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Nepal faces large disparities in literacy rates between urban and rural areas, with urban areas recording literacy rates of approximately 73%, but only reaching 43% on average in rural areas. In addition, teachers in rural Nepal receive little or no training and regularly resort to basic rote-learning methods. As a result, attendance rates by teachers and students alike are poor, and schools are very inadequately resourced. These conditions mean that in rural Nepal today, many children do not attend primary school regularly and less than half of the children enrolled in primary school go on to complete secondary school.
In remote communities like the Everest region of Nepal, children as young as 11 carry heavy loads for days at a time and have no chance of receiving the benefits of a basic education. In response to this need, the Australian Himalayan Foundation’s Flagship Teacher Training and Quality Education (TTQE) program, operating in one of the poorest regions of rural Nepal – the Lower Solukhumbu, helps ensure that all children have access to primary education.
The 12-year program commenced in 2005 in the Everest region and was extended to the poorer remote rural schools in the south of Solukhumbu in 2008. AHF’s in-country delivery partner REED employs Nepalese trainers with support from Australian and New Zealand volunteer teachers, to train rural primary school teachers in inclusive, child-friendly teaching techniques.
The long-term objective of the TTQE program is to help over 42,000 children and 1700 teachers in over 300 schools.
Initial training workshops are followed by refresher training and in-service support, with concurrent selection and training of Key Teachers to support and eventually assume training responsibility. Opportunities are provided for participation by female teachers with female Key Teachers given priority for further training.
In addition to normal teacher training operations, the project will also run workshops with School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations to engage support from local communities on inclusive, child-friendly education. TTQE’s Child Clubs engage primary school children in the program and these clubs helps to inform local communities on issues surrounding children’s rights.
The program also aims to strengthen inclusive, child-centred education with a major focus on teacher training, the provision of educational resources for poorly resourced schools and educational support for marginalised and vulnerable children who for various reasons may not be attending school.
We are deeply proud of the difference made so far including the training of 1050 teachers in over 200 schools resulting in:
In this last year, this educational support enabled 550 students to attend school of which: