Attending school regularly is challenging for children in many rural areas of Nepal. The terrain is often rugged, the walk can be long for little legs, and particularly for girls, there is the expectation that they will stay home to help with household chores when needed. Despite these challenges, education is a priority for many families. It is in fact a primary reason that increasing numbers are migrating from rural to urban areas in hopes of a better education for their children.
Through the rural education work MCC supports in Nepal, we accompany our partners to build the capacity of government-run primary schools in rural areas of Morang District, equip teachers with child-friendly teaching methods, and build a sense of enthusiasm among students and parents about regularly attending school.
At Shree Bhawani Primary School, students in Class 5 share about the encouragement they’ve received from MCC and its partner, the Brethren in Community Welfare Society (BICWS), to stay in school (from right to left, Rita Kumari Mandal, Manisha Kumari Mandal, Madhuri Kumari Mandal and Manika Kumari Mandal). In an area where many girls are absent for long periods of time to do housework or drop out altogether after grade 5, these students feel supported by the provision of notebooks and “tiffin” lunch boxes so they can come to school prepared. Rita (far right) is the Chair of the school’s Child Club, which BICWS is also supporting to encourage leadership development and make learning more fun. Rita and the club members recently organized a dance competition for their peers!
Students in Class 4 at Shree Bhawani Primary School work on their lessons, underneath a display of brightly colored books that they made themselves (from left to right: Punam Hembrom, Karishma Thakur, Mankhus Mandal). The idea for creating these books stemmed from a training their teacher attended through the support of MCC and BICWS. Teachers from throughout Jahada Rural Municipality had the opportunity to participate in a series of trainings about child-friendly teaching methods, child protection, and child development. While resources are often limited in public school, these trainings have motivated teachers to develop engaging teaching materials out of locally available materials. Teachers are also beginning to adopt other child-friendly methods such as seating students in groups, creating classroom job charts, and posting children’s drawings on the walls of the classroom in order to foster a sense of pride about their work.
A simple job chart at Kuikunda Primary School in Letang Rural Municipality encourages students to remain actively engaged in the classroom. The idea for these job charts was sparked through the teacher training supported by MCC and the Hilly Rural Development Organization of Northern Morang (HRDON).
Students at Sarswoti Primary school in Jahada Rural Municipality now have a working water pump to wash hands and flush toilets, thanks to the support of MCC and BICWS. Pictured here, children of MCC Nepal staff (Maya, Eden and Rosanna) test out the pump during a visit to the school.
Members of Sagma Secondary School’s child club in Letang work tirelessly to advocate for social issues of importance to their peers, and to encourage students to remain in school. Recently, the child club has been raising awareness about the perils of early child marriage, as it is increasingly common in their area for teenagers to elope and marry without consulting anyone. Those who marry before the legal age tend to drop out of school, experience health issues due to early pregnancy, and are unable to register their children’s births appropriately. The chair of the child club, Dina Rai (far right) shared how they were recently able to mediate in a recent case and prevent a child marriage from taking place! They are also thinking about their club’s ability to sustain itself, and have planted coffee seedlings and vegetables near the school in order to earn income for their activities. The school and child club receive capacity-building support from MCC and HRDON. Child club leaders pictured from right to left: Dina Rai, Bimal Magar, Diksha Rai, Kalpana Magar, and Munal Magar.