Zoom Lessons in Nepal
Nepal may be in strict lockdown but, behind the scenes, we have been incredibly creative and busy!
The pictures may look like everyday life and so it is hard to explain how special they are. Outside in Hangdewa, bullocks plough fields, landowners and day workers plant row after row of rice by hand, bullocks are milked in the shed by hand too and no-one has a personal computer, or a holiday away from the mountain…and yet cabling for the internet has arrived opening up possibilities in learning, understanding the world and new experiences.
We have recruited Siddhartha Limbu, a new higher Maths and Science teacher who will teach the older children including our new class 8 for 14 year olds. He is still in Pokhara (800 kms West) but daily teaches via zoom all the children we can get a device to in classes 7 and 8.
All our teachers are now signed up for English conversation improvement lessons via zoom and the British Council in Delhi. They take a test to set the standard and have lessons twice a week. Only a year ago, most couldn’t work Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc and now they are using the internet by themselves to learn!
With the Olympics happening a world away, and Nepal having only 5 entrants and never won a medal…..
We contacted past world championship teams in Australia in Rhythmic Gymnastics who have promised us inspiration and classes. It seems a good fit with our villagers’ love of dancing and music – and requires minimal equipment. We may have to adapt the flimsy clothing! And basketball too – our new court stands waiting as does our very own high-level, basketball coach, also in Australia.
Storytelling Competition – for all children anywhere (Hangdewa and where you are too)
J K Rowling has sold 500,000,000 Harry Potter books world-wide and is worth $1billion US. Seems a good reason to encourage young people to tell stories and to tell them well. Of course other jobs depend on storytelling too: management, advertising, project leadership, proposal writing and more. So our next competition is for all children aged 3-14. I attach an outline of what is expected. There will be prizes and glory. We will publish a book with the winners’ stories in time for Christmas. Please encourage your children, grandchildren, neighbours etc to enter. They must send them in via their parents’ email with permission, name, photo and age by 20th August 2021.
Meantime, winners of the Cookery Competition were Sudip (Class 7), Bedana (Class 7), Samikshya (School Leaver)…..
The children’s recipes are full of interesting and homegrown ingredients. The judge, Emilia Rozanska, is the catering manager at Rupert House School in Henley-on-Thames, UK. She loved healthy recipes with wide appeal that stood out with good instructions and photos.
Thank you to everyone who took part. Maybe zoom cookery lessons in the future! Meantime, an exchange of recipes continues with one of our prefects and her mentor at Millfield School, UK.
It really is a headache how to find the money to pay for the education that these children are getting….and of course we want to do more as our goal is to lift them out of poverty. It costs 5% of what the UK Government spend on a child – or the cost of private/public schooling for one child covers our budget for the whole school (two hundred pupils). We have high hopes of tourism making up our financial shortfall, but not yet. None-the-less, we are pushing on to provide an education of international standard. Part of our strategy is partnerships with schools. We’re very proud to announce a new partnership with Beoley First School, in Staffordshire. The Headmaster has mapped out a series of tasks in an overarching project for next year’s 9-10 year olds in which our two schools will swap information about themselves, their locality, their country, pass-times etc. Thank you to one of our Mentors, Ann Marie, for introducing us.
We are always open to more. We have benefitted hugely in the past from Aptitude Software sending out computers and staff to install them. Now we would love a sponsor for our new science practical room (a dream since the school opened). For £10,000 we would build it, put in fixtures and fittings and equip it. Please put us in touch with any possible future partners and sponsors. Imagine the photo opportunities in the Himalayas with children in branded t-shirts! We are happy to provide whatever marketing/PR materials required.