The answers from the subjective based questions were analyzed and interpreted as following. The analysis areas were; proposed community- based activities, key educational problems in Nepal, social role of teacher trainees and suggested research areas for the department of education.
A. Proposed Community-based Activities
The question was seeking to find the community-based activities for the teacher trainees from the department. This was inspired by ESD's concern that education should be geared to serving and transforming the society. The higher institutions of learning across the world have to serve the community as one of their missions.
The students were asked to list the community-based activities they should be engaged in. Table 7 is the list of the community-based activities suggested by the respondents.
Table 7: Community-based Activities, the Teacher Trainees Require to Involving
Area of activities
No. of teacher trainees
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Human Rights and Social Justice
Environmental conservation and natural resources
Information and Technology
Health and Sanitation
Other awareness activities
The responses from the respondent were varying in their terminology. To make easier for interpretation, the similar areas of the responses were in single holistic theme. For examples; the responses like, aware the public on use of natural resources, climate change, save the water, soil conservation etc. were combined under 'Environmental conservation and natural resources'.
Health and sanitation was in the first priority for the community-based activities suggested by the respondents, following with Peace, Education, Environmental conservation and natural resources. These four themes were highly focused by the respondent all of these were focused by more than half of the respondents. Other themes, which were prioritized, were Human rights and social justice, Information and technology, rural development and Modern agriculture.
On Health and sanitation theme, the respondent posited that in teacher training it was needed to deepen knowledge on health related activities. They listed activities like; awareness program to the public , seminar on health and sanitation program, education on hygiene, health education, use of safe drinking water etc. Peace education was mostly common and single terminology for the theme of peace. As far as Education was concerned, the respondents as essential to enhance education for all listed the following activities: aware for literacy program, conduct literacy program, girl education awareness, woman education etc. Environmental conservation and natural resources, which related to nature were addressed in different ways; environmental conservation education, forestation, making aware on environmental conservation act, garbage recycling etc. Human rights and social justice, another important issue in developing countries like Nepal was pointed out as the proposed community based activity with the following ways; awareness program on social justice and equity, conduct seminar on personality development program, create awareness on human rights, camping against untouchable costume etc. Awareness on technical education and seminars and exhibitions on information, communication and technology were the activities suggested by the teacher trainees under Information and technology. Rural development was addressed with the activities like; aware in village development and community development education. The respondent proposed Modern agricultural programs to be implemented for the community. Other suggested activities were, improve school environment, make the people conscious, mass counseling, conducting awareness program etc.
B. Key Educational Problems of Nepal
It is very difficult to find out the main problematic areas of any system. Once the problems are well determined, the system could run smoothly and would follow development.
Table 8: Key educational problems of Nepal
No. of teacher trainees
Low educational budget
Poor Educational Planning and Policies
For the information on educational problems in Nepal, the respondents were asked to state three key educational problems. The researcher grouped the problems in six different arenas; i) Academic dishonesty, ii) untrained teachers, ii) low educational budget, iv) political interference, v) poor educational planning and policies and vi) other areas. According to the response from the respondents, the top problematic area of education in Nepal was poor educational planning and policies, followed by political interference on education, untrained teachers, low educational budget, and others respectively.
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Thirty-one respondents out of forty believed that poor educational planning and policies in Nepal was the key issue of educational development. The respondents listed activities like; poor education planning, negligence towards the research in education, poor implementation of the planning, poor policies, not updated curriculum and poor monitoring and supervision. It showed that the policy level, which holds all the responsibility for entire educational system, was not functioning well and need to have improved immediately. Even the policies are determined according to political pattern of the country. The public of Nepal has not got National Education Policy because of the direct political influence in education system (Wagle, 2010).The research result showed that political influence on education as the causative agent to poor educational planning and policies. Almost similar number to poor educational planning and policies believed that political influence is the core educational problem of Nepal.
Half of the teacher trainees raised untrained teachers as one of the problematic areas of educational system in Nepal. Similarly, the government allocates low budget to the educational field and it hampered on the educational system. Not only the government but also the family allocates low budget for education. Gender disparity, mother tongue as medium of instruction, nepotism and lack of social awareness were other problems of educational system in Nepal according to the respondents.
C. Social Role of the Teacher Trainee
Teachers are change agent of the society, so that the teacher trainees need to have the knowledge on their role in relation to the society. To find out whether the trainees were aware on their social role or not, the researcher chose six different areas; i) environment, ii) economy, iii) civic education, iv) politics, v) development and vi) HIV/AIDS. The respondents were asked to write teacher trainees' role as a social worker in terms of above-mentioned themes.
