Pemba Diki Sherpa is a teacher at Shree Himalaya Basic School in Namche. She has been teaching for four years and wants to tell you about some of the changes in her classroom thanks to the Himalayan Trust education and literacy programme.
“I feel there has been a drastic change. Before we were limited to teaching from the text book. The teacher just speaks, and the students are sitting and looking.
“Now we teach children from lots of different story books. The children are doing creative writing and drama. They are writing about themselves and their families.
“In the morning in my class we have a class assembly and sing a Nepali song together on carpeted area. Then the students share their news and then I read them a story. After the story, the children ask lots of questions and do creative writing based on the book. The children also do some group work, buddy reading with an older student, and children get a chance to choose a story book to read by themselves.
“I think the children in my class really enjoy the group work where they can interact with friends and learn from each other.
“The students are responding very positively. In previous years when we were limited to text books, student’s knowledge was limited to book. Now students can share feelings and thoughts and ask many questions.
A good challenge
“At first it was a challenge to teach this way because it was all new. But it gets easier and I am enjoying it. I like being able to interact with the students and learn things from the students as well.
“The training coaches were with us at school for 15 days and we learned the skills by working alongside them. We also had a week of training at a nearby school. Then we practice the skills in our classroom. The coaches will come four or five times each year and see how we are getting on and help us with more coaching.”
Involving parents at school
“I am a parent and member of school committee. I have a son age seven and daughter age nine at the school.
“Before this programme we didn’t have a chance to read a story at home with our children. Now the children can bring home a book and we can read with them. This is also helping some of the parents too.
“I think it is important for parents to be involved in school because it is good for parents to see for themselves about the quality of children’s education. Through the literacy programme parents were invited to school and found out more about what happens at school and why.
“Some parents now also come in to school and do some classes like cooking.
“Before this programme, parents were not interested to come to school. Now 80% of parents are really interested what’s happening at school.
“I would like to thank New Zealand from bottom of my heart for supporting the literacy programme and schools in the Khumbu area,” says teacher Pemba Diki Sherpa.