Improvement and transformation of community schools through the teaching support system

It's may not be worthy here to discuss the need and importance of a teacher support system in any education system. It has been universally accepted and practiced. Different countries have applied different sorts of teacher support systems. Where this system is effective, there is a higher level of quality education compared to others. In Nepal, past teacher support systems couldn't contribute to enhancing classroom learning and developing teachers' professionalism as expected, and no teacher support mechanism prevails at present. Given this situation, this system has been proposed as a strategy for improving community schools. In the survey carried out using a Google form, 189 respondents filled the form with their responses. Out of the total respondents, 80% were head teachers and teachers of community schools and about 20% were other persons working in the field of education. The results of the survey have been presented below :
• With the establishment of Durbar High School, as written history, a school supervisor was deployed. It was a provision of one school supervisor, but the supervisor's roles, duties, and authorities were unknown. Still, it's doubtful whether the provision of the supervisor was at that time or not. Whatever the fact is, it can be assured that there had been the concept of school supervision at that time. 
• Whether it is the school management inspectorate office 1976 BS or school inspectorate office of 1998 BS or the arrangement made in 2004 BS, the arrangement made in 2010 BS and all the subsequent arrangements seem to be more administrative inspection than educational supervision and teacher support.
• National Education Plan System (NESP), 2028-2032 (1971 AD) said there would be two types of inspection and there the practice of educational inspection commenced. Three-level inspectors were appointed and the number of schools per school inspector was fixed. The plan itself could not be effective, it resulted in the ineffectiveness of the educational inspection.
• This arrangement was implemented but the inspection was more administrative. A study by IIEP in 2037 BS concluded that school inspection was ineffective.
• The report of the commission of 2049 BS highlighted the problems and their solutions but they were not implemented. The post of school inspector was increased but no other work regarding better school supervision was done.
• As the number of school inspectors increased, so did the number of schools. At the same time, the resource person arrangement in every resource center was made, consequently, duplication in the roles of school supervisors and resource persons increased. The responsibility of school supervisors decreased.  School supervisors seemed to enjoy training, seminars and administrative work. Some systemic instability started to appear.  A clash or difference was noticed between table workers in District Education Office and field supervisor despite their same rank and profile. Due to such role and other conflict or difference, school supervision system was declining. The school supervision or visit did not make a significant contribution to the teaching and learning of the school and teacher were not get proper professional support.
• The resource person's work was not effective either.  Their works were to organized training and meeting, data collection rather teacher support. Professional issues, the appointment process, and many other issues became unstable. The resource center was dismissed amidst the instability.
• In reality, expected support in the classroom and in the professional development was not sufficient for the teacher. In this regard, no one demanded and supplied as expected.  There was little work, but it was not systematic. There was no support in improving the system. Very few resource persons were really capable and of high quality but the system could not take advantage.
• Many school supervisors disused their capacities rather than developing their capacities. Many parties may be responsible for this, but no review is required. These topics or issues can be guidelines from now onwards.
Present status
• With the implementation of federalism, the provision of resource centers was removed. Accordingly, the resource persons returned to their own schools.
• In the education branch/divisions/departments of the municipality, under-secretaries, school supervisors, technical assistants of education service were deployed and new appointments were also made.
• With this, the system of formal school supervision came to an end.
• Local Government Operation Act 2074 BS does not mention anything about school inspection or supervision and teacher support systems. It has made provision that the local government only conducts monitoring and evaluation and that seems to be an administrative function. It is neither practical nor effective to run the teacher support system from the staff of the education branch in the municipality and the human resources working in the municipality are unable even to accomplish municipality educational office works. Many municipalities do not have enough human resources till now.
• At present, a new system is needed for the teacher support system. For that, 3 formats/ frameworks can be adopted.
a) Local framework of teacher support system 1
b) Federal framework of teacher support system 2
c) Provincial framework of teacher support system 3
To establish a teacher support system, the provision of an education research facilitator (understood as a technical person by the name of the post) should be made. 
Qualification and selection
• Among postgraduate persons with at least 4 years teaching experience in secondary or higher secondary level in major subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and Social studies), any autonomous body (Public Service or Teacher Service Commission, or Provincial Public Service Commission or can be established) will select based on their classroom teaching, classroom research, school development, community mobilization, teacher capacity development, IT Skills, classroom learning environment, classroom assessment and evaluation, leadership, management, educational governance, educational accountability as well as aptitude test, written test, group presentation, individual case presentation, and interview.
