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 Children  Nepal Project #15934

Better Schools in Rural Nepal!

by Educate the Children
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Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
Enjoying the new slide at Gujarpa School, Lapilang
Enjoying the new slide at Gujarpa School, Lapilang

Those of you who have been following ETC's work for a long time know that the 30 remote rural schools with which we have been working since mid-2014 already had a myriad of needs, both big and small, even before the spring 2015 earthquakes. 

During the past four-plus years, with your very kind and generous support, we've made great strides in helping these schools recover from the quake devastation and become safer, more enriching places for children to learn. 

ETC's School Improvement Program is by no means a one-size-fits-all activity. Each school has its specific needs. ETC works closely with all 30 schools' headmasters, who meet quarterly through our Headmasters Network, to determine priorities and ensure that all schools have their turns to get the support they need most.

Today, we are glad to share with you some recent images from three of the 30 schools, showing how much your support really means to these children and their teachers on a daily and practical basis. Note for example the fencing installed as a protective measure at Balambu School, to prevent rocks and other rubble from rolling down the steep hillside onto the school property. 

Because of you, these schools are much better places to learn and grow! As always, we thank you very much for making it all possible.

Furniture and supplies provided at Gujarpa School
Furniture and supplies provided at Gujarpa School
Fencing for a safer schoolyard at Balambu School
Fencing for a safer schoolyard at Balambu School
Hands-on learning at Jalpashwori School
Hands-on learning at Jalpashwori School

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The new slide at Janajyoti School is very popular!
The new slide at Janajyoti School is very popular!

This quarterly report is going to be a little different. Beyond simply sharing details about what has been done across all 30 current ETC-supported schools, we'd like to give you a little glimpse into one particular school: Janajyoti Secondary School in Lapilang.

Janajyoti is fairly large compared to others in our project area. It has a total enrollment of 320 students, of whom just over half are girls, in pre-kindergarten through 10th grade. The headmaster, Mr. Ganesh Khada, holds a Master's degree in English. A sizable percentage of the students are members of historically marginalized ethnic/caste groups.

As you can see in the accompanying photos, Janajyoti has recently received a new slide (and swing set, not pictured). Sturdy recreational materials are important in ensuring young children's physical development and confidence. ETC has also supplied Janajyoti's classrooms with hands-on learning materials, which are so useful in promoting improved comprehension and academic performance, as an alternative to rote repetition. The child-sized table in the photo was also provided by ETC.

Janajyoti Secondary School is just one of the 30 schools with which ETC is currently working in Dolakha District. Sixteen of the 30 have had new swing sets and slides this spring, and all 30 have benefited in recent months through receiving classroom/recreational materials, furniture, water tanks, fencing, or other needful items.

All of this is made possible by YOU, our kind friends, who support this useful and important work. Thank you for helping ETC to enhance the quality of education for thousands of children in rural Nepal! We absolutely could not do it without you.

P.S. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @etc_nepal if you don't already!

Janajyoti students enjoy hands-on learning
Janajyoti students enjoy hands-on learning

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ECE students and teacher at Gujarpa School
ECE students and teacher at Gujarpa School

April marks the Nepali New Year (Happy 2075!) and also the beginning of a new school year. With ETC's and your support, 30 rural schools in Dolakha are ready to welcome their students back for another year of learning and growing!

We've been especially busy recently with various activities to support the 19 early childhood education (ECE, preschool/kindergarten age) programs at our partner schools. ECE teachers took part in a four-day training while school was still out of session, in late March. The main focus was to learn how to develop and use their own classroom materials, with special emphasis on storytelling as an educational method. The March ECE teachers' networking meeting included lively and useful discussions about such topics as effective classroom management and the use of teaching materials to best support the concepts being taught. As usual, participants also had the chance to share their successes and challenges, and to learn from one another's experiences. These training and networking opportunities are so important for these teachers, who have no other professional development opportunities and are geographically isolated from one another.

As for the facilities themselves, one of the four PLCs (Permanent Learning Centers) being constructed during early 2018 is complete, and the other three will soon be. These new spaces are eagerly awaited and much appreciated by the students, teachers, and parents too. Government funding and support from other sources is so uncertain and unevenly applied that for some schools, ETC's new classrooms are all they are likely to get for some time, although it has now been three years since the earthquakes struck.

It's not all work and no play, though! ETC also encourages and helps manage many extracurricular opportunities at all 30 schools. These are useful both to encourage academic and athletic growth and achievement, and also to enhance the overall educational experience and encourage children to feel enthusiastic about school. Recent activities have included:

  • A quiz contest and spelling competition, which took place at Pokhare Basic School in Lamidanda VDC and in which 17 schools participated. Prizes were awarded for first through third places. At the same event, a rather less academically rigorous but very fun activity - a balloon race competition - was also held, with prizes awarded. 
  • A two-day girls' volleyball competition in the village of Singati, Lamidanda. A total of 72 sixth- through eighth-grade girls from eight schools participated. Prize money, volleyball equipment, and certificates/trophies/medals were awarded to the first through fourth place teams.

We hope you enjoy these quarterly reports, and that you will feel free to ask if there is any particular issue you'd like to see addressed in a future report. In the meantime, please know how great a difference you are making in the lives of thousands of Nepali children and their teachers through your support of ETC's work!  

ECE teachers learning to make classroom materials
ECE teachers learning to make classroom materials
Spelling competition at Pokhare School
Spelling competition at Pokhare School
Girls' volleyball competition at Singati village
Girls' volleyball competition at Singati village

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Bringing a bookshelf to Lapilang Higher Sec. Sch.
Bringing a bookshelf to Lapilang Higher Sec. Sch.

ETC and our partner schools have been very busy during the dry months of late fall and winter. Slippery roads (not to mention mudslides) and soggy ground don't lend themselves well to building or to transporting materials, but now the ground and roads are as dry as they will be all year. Below is a quick summary of what we have been able to do, with your generous help!

  • We are supporting new two-room buildings at four schools, including at Lapilang Higher Secondary School. The photo attached to this report shows progress as of early January; the building won't be finished before the school year is over in late February/early March, but will be ready for the students' return in late April.
  • During the quarter running from October through December, we also provided 19 schools with such useful items as jute carpet, cushions, tables, chairs, and bookshelves.
  • All 30 schools with which we've been partnering since 2014 have recently received recreational and educational materials including notebooks, pens and pencils, teacher guide books, balls and cricket bats, musical instruments, maps, and puzzles. We also provided slides and swings at 16 schools.
  • Finally, we provided items such as fencing and water tanks to schools where those were needed. These things may seem kind of boring, but many schools don't have them, and they are so important to keep the grounds tidier (notice the poultry wandering around the school yard in the photos below - not exactly ideal for public health!) and the children safer and better hydrated.

The more than 4,000 children enrolled at these schools really deserve the best possible facilities in which to spend their days learning and growing. Thank you again for making it possible!

ETC-Nepal director visits pre-primary classroom
ETC-Nepal director visits pre-primary classroom
New classrooms under construction, January 2018
New classrooms under construction, January 2018
New swings and slide at Guranse Primary School
New swings and slide at Guranse Primary School
Water tanks at Guranse Primary School
Water tanks at Guranse Primary School
Fencing to be installed at Guranse Primary School
Fencing to be installed at Guranse Primary School

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Puja will enjoy the new library at Lapilang HSS!
Puja will enjoy the new library at Lapilang HSS!

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about partnerships of many sorts, and why they are so crucial to ETC's long-standing success.

Since we started working in our previous project area of Dolakha District in mid-2008, we have been fortunate to partner with Faselung Social Services (Faselung Samejik Sewa), an all-volunteer group of dedicated area residents. When we moved our project area just to the north in mid-2014, we were glad to continue working with FSS. Among the ways in which they support ETC's educational programming: FSS members go door to door, speaking with their neighbors to find out which families have children who are not enrolled in school, and determining what the obstacles to enrollment are. We can then overcome those obstacles and achieve a nearly 100% enrollment rate. We can't improve the quality of education for children who aren't in school, so clearly these efforts on the part of FSS are of immense importance.

ETC is also working in coordination with the Nepal Library Foundation to establish a library at Lapilang Higher Secondary School. NLF has provided 100,000 rupees (approximately $1,000) to purchases books and shelving, and will also offer an orientation/training session for the teachers. Lapilang HSS had a very small and unmanaged library before 2015, but it was destroyed in the earthquakes.This new library will be a great improvement - better stocked, well-managed, and enthusiastically used!

ETC also values our partnership with the parents of children in the 30 schools we serve. Parents' commitment to and involvement in their children's education helps ensure the children's academic success. Over the summer, ETC held parents' meetings at four schools. More than 300 parents participated in these meetings, at which the topics of discussion included the importance of early childhood education (pre-K and Kindergarten) enrollment, regular attendance and homework completion for all students, and proper hygiene. You might wonder about the latter: as an example, the spread of germs due to lack of hand-washing after toilet use leads to widespread but relatively easily preventable illnesses that often keep kids home from school. They can't learn if they're not going!

Last but absolutely not least: ETC's partnership with YOU, our friends and donors, is the bedrock of our organization. There is quite literally no possible way that we could do any of this work without your continued interest in and support of our important work with village children and rural schools in Nepal! So, as always, we thank you very much.

If you haven't seen it already, please check out our new GlobalGiving project entitled Better Health for Women and Families in Nepal. Because it has a lower dollar goal and shorter time frame than this ongoing schools project, we're promoting this health project in particular for #GivingTuesday, which is November 28th. If you make a contribution to the health project on that date, you can help ETC win incentive prizes of up to $5,000, and in that way enable us to reach and serve even more people in rural Nepal. 

One last, quick note: Social media users, please follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@etc_nepal) or on Facebook (link below)!

Lots of new books for the Lapilang HSS library!
Lots of new books for the Lapilang HSS library!
A selection of the new books
A selection of the new books
Meeting with Faselung Social Services exec board
Meeting with Faselung Social Services exec board

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Organization Information

Educate the Children

Location: Ithaca, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ETC_Nepal
Project Leader:
Lisa Lyons
Executive Director
Ithaca, NY United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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