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
Spelling competition at Pokhare School
Girls' volleyball competition at Singati village