Leadership Development Program (LDP) is the initiation of BITS Ladder to prepare a human resource for SMART Learning. We aim to execute the program through collaboration with like-minded organizations. The public schools of Nepal lack around 60,000 teachers. A large number of deficit teachers are from subjects like Science, Math, and English. Recently the critical thinking in social studies and the need for ICT in education have increased the demand for teachers in this area as well. The local level hiring both from the community and school level has not been effective to manage this gap. On one hand, the Teachers Service Commission engages in the hiring of full-time competent teachers through the licensing exam. While, different organizations like Teach For Nepal, Help Sathi, Snow Yak Foundation, collaborative school network, United World Schools Nepal, Changing Stories, and many more including government schools engage them in placing short term volunteers (ranging from six months to two years and more) in public schools to minimize the gap of teachers need in the community school.
The teacher recruited through the Teachers Service Commission and voluntarily from civil society organizations have made some remarkable changes in their placement regions. Yet, the challenges are at an extreme level. In the recent Teachers Service Commission exam for primary grade license, 92% of candidates failed. This is very alarming. In Teach For Nepal from 2014 to 2017, 4746 candidates had applied for the Fellowship, only around 5% of candidates got an opportunity to engage as a Fellow. The several years’ data analysis finding on the number of placement versus the number of applications is alarming. Reflecting on the selection process of different organizations, it is evident that employers (government agencies or any other organization) conduct the assessment in three-dimension – knowledge, skill, and mindset, while our university education is not able to prepare the youth graduates as per the need of the organization.
In parallel to the engagement of youth in their academics, the BITS ladder introduced the “Leadership Development Program”. Through this program, we will engage youth in three dimensions – technical readiness to enhance the skills, theoretical learning for building the fundamentals to shape up the knowledge, and practical engagements to shape up the proper mindset. In order to avoid the situation of being an alien in the job place, we will also engage the participants in the working community to shape up their contextual knowledge. The entire duration of the program is below:
The three days community immersion helps participants to learn about the context which deepened their understanding of the problem and opportunities in the community. The objective of the visit is to give them the bigger picture of the community which will guide them to prepare mature planning to innovate the solution reflecting upon the problem. Post community visits there will be parallel sessions to strengthen the content of the subject matter and shape up the fundamentals of the leadership and management theories.
There will be three practical engagements where participants work in a team to lead the engagement. The first engagement will be scheduled after 30% to 35% of completion of theoretical and content. The second engagement will be asked to conduct the practice engagement after completion of 70% of the course. At the end of all the theoretical courses, participants lead the third practical engagement. The participants apply the learning while implementing the practical engagements.
At the end of the engagement, participants’ capacity gets enhanced in all three dimensions- knowledge, skill, and mindset. This readiness helps them to empower themselves. The success of the program will be measured once the participants get selected in any of the programs to contribute to the public school system as a teacher.