2 months’ news in 2 minutes

No blog post in 2 months, either means we are very lazy or very busy. We are not very lazy.

Here’s the news:

Our third school:

We have adopted our third school, Balkumari Lower Secondary School. It has 100 students and our aim is to make it the top school in the community, and grow it to 200 students within three years.

We now have MOUs signed with all three schools we manage. Here’s a photo of the signing ceremony at Bhanodaya School.

New students:

Our student numbers are soaring. In Jana Uddhar, we have over 200 students, for the first time in six years. In the two years since we adopted the school, our student numbers have increase by almost 100%.

In Bhanodaya primary school, our nursery class now has more students than the whole school did just a year ago! The school has grown from 27 students to over 80 in one year.

While public schools in the Kathmandu Valley are shrinking and closing, our schools are growing.

Fully registered:

We are now fully registered as a non-for-profit company with the Ministry of Industry in Nepal.

Curriculum Development:

We have begun a very ambitious project to write lesson plans for every lesson in Class 1 – 3 in English, Maths and Science. The lesson plans are based on the government textbooks, but will enable government teachers to teach much higher quality lessons.

As we explained here, training teachers in general teaching techniques has little impact because they struggle to apply those techniques to specific lessons, so we decided to start with the specific lessons, and train teachers in how to teach them better. So the cycle is like this:

  • write high quality lesson plans, based on the government curriculum
  • train the teachers to follow those lesson plans in their lessons
  • support them in the lessons and give them feedback afterwards
  • revise the lesson plans if necessary.

It’s very hard work and time-consuming, but we believe it’s working.

Here are a few examples of what you can see in classrooms where our lesson plans are being used:

Students planting seeds to understand how plants grow:

Students learning 1 – 5:

Students using 10 Frames to practice counting:

And look at this beautiful hand-writing:

But problems still remain:

Yesterday we had to deal with a teacher who took great offence at another teacher perching on ‘his’ desk to make a phone call to parents. He publicly and rudely insulted the other teacher. It sadly illustrated the cultural change we still have to achieve, whereby when there is disagreement we deal with it privately and politely. Simply put, it’s the challenge of developing a professional culture.