The Secondary Education Support Programme (SESP) came into effect in 2003 with a total basket of USD 74.8 million. The seven-year programme is implemented by the Ministry of Education in Nepal and supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Danida.
The programme is described in the SESP Core Document (hereinafter referred to as the Core Document) and targets lower secondary (grades 6-8) and secondary (grades 9-10) schooling. SESP is organised into four components:
- The Learning Environment;
- Curriculum Development, Assessment and Instructional Materials;
- Teacher Education and Development; and
- Institutional Management and Capacity Building.
SESP has been reviewed twice a year by the Government of Nepal (GoN) and its development partners and a mid-term review was carried out in March 2006. During the May 2008 technical review it was agreed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Danida and ADB (hereinafter referred to as the development partners) to conduct a joint evaluation of the SESP in its final year of implementation before it is going to be integrated into the framework of the School Sector Reform from 2009 and onwards.
This report is the main output delivered by the evaluation team contracted by Danida to carry out the joint evaluation. The report reflects constructive comments and suggestions made to a previous draft presented on 23 June 2009 at a seminar in Kathmandu, Nepal. The team includes experts from COWI A/S of Denmark and sector experts from Nepal.
The joint evaluation was carried out from March to July 2009. During this period the evaluation team has been continuously in dialogue with a reference group appointed by the Client. The evaluation team would like to express its gratitude to the reference group as well as to those who have volunteered their time to share information and documentation with the team.
1.2 Programme Profile
SESP builds on the Secondary Education Development Project (SEDP), which was implemented from 1993-99 with support from the ADB and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. SEDP was successful in establishing 25 training centres providing institutional support to the Office of the Controller of Examinations (OCE) and to the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and in training more than 10,000 lower secondary and secondary teachers. It can be seen that SESP seeks to strengthen the gains made by SEDP and there is continuity in funding from ADB and Danida for the same.
Nepal’s 10th five-year plan outlines SESP’s broader priority development objective of poverty reduction and human development. The SESP policy objective is to expand quality secondary education suitable for the need of national development.
According to the SESP Core Document the three main intermediate objectives of SESP are:
- To improve the quality and relevance of public secondary schooling;
- To improve access to public secondary schooling with particular emphasis on girls and students from poor and disadvantaged groups and districts; and
- To develop the institutional capacity and management of central and district education institutions and public secondary schools based upon a decentralised system of planning and management.
The main outcomes aimed for, according to the SESP Core Document, are listed below.
- To raise the Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) in lower secondary from 55 per cent to 65 per cent and in secondary from 35 per cent to 55 per cent by 2007;
- To raise the participation of girls from 40 per cent to 50 per cent in both lower secondary and secondary school and to similarly increase the percentage of school participation by disadvantaged groups by 2007; and
- To raise and sustain measurable improvements in educational outcomes as evidenced by grade 8 and Secondary Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinations. The numbers passing grade 8 should increase and so should those passing SLC and similar increases should be achieved for girls and students from traditionally disadvantaged groups.
These outcomes are, according to the SESP log frame, “performance targets” for the above-mentioned intermediate objectives. To ensure consistency with the log frame the outcomes will consequently be treated as such in the joint evaluation.
The outputs of the programme, one for each component, are outlined below as they appear in the logical framework of the Core Document: It should be noted that the logical framework does not include indicators at the output level. The outputs are:
- Increased equitable access to an improved learning environment, especially for educationally disadvantaged groups, ethnic minorities and girls;
- An improved and more relevant curriculum, technically improved assessment and accessible instructional materials;
- An integrated system supporting teacher education, development and management; and
- Improved institutional capacity in the school sector based on a system of decentralised planning and management.
The logic of the SESP, as described in the Core Document, is summarised in Chart 1.1.
