karnali Province.

These events were supported by UNESCO’s CapED Programme, which is funded by Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Dubai Cares.