There’s no mistaking the fact that I am no longer in Europe by the humidity, the rubble and the deep craters on the roads. However, a few things have struck me as home from home; KFC, traffic jams and how well many locals speak English. I have found the Nepalese people to be friendly and helpful where they just get on with things in spite of the damage caused by the 2015 earthquake.
Today we endured the roadworks and gridlock to travel to our placement schools. It was a strange experience dropping one group off as we literally pulled 2 buses into the playground surrounded by the children waving at us. With the other groups safely deposited, my team of three were the last drop at Jugal English School where we were greeted by the principal.
As the purpose of today was to get a feel for schools here, the principal talked about his vision for education. What struck me immediately was how he spoke of how much he values creativity, engagement of pupils and how he had eradicated corporal punishment by 99% at his school. Sadly, this is certainly not the case across the country.
We observed an Economics lesson in the upper grades and English language in the equivalent of a Y6 class. As we entered the classrooms, we sat in the benches next to the children and they were keen to show us which page of their textbook they were on. It seems that textbooks are widely used here and teachers literally teach from the book. At Jugal, they did seem to plan in some capacity with an evaluation of each lesson which was good to see. Another similarity to home was how there were only between 30 to 40 children in class which is less than the 50+ I had imagined. This was largely due to it being a private school I believe.
Tomorrow will be a day of planning for teacher conference sessions over the weekend but I’ve learned that they are further on in their approach to creative strategies to bring learning to life. It will be a challenge in itself to pitch the training just right. Even hearing how they call staff ‘Facilitators’ rather than ‘teachers’ is perhaps something we could adapt in the UK…
…just a thought.