Like in the UK, schools in the Taplejung region of Nepal had to close to students. It was heart-breaking to think all the progress children and young people made thanks to our teacher training, improved learning environments and growing attendance rates was going to be jeopardised as a result of this virus. Fortunately, we were able to provide financial support to REED Nepal, our partner on the ground, to roll out a virtual support programme for head teachers and teachers to provide a virtual learning programme and to make sure they kept up to date with the welfare of their pupils and families. As you might understand, there are many more barriers and limitations to provide a virtual learning environment in remote areas. Parents from poor households are not able to afford the technology, i.e. smartphone, PCs or TV’s. Similarly, there is limited access to radios. We supported the development of educational radio programmes and the roll-out of radios to families who didn’t have access to them in order for the children to keep up with lessons at home.
As schools are slowly opening up again, we focus on counselling so fear of the virus isn’t a barrier to children returning to school as well as the promotion of a clean school environments. Further workshops with head teachers and teachers have resulted in effective planning to help children catch up on missed parts of their studies as quickly as possible.
Good hygiene is very important in combatting the virus. We launched a School Hygiene Project which saw the delivery of soap, wash kits, towels and toilet cleaning products to 35 schools. All 2,700 children were given a demonstration in good handwashing and have been taught about the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of diseases. A short video demonstrating good practice has been instrumental in raising public awareness in the communities. Thanks to a generous group of donors from Rotary District 1100 and Inner Wheel District 10 we have also made progress in the sanitation project in Lelep which we started pre-Covid. This will see the provision of toilet and shower facilities at the girls’ hostel there.
The focus on improved hygiene habits as a result of the virus will be beneficial for years to come so we were very happy to temporarily divert our usual focus to this area. Saying that, we can’t lose sight of our responsibilities to continue to deliver our Education Programme and are looking forward to expand our programme of Quality Teacher Training to other areas within Taplejung and to continue to improve the learning achievement at our schools whilst ensuring retention and enrolment of children meet and exceed benchmark standards.
John and Tim, our Education Programme Trustees, would like to say a huge thank you to you. We rely on your continued support to be able to make this happen!
Encouraged by our work? Please consider making a donation, the communities of Taplejung appreciate any support you feel able to give.
Here is what a few well-known climbers have to say about the mountain people of Nepal in a short film. Worth a watch! Click here