Chart 1.1 – SESP Logical Model
|Intermediate Policy Objectives
|Broader Priority Develop-|
|USD 74.8 million
Main expenditure items:
Training in Nepal
Teaching aids and resource materials
Operations and maintenance
- Increased equitable access to an improved learning environment, especially for disad-
vantaged groups, ethnic minorities and girls
- An improved, more relevant curriculum, technically improved assessment and accessible instructional materials
- An integrated system supporting teacher education, development and management
- Improved institutional capacity in the school sector
- To improve the quality and relevance of public secondary schooling
- To improve access to public secondary schooling with a particular emphasis on girls, disad-
vantaged groups and districts
- To develop the institutional capacity and manage-
ment of central and district education institutions and public secondary schools
|Expand quality secondary education suitable for the need of national develop-
ment as expressed in the aims for lower secondary and secondary
Vision 2012 for a
The SESP total budget of USD 74.8 million is distributed on the main budget lines listed in Table 1.1 below. Roughly 80 per cent of the budget is implemented at district level (GoN, 2008d: 59). The SESP is financed through a USD 30 million grant from Danida, a USD 30 million loan from ADB, and USD 14.83 million provided by the Gover for mainly recurrent expenditure.
Table 1.1. Summary of the SESP Joint Evaluation
|Training in Nepal
|Teaching aids and resource materials
|Operations and maintenance
SESP involved a combination of interventions aimed at strengthening the framework for secondary education and provision of specific inputs to districts and schools. The framework-type interventions included an overhaul of curriculum and development of teacher education programmes. It also aimed at providing support to the MoE and the Department of Education (DoE) to improve the overall capacity of the system to plan for the educational sector. Specific inputs to district and school levels included provision of school infrastructure and scholarships. Some of the activities under the learning environment, notably the construction of new classrooms and provision of scholarships, were to be implemented with greater intensity in ten so-called Programme Intensive Districts (PID) where the need was assessed to be the greatest. The districts were selected according to their Human Development Index ranking. The PID effort was introduced in three phases in the western part of Nepal.
SESP has been implemented through existing organisations and structures under the responsibility of the MoE. The responsibility for implementing the programme has been delegated to the DoE along with key educational agencies such as the National Centre for Education Development (NCED), CDC, OCE and Janak Education Materials Centre (JEMC). A major part of the activities has been carried out at district level through the District Education Offices (DEO) and at school level.
SESP will be transformed into a sectoral frame within the School Sector Reform (SSR) from 2009 onwards. Although the SESP interventions are expected to continue, they will be part of the holistic school sector reform with focus on grades 1-12 school structure, comprising grades 1-8 as basic education and grades 9-12 as secondary education.
1.3 Structure of the Report
The report is structured as follows:
- Chapter 2 describes the approach and methods used by the evaluation.
- Chapter 3 sets the scene by describing key changes in the context of the Nepalese educational sector.
- Chapter 4 assesses the overall relevance of the programme.
- Chapter 5 evaluates the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the management of the programme, including the performance of the GoN and the development partners.
- Chapters 6, 7 and 8 constitute the main part of the report and evaluate relevance, overall effectiveness (progress towards performance targets) and the efficiency and effectiveness of the programme components. Chapter 6 focuses on the objective of access and equity and evaluates in detail the learning environment component. Chapter 7 deals with quality and relevance and assesses in detail the components curriculum & assessment and teacher education and development. Finally, Chapter 8 evaluates the progress with respect to institutional capacity and planning. Each of the chapters includes a summary assessment, considerations of sustainability and a number of specific recommendations.
- Chapter 9 presents evidence on early signs of impact of the programme.
- Finally, Chapter 10 summarises the main conclusions and puts forward strategic recommendations to be considered by the GoN and its partners.
 The team was led by Niels E. Olesen and furthermore includes Thomas Nikolaj Hansen, Knud Olander, Basudha Gurung, Pramod Bhatta, Jeppe Skott and Rolf Kromand.
 Phase I involved the districts of Humla and Doti; Phase II the districts of Baitadi, Jumla, Kailali and Rupandehi; and Phase III involved Bajhang, Accham, Mugu, and Pyuthan.
This page forms part of the publication 'Joint Evaluation of the Secondary Education Support Programme' as chapter 3 of 14
Version 1.0. 17-05-2010
Publication may be found at the address http://www.netpublikationer.dk/um/10395/index.htm