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.
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:

Jul 2, 2012

Postcard: Project Site Visit

Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:

 After half and hour of winding through the streets of Bagbazaar in Kathmandu, I finally made it to the office of The Santi School Project’s program director, Bijaya. We sat for tea, and I was pleased to hear about one of the few organizations that works to improve Nepali public schools, rather than building private alternatives. Bijaya spoke about how Santi School’s work is two-fold: they do renovations to fix school buildings, and they provide teacher trainings so that the new schools can be filled with quality teachers.

 Bijaya explained that Santi School’s trainings go beyond the basic government teaching curriculum. They place an emphasis on clean water and sanitation, as well as covering early childhood development and a new experimental English curriculum. Bijaya said that in the past, they hired outside trainers to give trainings, but in the past year, Santi School has piloted their own training which has proven to be a huge success! In the year to come, they will work to scale up their trainings so they can reach even more teachers.  

May 3, 2012

We stopped the rain inside Gupteshwor School

The Shilapatra, or dedication, stone at the school
The Shilapatra, or dedication, stone at the school

Even though primary school enrollment is improving nationwide, the government in Nepal simply does not have enough money for education, particularly to renovate schools originally built half a century ago.

Such is the case at Gupteshwor Secondary School, home to 250 students in kindergarten through grade 10, which recently expanded with a two-story four-room building. Government funds were insufficient to complete construction beyond the external walls and the roof. Consequently, the ground floor flooded when it rained and four different classes had been conducted in the corners of a single open room.

Our work was recently completed, and the school held an inauguration ceremony April 23. We've helped the school by:

  • hanging doors
  • putting shutters on the windows
  • plastering the interior walls, floor and ceiling
  • creating a partition inside the building to divide it into classrooms
  • covering the stairway to prevent flooding
  • installing a drinking water system

This the third school that The Santi School Project has helped recently to complete reconstruction projects in which government funds were insufficient, either by providing funds to finish construction or to furnish classrooms with desks and chairs.

The school is located in Laliput District, in the Kathmandu Valley and near Vishwamitra School, where we are conducting our teacher training program as well as helping build new classrooms. The majority of the students at Gupteshwor are members of the indigenous Tamang ethnic minority.

We're grateful for your support to help make this project possible. The total cost of the project was approximately $8,000, with the community contributing 25%.

For photos from the inauguration ceremony for the completed building, follow the link to our Facebook page below.

Finished school building
Finished school building

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