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The Footprints Network funding is helping to improve the education of nearly 6000 children, 350 teachers in 59 schools in the Nele district, which is part of the Solu Khumbu region.

Unlike its more prosperous Sherpa communities that live beneath of the shadow of Everest, Sotang is in dire need of support. Educational facilities are basic with some schools accommodating over 100 children in one classroom, where teachers have little or no training and where children regard textbooks as a luxury. It is therefore not surprising that educational outcomes are among the lowest in Nepal.

Program Objectives

  • Develop child-centred teacher training methods
  • Provide relevant and appropriate teaching materials and resources to schools
  • Increase teacher and student attendance, increase girls’ enrolment in schools, and reduce drop-out rates of children from schools
  • Promote mechanisms for reliable and fair annual assessment of student achievement
  • Ensure that the key teachers are selected and extra training given for their capacity building in classroom support and management

Photo: One of the volunteer teacher trainers


Between November 2011 and December 2012, the following workshops were held

  • Key teacher training (in Nele, Salleri, Sotang & Khumbu)
  • In-school support training (in Nele, Sotang and Khumbu)
  • Refresher training (in Solu Khumbu)
  • SMC/PTA Training  (in Nele and Sotang)  
  • Basic Training Workshop (in Nele)


There have been significant ongoing challenges in improving the level of teacher training in rural communities. These include:

  • The commitments and skill of the teachers is often disappointing – simply put, they have no idea how to teach
  • The percentage of new untrained teachers being appointed.
  • Knowledge of subject content often very weak
  • Parents often don’t understand the value of education, and encourage students to work as porters, help in the fields, look after the children.
  • School Management Committees and parents and even headmasters often have a poor understanding of the role they can play in improving education standards in the school.
  • Lack of teacher learning materials
  • Lack of support for the poorest students.
  • Class sizes are incredibly high with small dark classrooms
  • Lack of Stationery for the children
  • Limited areas or facilities for the children for recreation.

Program Outcomes

  • Improved teacher training as is evident by the workshops attended by nearly 300 teachers
  • Access to more relevant and appropriate teaching material and resources - including regular supplies of textbooks and writing books to all schools in the district
  • Increased teacher and student attendance and girls’ enrolment and reduced student drop-out rates – with encouraging figures over the last two years
  • Improved understanding of quality student assessment by trained teachers and Government agencies  - as is evident from the marked improvement of support by the district education offices
  • Development of a team of education resource personnel and a Key Teachers Program to implement ongoing training and support activities – again encouraging signs with 16 outstanding teachers being selected for advanced training.  

Future plans

This report covers the first year of the 3-year quality education program in the Nele district (December 2011 to December 2012).

Activities in Nele provide part of an overall 9-year program in the Solu Khumbu region that affects over 30,000 children and nearly 1050 teachers in 207 schools that extend from the impoverished foothills to the base of Mt Everest.

The program intends to expand into the nearby district of Necha with in 2014 following the completion of the Nele program.  However to ensure the sustainability of the program and improve educational standards further refresher training and key teacher training workshops will continue and further educational resources supplied to the Nele district.

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