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2013-04 ~ NQT Final Report On Schools - April 2013

posted 19 Jan 2014, 09:51 by Manisha Child Welfare Foundation Nepal ‎(UK)‎   [ updated 12 Sep 2014, 02:31 by Manisha UK ]
Final report on the schools in Nepal

I've just put a few comments together on each school mainly trying to focus on any major problem the school faces. Obviously I’ve not gone to in-depth as I sent reports on most of the schools just before I left Nepal. I've also written a bit teacher training, which may be useful for next year. 

Final comments on the schools

The English teacher here is very keen to improve his spoken English and to develop new teaching strategies; however, I believe the head teacher is not so eager. I had to argue with him about putting spare posters up in the classrooms and he only agreed once I threatened to withhold the resources I brought them. The excuse was that the children will pull them down, I can see his trepidation about resources getting damaged but he, and all schools, need to realise that the children need to interact with the equipment. I feel this will only come with time and acquisition of more materials, so the old ones become less precious.  They are planning to extend the school by building one new classroom and then knocking through a wall to combine two old classrooms. This will mean that all the year groups have large enough spaces. They obviously have no time frame for this as they are waiting on funding from Mahendra but the village is trying to raise money and provide workers. The nursery is a good size for the amount of children and the teacher in there regularly uses the outside environment. There is no provision for tiffin, however, all the children bring food on a regular basis but if a child forgets or the parents are struggling other families or the school will try to help out. This is obviously due to it being a very remote and, therefore, close-knit community. Anyone visiting this school will defiantly need a translator, I managed to get on OK by the end of my time there on my own it was difficult. Additionally, the local village is really good for having a good walk around and seeing the local environment. Furthermore, I have left them blackboard paint and it would be good if whoever next visited could follow that up, as it was December I left it and in March they had still not used it. It a minor detail but those boards are terrible.

Just before I left I spoke to Ram Lau and he is about to become chairman of the school and is planning “big changes”, he didn't say what they are but knowing him they will be for the better. The main issue here is that they do not have a trained English teacher, although the volunteer English teacher is very good considering he has had no formal training. He has only been there a year but if he continues to stay on he’ll become better and better with teaching experience and, most importantly, time to talk to English speaker and attend teacher training. The learning to read room is being very well used and by a lot of different year groups at different times to ensure they all benefit, although I'm not sure if the nursery uses it. I know Barbara is funding tiffin at the moment but I hope that the twinning school will be able to raise money to take over this responsibility. I think it is also time for them to have a new short-term goal as now they have more sport equipment than any other school. 


Clearly there is still the problem of the drains here and I am really concerned that it will not even be started before the next monsoon season. I'm much happier with this schools situation now that the money has been successfully transferred into their account. This means that the teachers will not have to go around town to try to find money for the children’s lunch and that the children will now get uniforms. I know they are very keen to improve the school and the teachers are happy to take things on-board and try out new approaches. I did leave them a huge amount of resources from which the next cohort of children will benefit. The classes for adults with learning difficulties have stopped now and the money they received did help them to pay for tiffin for a while. The room that they used for that will become a pre-school this school year and I would ask that whoever visited next year spent some time in their to ensure the children are involved in educational play rather being ‘lectured’ in letters and numbers or just babysat, I have my doubts that this will be the case with the teachers here though, they are very pro-active. Mahendra has started to offer textile classes for free to the local women and electrician classes to the local young men. Now I think that this is a very good idea to help to educate the children’s parents; although, I'm concerned that it may affect the running of the school, particularly as now there are only four rooms for six year groups. However, it may speed the construction of the drains along. 


Clearly with my one visit here I never found out that much information. Having said that the school seems very organised and the teaching appears good. This I’m putting down to the two higher secondary trained English teachers, who work with the primary teachers to improve their knowledge and lessons. The head teacher is also looking for cost effective ways to improve the school. The classrooms here are very dark and a lot are rather cramped Barbara had a very good idea to improve the lighting – get the teachers/children to bring those giant torches they use at night. It would only require two people a day to bring them in and it would considerably help the children at the back of the room. Mahendra has withdrawn his support because of ‘politics’ I have no idea what this means, the closest I could get was that there was a disagreement between the teachers and the parents on what to teach/how to teach, without talking to the teachers though I couldn’t find out much, despite numerous promises to visit the school. 


Same situation with Amrit regarding my visits although the reason for not returning is different: I, along with Saran and Joyti, felt that the teachers were very uncooperative and not willing to be involved in the lessons with us. I have to say, however, that the woman math's teacher and the new English teacher were completely against this trend. I was concerned that while walking around the school, without teachers, a number of classes were without a teacher or any work set while the teachers sat around in the office. Also teachers often went to lessons late and left early. I feel that with some training on management this could be improved but the training would need to be delivered to the teachers not the head teacher, who just was not there while we were and did not seem to know much about what was happening in the school when I spoke to him in the evenings – it wasn't a language barrier either as I had two translators. 


The building construction here has started again with the added involvement of villagers who have offered their time for free. Therefore, as it is only the room and plastering that needs to be done to complete the classrooms that should be finished over the summer, so I am told. The shops also now all have people who wish to occupy them, although when they will is unknown. I assume the old building will be knocked down and the toilets built soon after the classrooms are completed. Tulsi, the head teacher, has really taken on board the training and is trailing different techniques. All the rooms now have some variety of display which promotes learning and she is busy making various learning posters and items out of natural materials. Some of these are great and I feel that it would be very helpful, both for other schools and her confidence, if she could share her ideas/resources at a training session, especially as they all use natural materials. I'm concerned with how often Dhan Bdr has days off to visit schools with Mahendra, it is good if he is involved in the charity, as it would then not all be on Mahendra, but the children are missing out on their English lessons when he is away as there is no other English teacher. 


This is another great school, again I think down to it being a higher secondary, therefore, the teachers have more opportunity to talk to others and share ideas. They have just finished two new classrooms and are about to start another two, this will mean that every year group has a large, well lit room. The don’t have the full funding yet but have enough to get about half way by which time they hope to have raised more cash. I know all the teachers here are eager to improve and would love to attend any training. They also love having visitors here; I think I am the only non-Nepali person that has visited so far. I understand that it takes a full day to travel to but whoever goes to Nepal next year should take a trip here to see the school and to spend some time hiking around the hills. The teachers here have a very good out school relationship with the children, they have a kind of after-school club, some children stay after school and play on the grounds/do homework while the teachers have their after school meeting. They also hold regular volleyball matches both in the village and with the surrounding villages. This could be an idea for something for the school to share with others at training on the notion of after school care/support


This school really does appear to be doing fine without much help, the teachers are all very committed, the buildings are good, they have adequate resources and are always looking to improve – they are actually just about to introduce +2 free of charge. Obviously it would help if they could come to training but due to distance and cost, I feel it would be infeasible. 

Overall it is the primary schools which need the most support, I think down to the fact that in secondary schools there are a lot more teachers who can offer advice and ideas and more than one teacher for each subject.