The focus of our Remedial Education Course (REC) is to support students who have fallen behind in their studies but have tremendous potential to catch up if given proper support…
Learning At Home is a distant learning program for 500 primary level public school students in Tulsipur, Dang which was initiated as a learning intervention during the school…
This School Support Program is a year-long program where we are working with twelve primary level teachers from four different public schools in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu..
The focus of our Remedial Education Course (REC) is to support students who have fallen behind in their studies but have tremendous potential to catch up if given proper support and guidance. We work with primary-level students from grades 3, 4 and 5 to help them gain foundational skills in Math and Nepali so they can catch up and stay in school with a strong academic foundation. REC is a 5 month course that employs child-friendly activities to support interest and facilitate learning inside the classroom. These classes are conducted by youths from local communities.
The primary level education is a period where kids develop foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Mastering literacy and numeracy skills at the primary level enables students to pursue higher education. But the core problem that plagues our education system is the disparity between students’ grade level and the learning level they are at. A study from 2012 by World Education showed how only 3.5% of students in Grade 3 could read a grade-appropriate passage of words correctly, while a study done by Save the Children concluded that 80% of students in Grade 2 could not read a single word in Nepali. Because there is often no recourse for these students, they end up failing and repeating classes, ultimately leading to them dropping out. Through Remedial Education Course, students who have fallen behind will have the chance to catch up and retain the foundation they need for their grade-level curriculum.
Some distinguishing elements of CSNepal’s approach towards Remedial Education Courses are:
Our fellows are the local youth of the community, who lead a group of 15 to 20 students. By selecting the fellows from the same communities our students are from, young people get a first-hand look at the problem that occurs in their community. They learn and find ways to support kids to help them catch up in learning. They are selected through a screening process and are given an 11-day residential training on how to handle and deliver remedial classes. Throughout this process, our fellows experience an incredible amount of growth in terms of their level of confidence, critical thinking, patience, and a number of other skills. Most importantly, they see themselves as a change-maker in their own communities and not as a bystander.
Parent’s involvement in their child’s education is one of the best indicators of their future success in school. There are altogether 3 meetings held for each parent within the course of 90 days. The first meeting is held on the first day of REC, and the other two meetings are held after midterm assessment and end-line assessment respectively. We encourage parents to get involved by having conversations with them about how they can help in their children’s education – such as making sure there is a quiet place for their child to study at home, and that they do a regular check-in with their kids about what they have been learning in school. We also encourage the parents to make more frequent visits to the school and have conversations with the teachers about how each party can better support the kids.
To make sure that the fellows are ready to deliver each lesson, a bi-weekly fellow support session is held. These sessions help the team get an overall insight on how their classes are going, what the fellows need help with, the outcomes of the feedback given to them. Fellows also meet their co-fellows and share different classroom stories with them. They also take part in additional training and workshops meant to expose them to new teaching approaches and techniques to further improve their abilities to lead their students inside the classroom.
The 90 days REC is delivered to the students for 2 hours either before or after school time. Each fellow leads a group of 15-20 students. The students learn inside the classroom through child-friendly activities, games, rhymes, all while learning the basic foundational skills of literacy and numeracy.
We have a total of 3 assessments throughout our REC. For baseline assessment, all students from grades 3, 4, and 5 are assessed from the selected schools. We choose the 15 lowest-performing students out of the total for each REC. The results of the baseline assessment are shared with the fellows, parents, and school administration.
Halfway through the course, on the 46th day, we take a midterm assessment to track students’ growth to make sure that the courses are working and that the students are learning. If needed, necessary changes in the course and in fellows’ teaching styles are made.
After 90 classes are delivered, the students are tested again for post-assessment to evaluate their learning level. The data obtained from this test are compared to the result of the baseline test taken initially to measure students’ learning growth.
Fellows are also encouraged to take regular assessments in the classroom to keep daily and weekly track of their students’ progress.
We have reached a total of 375 students and completed 25 fellowships in Hetauda and have reached 600 students and completed 39 fellowships in Tulsipur through this program.
Learning At Home is a distant learning program for 500 primary level public school students in Tulsipur, Dang which was initiated as a learning intervention during the school closure due to the pandemic. In 2022, we hired 30 fellows to support 500 primary level students through regular phone calls. Fellows work with the students for three months and give them instructions for Nepali and Mathematics lessons. We prepared and distributed an extensive workbook that the students could work on at home to practice the lessons delivered to them on phone.
