The Santi School Project

The Santi School Project is dedicated to giving children in Nepal, particularly girls and those from disadvantaged ethnic minorities, a chance for a quality education.
Apr 9, 2013

Nepali politician helps open our new classrooms

Children performed a welcome dance at the ceremony
Children performed a welcome dance at the ceremony

Our school renovation projects are starting to attract attention from the government and media in Nepal. When Kali Devi Higher Secondary School celebrated its 50th anniversary with an elaborate ceremony in late February, Finance Minister Barshaman Pun was on hand, along with members of the press, to inaugurate a new four-room classroom built by The Santi School Project.

The new building was necessary to alleviate overcrowding at the school, which has about 360 students. More than just extra space, however, the new classrooms have helped Kali Devi earn a designation as a testing center for the school-leaving certificate (SLC), the most important exam for Nepali students starting on the path to college.

Previously, local students, who live in a remote area of Lalitpur district, had to travel a considerable distance for the exam, which is taken after finishing 10th grade. Now, Kali Devi will offer the SLC exam for students from four surrounding village development committeesadministrative areas similar to counties.

Construction, originally funded by the government, stalled last year with just the frame of the structure completed. Santi School stepped in to provide slightly more than half of the total $15,000 budget; the community contributed more than 25 percent.

The inauguration ceremony attracted a big crowd: local governmental officials, representatives from various political parties, teachers from nearby schools, parents and students. Our project coordinator, Sita Devi Neupane, is an alumnus of the school.

A Nepali publication profiled one 10th grade Kali Devi student who can now take his SLC exam at Kali Devi here.

Thank you for helping to make this project possible. For more information on other school renovations and our training program for more than 150 teachers in Lalitpur district, visit our web site and Facebook page. Links are provided below.

Finance Minister Barshaman Pun at the inauguration
Finance Minister Barshaman Pun at the inauguration

Links:

Dec 31, 2012

We've Started Our 2013 Projects

Kali Devi Higher Secondary School
Kali Devi Higher Secondary School

This winter we'll be building new classrooms at three different schools, and installing drinking water systems at two of them. Overall, we'll be improving conditions for nearly 700 students in rural Nepal.

One of those schools is Kali Devi Higher Secondary School of Pyutar, Lalitpur. Built in 1962, the school has 20 teachers and staff serving more than 360 students. The school is around 50 kilometers away from Kathmandu.

The government's District Education Office provided funds to construct a four-room building to accomodate overcrowding, but the funds were only sufficient to complete the frame of the building.

We are helping the school complete at least two rooms so that classes can begin in April 2013, the start of the next school year. The school will bear a quarter of the estimated cost of the project.

For more information about the three schools we are renovating, visit our web site, http://santischool.org/category/our-projects/present/

Thanks for your support. Like us on Facebook if you haven't already!

Links:

Oct 7, 2012

Praise for Our Teacher Training Program

Learning the alphabet
Learning the alphabet

Teacher training has become a major focus for The Santi School Project following our big win this summer of a $15,000 grant from Better World Books. Working with primary school teachers is yet another way we can improve the quality of the learning experience for our children -- along with renovating schools, providing books and classroom materials, and helping pay teacher salaries.

Training has begun for the first group of 21 teachers from 7 school in the Lalitpur area. Overall, by next spring, we will train 150 teachers at 5 different centers.

How the training works

  • A series of 2-day sessions followed by classroom observations of each teacher
  • This cycle is repeated six times: a total of 12 days of intensive instruction and 6 separate classroom evaluations
  • Training content is divided between early childhood development and English skills

Early returns are positive

"I have observed some training sessions. Based on the observations that I have made during the training and its implementation in the classroom, I believe the training is effective." -- Satish Kumar Jha, principal of Sisnery Higher Secondary School, Lamatar, Lalitpur.

"I have seen several other training programs conducted by various organizations and agencies. I think this training is better than others. I have also received positive feedback about the training from participating teachers and the principals sending teachers from their schools." -- Him Bahadur Thapa, field level supervisor from the District Education Office, Mahalaxmi Higher Secondary School, Lubhu, Lalitpur.

What's unique about our training

  • English-speaking volunteers in every school: To supplement the instruction, a Nepali volunteer (usually a recent high school graduate from Kathmandu) who speaks fluent English will help out in the classrooms of teachers participating in the program.
  • Incentives for teachers: Motivating public school teachers is one of the biggest challenges of the education system in Nepal. The top 3 performers from each training group will receive a small cash award, based on classroom observations.

 Why teacher training is important

  • 1 in 5 primary school teachers in Nepal do not have any training, according to the World Bank.
  • The student dropout rate at primary schools is 38%.
  • These rates are even higher in rural areas where we work. In fact, the central region of Nepal, where all our project sites are located, has the worst enrollment indicators in the whole country.
  • Well-trained teachers make learning fun, attract children to school, and improve the quality of the classroom experience

How we will measure results

  • Repeated classroom observations of the teachers by the trainers.
  • An exam of students whose teachers are enrolled in the training program. Where possible, a control group of students, whose teachers are not participating, will also take the exam.

Our trainers

We're excited to have Rosy Lama as one of the 4 teacher trainers. Rosy is a former principal at Shanti Primary School in Ramche and was instrumental in the early success of the school. She moved back to Kathmandu to complete her masters degree and has been teaching at a private school in the city. She's never really left us, because she's been involved in our other teacher training programs. 

Using beads in the classroom
Using beads in the classroom
Teachers practice their lessons
Teachers practice their lessons

Links:

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