Role, responsibility and authority
1. Mandatory school supervision at least once in 2 months. At least 3 class observations are mandatory. Discussion at school.
2. Mandatory model class demonstration in every school once a month.
3. Teacher training, support system and problem-solving
4. Research, action research, classroom research.
5. Management of school information and statistics
6. Headteacher capacity development management, leadership
7. Headteacher's participation in headteacher meeting in the municipality once a month
8. Review at district level once a month
9. 15 days for self-effort-based capacity development every year 
10. 15 days for compulsory capacity development workshop, training every year
11. Support in school. Submission of school status report to the respective municipality and implementation of the report accordingly. 
12. At the end of every week, make provision of the online reporting system. All three levels: municipality, provincial, and federal.
13. Mandatory write-up of a reflective paper once a year. 
14. Arrangement of subject teacher workshops once a month or a program for sharing learning experiences.
Work performance appraisal
• From the headteacher of the catchment area
• Teachers from the schools of catchment area
• Publication of the reflective paper of teacher capacity development and quality
• Publication of reflective paper of professional development and quality
• Publication of reflective paper of school improvement and development, and quality
• Output of teachers' work
• Through upper-level supervisor
1. Basic salary facility (Like government employee or teacher's salary)
2. One laptop compulsory
3. Rs. 1000 for the internet and communication
4. Motorcycle, fuel, and transportation and remote allowance in Mountain region
5. Monthly incentive allowance
6. Minimum resources and budget for conducting workshop and training
How does the teacher support system contribute to community schools? 
• Through monthly submission of the report to the municipality after observing the regular operation, management, study of educational activities of the school and the quarterly publication of the report and its mandatory implementation. 
• Through classroom-based short research works, and through feedback and discussion for the improvement of teaching-learning.
• Through classroom observation, model lesson demonstration, and monitoring the implementation of subsequent feedback, and facilitating the implementation if not implemented, and ensuring implementation by submitting a report to the municipality in this regard.
• By maintaining parental participation, school governance and accountability through community mobilization
• Research and study based on regular learning achievement and by providing professional support to school and teachers.
• Teacher performance evaluation and by following the system of recommendation for reward and punishment.
• Facilitating header teacher development, teacher capacity development, school management committee capacity development and establishing its continuous support system. 
• Motivating for and facilitating the implementation by providing technical support in different aspects like EGRA, CBEGRA, EGMA, Classroom-based assessment, rapid classroom assessment, integrated curriculum.
• Through monitoring and evaluation of the construction of strategic developmental plan of the school.
• Through conducting facilitation or the activities like the formation of subject committees of teachers, subject-wise workshops, exchange of learning experiences, ICT integration in pedagogy.
• Conducting model teaching or other learning experience sharing activities in different other schools by the competent teachers within the municipality 
• By implementing the method that makes schools self-evaluate twice a year and review based on the report of self-evaluation. 
• Carrying out CB-Rapid Learning Assessment and making effort to improve classroom learning based on it. 
Local framework of teacher support system
• One to three facilitators as per the number of schools in each municipality.1:20 (+-5)
• Compulsory subject teachers with five years of teaching service experience will be seconded as per contract. (As per the competitive examination)
• Providing additional service facilities and make its clear criteria.
• Submitting a detailed report to the municipality every month. The list of work to be done by the municipality should be submitted on the basis of the information, facts, and evidence and the municipality should implement the report compulsorily.
• The amount equal to the salary of the seconded teacher should be provided to the respective school. 
• To decide whether to extend the service period of the seconded teachers or not in every two years by conducting confidential evaluations from the primary and teacher representatives of the municipality area.
• To prepare an annual report and publish it every year. 
• To prepare ToR (Terms of Reference) that the seconded teachers are not mobilized in any administrative work or activity and are not allowed to participate in such work or activity. 
• Not allowed to participate in the programs of any professional organization (politically based) and not even allowed to take membership of such organization. Such membership will be revoked after appointment to this post. Also not allowed to be an official member of other social associations/institutions.
• Allowed to participate in the programs related to teacher capacity development, and school improvement and development. 
The teacher support system can also have a federal and provincial system. If the fact is acknowledged that the primary purpose of formal education is student learning achievement, community schools that want to do better now have to hire educational counselors on their own. Extra results are not achieved without extra effort and investment. Let's join hands in the transformation of community education. 
Acharya, is pursuing a doctorate in Kathmandu University School of Education.
For direct contact with the author: [email protected] 
Translated by: Parshu Ram Tiwari.