Waikato Journal of Education
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Keywords

Covid-19 pandemic
fieldwork
narrative inquiry
Nepal

Abstract

The global Covid-19 pandemic has severely hit the lives of the people of Nepal. The country witnessed two phases of lockdown over 10 months from March 2020 until August 2021. I completed my PhD data collection in Nepal through February to April 2021, when the pandemic’s risk was naturally lowered. My research explores local value systems of communities involved in school governance in Lalitpur, Nepal. Accordingly, my participants included schools’ stakeholders: parents, teachers, locals, Education Officers and elected representatives. The Covid-19 situation in Nepal requires social distancing and mask wearing while talking with others. In my experience these health protocols disrupted my aims to develop rapport and build close, trusting relationships with my research participants. In this article, I reflect on ways I sought to build relationships of trust with my participants before conducting interviews amid Covid-19 regulations. I narrate my experiences as a Nepalese citizen and researcher in uncertain times. This research might be useful to researchers in establishing a relationship with participants, applying face to face interviews in unfavourable situations such as a pandemic.

https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v27i2.922
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