Decentralized school governance policy : a comparative study of general public schools and community-managed schools in Nepal

dc.contributor.advisorSombat Thamrongthanyawong, advisorth
dc.contributor.authorMukunda Mani Khanalth
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D. (Development Administration))--National Institute of Development
dc.description.abstractThe literature reviewed for this study revealed that school governance policies have changed over time to respond effectively both to national demands and global changes. These changes take place, time and again, due to the shift in roles of the national government and changes in the technological and socio-economic profiles of a nation. As a result, centralized governance policy appears, disappears, and reappears in many countries in a cyclic process. The movement toward decentralizing the responsibility of school governance to communities has become a global phenomenon, particularly since the 1990s. However, the consequences of this are contentious. With the aims of enhancing greater community participation and retaining students in public schools, the government of Nepal has introduced two different policies; namely, the General Public School (GPS) policy and the Community-Managed School (CMS) policy guided by the decentralized school governance policy of 2002. Since then it has remained a problematic domain, with conflicts between choices of centrally-controlled and locally-managed GPS policy or community-owned and locally-governed CMS policy. Studies conducted in Nepal repeatedly claim that CMSs are better off than their GPS counterparts. Empirical evidence for or against this claim has been scarce for two reasons: one, several studies suggest the generally positive effects of decentralization in education, but no studies have dealt with implementation outputs due to their methodological limitations. Two, much attention has been paid to the policy-making process, but how the policy is implementing at the school level has been almost neglected. This paper therefore gathers recent empirical evidence in order to fill this gap by presenting the results of a comparative analysis of the implementation performance between centrally-controlled and locally-governed public school governance policies in Nepal. To do so, extensive data were collected at the organizational level of analysis using mixed methods. Notably, the case study approach of the qualitative method was used as the foundation method of this study, with the expectation of gathering empirical data on how implementers respond to the implementation performances of the decentralized school governance policy in Nepal. This process helped not only to compare and contrast the concerns surrounding implementation performance, but also confirmed the results derived from two different types of schools. The results of the qualitative analysis of this paper suggest that there was no substantial difference in the respective policy implementation performance between the two types of schools. Instead, the results of the data collected at the organizational level of analysis largely revealed that actual implementation performance is predominantly influenced by the existence of good practices of effective leadership. Leadership was followed by clarity of policy objectives and established school culture. This result is sufficient evidence to claim that the choice of a best policy may not be a viable strategy, but how it is implemented and what has been achieved is crucial. Surprisingly, the quantitative results also consistently supported the results gained from the qualitative analysis. For example, the quantitative results confirmed that there was no statistically—significant difference in producing better implementation performance between the two types of school governance policies. On the theoretical side, the key challenge is to find an alternative model to solve the problems encountered in policy implementation. This study has succeeded in pointing out the contextual limitations of the policy implementation models and identified new variables. Based on the results of this study, a new causal model has been developed to test and guide theory development, comprising a strong set of predictors for producing better implementation performance of the decentralized school governance policy. However, this model needs to be rigorously tested. The practical implications of this study suggest that head teachers be given leadership roles rather than limiting them to executing only mechanical tasks to increase implementation
dc.format.extent315 leaves : ; 30
dc.publisherNational Institute of Development Administrationth
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dc.titleDecentralized school governance policy : a comparative study of general public schools and community-managed schools in Nepalth
dc.typetext--thesis--doctoral thesisth
mods.physicalLocationNational Institute of Development Administration. Library and Information Centerth of Public Administrationth Administrationth Institute of Development Administrationth of Philosophyth
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