"With the restrictions linked to the health crisis, it had been three years since I had been to Nepal. I finally had the chance to spend 10 days in the Kathmandu and Dhading regions at the beginning of April. Through this trip to Nepal, the meetings with the beneficiaries of our projects, the exchanges with our team and local partners, I had the pleasure to see the progress made for the children.
Over the past 18 months, we have focused on improving kindergarten education in 63 public schools in these areas.
It is important to know that public schools are the least regarded by the population. They have the reputation of being of very poor quality. The kindergarten teachers (one class per school for the 3 levels) are paid less than the others, without specific training. Before being supported by the association, these schools had few kindergarten children and the latter did not attend regularly.
After teacher training, classroom equipment and parent education sessions, the contrast is striking. Enrollment has more than doubled and the children are coming much more often. Teachers and parents are communicating, and parents feel much more involved in their children's education.
Of course, not all classes have the same level of success. And the walls of the classroom are not expandable...
For this reason, we have decided to reorient our support towards more practical training for teachers directly in the classroom (coaching, as we call it), to facilitate the transition from theory to practice and to keep teachers motivated. Experts will be available to intervene when needed.
We will also propose to the teachers the animation of Facebook or Whatsapp groups so that together, between peers, they reinforce their confidence and pride in their profession. Parents will be invited to meet them during small events with the children, including one specially designed for dads.
And of course we will continue to mobilize key players, such as local authorities and school principals. Their roles are essential in promoting these kindergarten classes.
An unexpected effect: some children no longer want to go to first grade, their class is much better! We are therefore developing an ambitious project to improve the quality of education in the basic grades, from 3 to 8 years old.
It's difficult to tell you about this exciting trip to Nepal in just a few lines, but I hope I've given you a glimpse of what we are building for the children there.
> Learn more about our Early Childhood Development Project in Nepal