Centralization and decentralization reform in school education in Nepal: Tracing the swing of the pendulum

2013 IJRSM – Volume 2 Issue 2


Khanal, Peshal*
Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom (p.khanal78@canterbury.ac.uk)


This article revisits the school policies in Nepal focusing on the dynamics of centralization and decentralization of school management. It is argued that the policies in a large part of the country’s history remained under the strong influence of national politics and domestic agendas, but after 1990, the government’s commitment to the global campaign of universal primary education and its overreliance on the donor-driven agenda have combined to exert an ‘external’ influence on the school policy. The rise and fall of a democratic polity in different historical periods led to a swing in school policy from centralization to decentralization. This article concludes that the current school decentralization reform has been a result of confluence of three forces – historical, democratic and international. As the country now is embarking on a large-scale political reform – a federal constitution and many ethnic and political groups are lobbying for their own agendas of power sharing, the school decentralization policy is likely to be further affected by the outcomes of this macro-political process. Based on the reflection of centralization and decentralization of school management at various historical times, this article suggests for a bottom-up process in the making of public policy.

Keywords: centralization; decentralization; Panchayat; Rana; Nepal


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsm.2013.400

*Corresponding Author