In terms of social role on environment, more than two- third of the respondents posted their role as awareness creator. Most common responses were; raise the awareness of the people, cooperate the society to save the environment, conduct natural conservation awareness programs and campaigning for is conservation. Some other respondents presented a bit differently like; the teacher trainees need to play an activist role to protect environment conservation and aware the ethnic group who are more dependent to jungle.
Under economy, most of the respondents posted their role as facilitator. Their responses were not same but the theme was almost similar. The most common responses were: make plans for generating capital, help to encourage the people in income generating activities, involve in new local plans and programs, encourage people to increase economic status and lifting people up from traditional farming. Some raised the issue that the role of teacher must be to aware in sustainable economy but not only the economic development.
As far as politics was concerned, almost half of them agreed the role of teacher trainees as awareness creator to the public without any political bias. The respondents listed the following roles as essential to enhance politically aware society: introducing the public on importance of education, raise the political awareness, must be free from the political bias, play the role of social leader, making people to judge impartially and helper for developing positive attitude towards politics. The other half respondents said that they must not be activated in political issues and be independent. Some of the responses were: be free from politics, not be in any political parties, should not be influenced by any political parties, should not show any political ideology in the society and judge without any political prejudices.
While discussing on social role of teacher trainees with relation to development, almost two-third of the respondents marked their role as active participant in development activities. They listed the following role; participate actively in development activities, work together with different organizations together and be social worker for developmental activities. The others were placing teacher again in awareness creator. They suggested that the teacher trainees' role as; encourage the public for local development on their own, aware the public to participate in developmental activities and suggest better ways for effective development.
Civic education prepares people of a country, especially the young to carry their roles as citizen. Until and unless the citizens are not aware and do not follow their role in the nation, it cannot get proper direction. Almost half of the respondents felt that teacher trainees' key responsibility was to educate them on their roles, responsibilities and rights as a civic of a nation. They stated following roles in terms of civic education; educating young for civic education, help the parents make their children educated, advocating for moral education and role as social engineer to train the public to be civic. They highlighted that the teacher educates the society and prepares young people for responsible living and a proactive life in a society when they are grownups. It was nevertheless important to note that almost half of the respondents could not respond properly on this issue. It focused to a conclusion that a large number of teachers who are teaching in the community have limited knowledge on civic education. It is therefore important for the department of education to consider how to instill knowledge on civic education to the teachers and help to raise awareness to the society. ESD believe to address such challenges as providing civic education to develop an informed decision making society.
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The fundamental message from the respondents was that the teacher needed to be knowledgeable and skilled on HIV/AIDS issue. They felt it was global challenge. The teachers mostly were expected to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS to the students and the society. The responses were almost similar. The following were the responses made by the respondents: conduct programs for making people aware on the hazards of this disease, health awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS and teach the public about the causes, effects and results of this disease.
D. Suggested Research Areas for the Department of Education
The researcher asked the respondent to state the researches to be conducted by the department of education for the solution of the national educational problems. Based on the responses, the research areas were divided into two groups; social research and educational research.
In the social research area, the respondents suggested researches on civic education, peace education, politics and society, filed based research, infrastructure development, mother tongue in education etc. to be conducted by the department of education for proper addressing the problems in education.
In the educational research area, the respondents suggested researches on teacher training, educational development, educational planning, effectiveness of IT in classroom, curriculum revision and development, implementation of technical and vocational training etc, to be conducted by the department of education to address the problems in education.
The research areas suggested by the respondents showed that they could not able to cover the environmental and economical aspect of the society to be researched. The educational problems of education could not be determined well through above-mentioned educational and social researches. Educational development is multi-dynamic in nature. This description showed that, the teacher trainees were not completely aware on the elements of education for sustainable development.
E. Individual Teacher Trainee's View on ESD
This part of the study focuses on interpersonal feelings of the respondents on different subjective-type questions on ESD. For the description, the researcher presents direct responses from the questionnaire. This description will give more depth insights on trainees' understanding and the situation of ESD in Nepal. The following questions from the questionnaire were considered for this description.
i) What is your overall judgment and suggestions on the Department of Education coverage on the issues in the above mentioned question (Does your department offer courses on development, environment, peace, economics, culture, ICT, HIV/AIDS education, human rights, social justice and equity and democracy ?) and the relevance of those issues to teacher training?
ii) What is the relation between education and development?
iii) what shorts of researches should be conducted by the Department of Education to address the key educational problems of Nepal ?
iv) What is Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)?
