The outcome of the project is strengthened capacity of Tribhuvan University (TU), and Nepal Open University (NOU) to develop and implement further Open and Distance Learning (ODL) along with the digital pedagogy programs, provide teachers with modern pedagogical skills including guidance and counselling, and empowering local governments to design and implement local curriculum integrating ICT skills and 21st century skills. The project contributes to the long-term development plans of TU and NOU. TU’s vision 2030 states to integrate technology in teaching and learning; ensure that faculty members are trained to develop materials, use teaching aids and integrate technology in their respective subjects. Similarly, NOU’s mission is to increase the access and participation of those youths who are deprived of higher education due to the limitations associated with traditional education program. Thus, this particular project is needed to directly address the institutional needs of the TU and NOU along with the alignment of the policy of the government of Nepal to prepare quality teaching workforce equipped with digital pedagogy and 21st century skills. Teacher education has a key role in enhancing the quality of education. According to the World Bank, a growing body of evidence suggests the learning crisis is, at its core, a teaching crisis. Therefore, this project concentrates on teacher training and the development of TU and NOU’s capacity to educate/train teachers to apply pedagogy for 21st century skills. There are about 8000 academic staff members in TU and more than 200 in NOU whose ICT skills and competences are in desperate need of upgrading in order to bring transformation in the pedagogy of higher education. Digital literary and guidance and counselling skills are crucial in Nepal as the world is moving rapidly towards development in which business, trade, health services, security and education sectors utilize digital technologies and Nepal must also take part in this journey. Equity, and guidance and counselling are essential for addressing the difficulties faced by 21st century children and youths with depression, anxiety, and who have concerns for successful life careers. The current pedagogical approaches are often based on content mastery, which neglect life-skills (competences, skills and attitudes relevant to the student’s individual life) and do not take advantage of critical thinking skills. This project focuses on three aspects of developing the capacities of TU and NOU to prepare quality teaching workforce equipped with digital pedagogy and 21st century skills. Accordingly, the outputs of the project are following:
Output 1: Newly designed Master’s program on 21st century pedagogy focusing on digital pedagogy, guidance and counselling, and critical thinking (equivalent to 36 ECTS)
Output 2: Guidance and counselling study structure developed. The structure includes one face-to-face, taught study module and a MOOC designed for teachers and teacher students to support the HRB approach and equity, and to prevent dropouts among girls and representatives of excluded communities (equivalent to two 3 ETCS) courses.
Output 3: Increased capacity of TU and NOU to promote integration of ICT and 21st century skills into existing education programs of all levels of education through workshop and training for the educational personnel at the provincial and local governments. The partners of this project are Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal Open University (NOU), JAMK University of Applied Sciences and HAMK University of Applied Sciences.