In Nepal, COVID-19 has resulted in school closures lasting almost 12 months. When children are out of school for an extended period of time, learning outcomes decline. When schools reopen, the new concepts are taught without sufficient support. The impacts of the learning loss are not limited to the short term but are exacerbated over time. This problem is more severe in remote areas where internet access among the general public is almost non-existent. Only a few families outside Kathmandu have access to any form of distance learning. In Tulsipur municipality, where the project took place, only 5% of students enrolled in the 75 public schools in and around Tulsipur had access to reliable internet at home. Since most families have access to either a ‘regular’ phone or a smartphone, a cost-effective alternative was to reach students through texts and phone calls. We began Learning At Home Project as an intervention designed to ensure that students remain actively engaged in learning at home during school closures. The program is designed to be relevant and helpful for the students even after the schools reopen by supporting the students to recover from the learning loss and re/build basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The primary target of the intervention was 500 students attending public schools in Tulsipur, Dang. The intervention benefitted 30 youths who worked with us as facilitators because of the knowledge and skills they obtain by participating in the program. Fellows were trained on the content and curriculum of the intervention for six days. The intervention was successful to reach out to a larger population as the school administration, parents, and the local authorities were also directly involved during the implementation phase.
In the intervention, each facilitator is responsible for 16-17 students. On average, each facilitator spends four to five hours per day helping students. They make two phone calls per week to each student. Each phone call is estimated to last around 45 minutes. In every phone call, facilitators deliver some Mathematical concepts (fx. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division) and teach native language (fx. how to read and write letters, words, sentences, and a story). Each student is provided with a workbook to practice the concepts and materials presented during each phone call. In subsequent phone calls, facilitators ensure that each student has revised/worked on the concept presented in the previous phone call. Facilitators call students continuously for 12 weeks and during this period each student is reached out to 24 times. When the schools reopened, the lessons continued before and after regular school time. Our facilitators in Tulsipur, regularly visited the schools to meet the students and check their workbooks.
We conducted a baseline assessment of the students in Grade 3, 4, and 5 in each of our project schools. Out of the students assessed, 500 lowest-performing students were selected.
After three months since the course began, we conducted an end-line assessment of all students enrolled in the intervention. We analyzed the results from the baseline and end-line assessment of each student to assess the real impact of the intervention.
We have reached a total of 500 students for enrollment and 30 youths as facilitators in the Learning At Home course.
This School Support Program is a year-long program where we are working with 12 primary level teachers from 4 different public schools in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu. This program is run in coordination with Budhanilkantha Municipality. Our partner teachers receive continuous training and support to help them develop their teaching-learning practices for a year. We are supporting the teachers for three subjects: Nepali, English, and Maths. We introduced this program to make a lasting impact on the students. Working directly with the teachers helps us reach more students and pave a way for improved educational practices for the upcoming new batch of students of the school too.
The quality of education, especially in the public school system, remains a challenge. Most teachers employ traditional rote instruction practices, and students merely practice memorizing and chanting the texts rather than actual learning. Teachers lack the basic training in teaching reading skills as such training hardly felt necessary in pedagogical practices (NEGRP, Ministry of Education, Nepal). Most government and donor training programs for teachers are focused on providing short-term training. There are rarely any follow-up academic support to the teachers and monitoring and supervision to ensure that learning has transferred to the classroom. Unfortunately, early grades are not considered very important, and often, the less competent and less experienced teachers are assigned to these grades. Due to this, children are not acquiring foundational learning skills, and most primary public school students are unable to read at their grade level. We need to adapt quickly to address the challenge and empower teachers. Teachers play a vital role to spur children’s learning and spend the maximum amount of time with children developing a strong connection. They contribute to the overall growth of the children. In this regard, Changing Stories Nepal will lead and coordinate efforts of enhancing foundational literacy and numeracy skills to ensure the commitment to – A Nepal where every kid learns, placing children’s learning and teachers at the center of all intervention targeted at reforming the public school system.
School Support Program is a 12 months program that helps teachers in their day-to-day teaching by giving them the relevant curriculum and activity-based training and also regular classroom visits and feedback to develop their practice. Intervention at the teacher and school level will make more impact when it comes to students’ learning and psycho-social development. School Support Program is designed to capacitate every primary level teacher in public schools so that they perform better in classrooms. The project will focus on engaging primary-level teachers (grades 3,4, and 5) in a professional learning environment. We provide them with regular training and mentorship to make sure that the teachers’ learnings are actually being transferred into the classrooms.
Selected teachers go through intensive pre-program training for six days. We continue to provide support and follow-up coaching for each of them. Teachers will meet regularly as part of the Teacher Learning Network, every month, to share about their learnings, challenges, and innovations to learn from each other. Every quarter, the teachers will meet for their continuous professional development where the team will organize follow-up coaching and workshops based on their needs. To help the teachers get more ideas and experience, we will conduct Teachers Exposure Visits, where they will visit different schools to learn from each other.
For the first time implementation of the project, Changing Stories Nepal has partnered with the local government – Budhanilkantha Municipality, to run the project. We selected 12 teachers from 4 public schools in Budhanilkantha as part of the first batch to serve in their classrooms and communities.