Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL)




This paper examines the history of language-in-education policy in Nepal. I begin with a brief overview of a standard history of Nepali language planning and policy. This version of history describes an early period with almost no schools, followed by the Nepali-only Panchayat period, and, after the 1990 restoration of democracy, an openness toward multilingual schooling in policy. I augment this history to point toward a view of history that is not split into static periods, does not impose current categories of ethnicity and language on a past when such categories functioned differently, and that recognizes the importance of influences from outside of Nepal’s national borders. Finally, I discuss the ways these differences inform an understanding of the past and opportunities for considering the future of language policy.