Ramesh, a male trainee from second year of study, raised the opinion to revise the existing course and said, "The department of education should revise the existing course because it does not have a satisfactory coverage of the above mentioned issues, which are relevant to the prospective teachers." His opinion on relation between growth and development was "we cannot think of development in the absence of education." He focused education as the tool of development in his response. He marked the following activities as important to solve the key educational problems "civic education, training for untrained and educational development". Ramesh linked Education for Sustainable Development with societal development. We can see his statement about education for sustainable development "It refers to that kind of education which leads to long lasting development of society".
Manju, a female trainee from first year of study responded for the first question as "These issues are very important for the sustainable development but the point is that exactly most of the students are unknown of it". For the question of relation between education and development, she placed education as growth and said "Education is growth, growth happens due to learning, growth is mental process, so it is development of personality". In this response, the respondent seems talking about human intellectual development rather the development of nation and the glove. Her suggestion to the department of education to address the key educational problems of Nepal was "First of all, educational framework should be changed and experts must conduct the proper plan for educational development without political influence." Her point clearly stated that lack in the planning in education and huge political influence on educational activity is hindering for the development of education. Her answer showed some sort of non-confidential statement as "I think, it might be the study of different perspectives of environment and developmental issues." It was a good example that the trainees were aware about the different aspects of ESD but not aware on ESD directly; this terminology was quite new for her.
Hari, a male trainee from second year of study fully dissatisfied with the curriculum implemented by the department of education. He said, "The existing curriculum does not address the abovementioned issues. These issues are of paramount importance. So they should be incorporated in our course". He confidently stated, "Education brings sustainable development". His argument for the solution of the educational problems of Nepal was similar to other respondents "Academic honesty, peace in education and educational planning are the research areas" to be conducted to address the educational problems in Nepal. For ESD he also focuses society and said, " ESD means the education for the development of every nook and corner of our society for long-lasting purposes". His opinion on ESD emphasizes the long lasting development of society gives very clear understanding on education for sustainable development.
Manju, a female trainee from first year of study agreed that the courses, which were mentioned in the question, were very important to the teacher-training program. She said, "All above mentioned courses should be taught thoroughly in teacher training". She agreed the use of education for the proper development and said, "There won't be development without proper education". Her answer as "academic research" referred a broad area for the research to be conducted by the department of education to address the educational problems. But she could not make clear on this issue. She clearly mentioned that she did not know about Education for Sustainable Development. The research found this case as an interesting case because she was aware of the importance of the elements of ESD but she never knew the terminology. It gave a reflection that the institutions and the agencies, which were making this issue worldwide, need to get attention on it.
Harsa, a male trainee from second year of study said, "The above mentioned issues are not addressed satisfactorily. Even though which are ticked 'yes' are incorporated partially". His argument was clearer to others. He clearly mentioned that the efforts done by department of education were not worthless but there was still more to be done. His argument on relation between education and development also was different to others. He said, "Development and education are two wheels of the same car". On the contrary to other trainees, who believed education is the source of education; education is the source for development, he believed that both education and development should run together to get the sustainable development. This argument seems more meaningful. Similar to other respondents Harsa mentioned the following areas; educational planning, peace education and academic honesty to be researched and implemented accordingly for the solution of educational should be researched to address the educational problems of Nepal. " ESD is a new concept in education referring to long-lasting development of our society" he said. His statement shows that he is well aware of ESD matters.
Khem, a male trainee from second year of study expressed little satisfaction with the courses of department of education but he further added and said, "The department should adjust subjects like ICT, Human Rights and Social justice in the curriculum". Khem seems partially satisfied with the courses offered from the department and added some specific areas to be focused to stand today's world. Regarding the relation between education and development, he has a bit clear idea to others. He said, "Education leads development. When there is development, the quality of education will go up". His concept clearly mentions that education promotes development and development promotes education, in this sense they are interrelated. He suggested two research areas; i) effectiveness of IT in classroom ii) best curriculum to the context of Nepal, to be studied thoroughly and implement accordingly to solve the educational problems of Nepal. In his opinion ESD is, "Education not only educate people but also leads nation to sustainable development".
From the description of the individual opinion in different questions, it could easily be seen that the teacher trainees were not satisfied with their department in terms of the subjects they were implementing. Though, the trainees were not clear about Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), they possess the knowledge of it to some extent indirectly from the subjects which were being taught in the department.