COVID-19 and School Education in Nepal

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The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has significantly disrupted education worldwide, including in Nepal. As of August 22, 2022, a total of 995,646 confirmed cases with 11,993 deaths were recorded in Nepal. The number has started rising again recently. To respond to the unprecedented educational disruption and learning loss, the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, Government of Nepal, formulated various educational policies for the continuation of education during the pandemic. In this context, this article assesses the trend and impacts of this global crisis on the education sector in Nepal and the public policy response to tackle the pandemic. As the infection surged, leaving millions of children out of school, the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures were expanded rapidly, especially in the urban areas, and digital online content evolved. Even though the government was relatively new and inexperienced, it formulated targeted education policies and revised them following the fast-changing situation. We found some critical weaknesses in the policies and guidelines, especially at the implementation level. However, the policies signaled a transformation in school education in Nepal through increasing parental involvement, encouraging self-learning, and promoting broader collaboration in educational activities.