SUPPORTING THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF NEPAL
SUPPORTING THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE OF NEPAL

Education

In 1960, a young Sherpa asked Sir Edmund Hillary to help found a school in his village. Nearly 60 years later, the need for schools remains paramount in the villages in the Taplejung district located away from the popular trekking trails.

The area is strikingly beautiful but has no roads or tourism to speak of. A few government schools exist, but these are underfunded and in desperate need of support. We are currently working with five local wards, boosting the skills of teachers and head teachers at 30 schools to benefit the children in this most impoverished district of Nepal. There is much more to be done.

Our Aims & Objectives

Our aims and objectives are simple – to improve the education provided in our project schools, to give children the tools to go on to further education and to better serve the communities in which they live.

Our education work trains local teachers to deliver inspirational lessons and capture young imaginations. We do this through a series of training camps and by providing ongoing support in the classroom. We want to recognise and support those teachers who have shown exceptional skill and adaptability in the classroom and help them become educational leaders and role models.

We aim to work alongside head teachers to train them in school management techniques and enable them to take a pro-active approach to their role and take full charge of their school’s destiny and direction.

We want to work with the wider local communities to make sure they understand the importance of sustainable education and to encourage them to become involved in the development of their schools through school management committees and mothers’ groups. We are also dedicated to providing accessible adult literacy classes to help parents and family members support their children’s learning at home.

Finally, through discussions with all interested parties, we want to recognise the essential needs for each school and, through dynamic funding, endeavour to satisfy those needs on a priority basis.

To date, The Himalayan Trust UK has trained over 750 teachers, enriching just under six million lessons to the children in the mountainous regions of Northeastern Nepal

What We Have Achieved

Our main work in education has focused on teacher training with the result that there is generally a more proactive attitude among teachers, with improved facilities across many schools. We now have a first generation in Taplejung who are all literate and want to learn!

We are focusing on developing the role of key teachers to increase their confidence and capacity to pass on good practice to their colleagues. As part of this work, we have established a close relationship with the Rural Education and Environment Development Centre (REED), who are implementing an agreed programme of teacher training via individual schools and teacher workshops.

Corporal punishment is now banned in the local schools and the attitude towards teaching techniques has shifted alongside this change in policy.

Teachers are more imaginative in their approach, actively engaging with their students who, unsurprisingly, are more excited to learn. These changes, together with the introduction of child-friendly furniture and decorated classroom walls, has created a colourful, vibrant atmosphere more conducive to learning. Clean, fresh drinking water and improved toilet facilities also ensures higher levels of personal hygiene and health amongst teachers and pupils alike. All of these developments have been instrumental in boosting the achievement levels to above the national average, increasing it from 42% when we started to 58% to date.

We are encouraging head teachers too, through tailored training and accountable systems of reporting, to drive improvement in their schools with the support of the REED training team. Both teacher and pupil absenteeism has been greatly reduced since our schemes have been introduced and many schools have benefitted from brand new ECD (Early Child Development) centres aimed at introducing children to education at a younger age.

Since the start of the Trust

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We've provided over 1,600 hours of training modules
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Benefitting more than 20,000 children

What Next?

Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Rather, we must consolidate the work achieved so far and further the confidence of teachers and staff to help their schools move on to even greater things.

We now need to ensure that continuous appraisal of classroom techniques take place, as well as performance assessments of both teachers and pupils to promote best practice and a happy working environment. As our work progresses, so the need for key teachers and head teachers who are committed to success and pro-active in ensuring that progress continues on all fronts.

We expect to see, in the coming years, an improving trend in academic results as pupils come towards the end of their school career and start to think about further education. Our supported scholarship schemes will help children from poor backgrounds pursue further education and secure independence without having to worry about financial implications.

We plan to help schools gain better access to the outside world by supporting local road-building projects, mobile telephone services, increased access to electricity and support with teaching lessons in English. As new technology becomes available to local communities and schools, we want to train teachers to help them use the resources independently and effectively. We would also like to develop a network of volunteers to support the work of teachers in the classrooms, particularly in English, Maths and Science.

Finally, we will work with families and mothers’ groups to sustainably support the children in schools through such initiatives as providing them with cost-effective snacks in the middle of the day to help them focus on their work without feeling hungry.

Get Involved

You can make a difference to the valuable work we do in Nepal by donating money or time to help our worthwhile cause

How Your Support Can Help

The communities of Taplejung will appreciate any support you feel able to give.

Please consider to set-up a regular payment scheme. Click the amounts below to find out how your donations make a difference.

£20 will support >
£50 will support >
£100 will support >
£1,000+ will support >
  • Reading books and stationery supplies
  • Access to adult literacy training classes
  • Warm blanket for mother and baby after delivery
  • Foot suction pump to clear the airways of the newborn
  • Desk and bench for 3 children
  • Week of teacher training
  • Stretcher
  • Nebuliser to help breathing
  • Eco-Child Club mobilisation at a school
  • Teacher training materials and resources
  • Emergency transport for 2 patients
  • 1 month’s fee and living expenses for student Auxiliary Nurse
  • School supplies for half of our supported schools
  • Learning camps to 3 schools
  • Equipment for a birthing centre incl delivery bed, post natal care bed and oxygen supply

Rebuild of classrooms destroyed in the earthquakes of 2015

Following the devastating earthquakes in 2015 we launched an appeal to “Building Back Better” and focused our efforts in three zones – Solukhumbu North, Solukhumbu South and Taplejung. The programme included building earthquake resiliency into building design. Our aim was to rebuild more than 150 classrooms in 47 schools, serving 7,500 students and to equip the schools with sufficient toilet blocks and provide new water supplies. The global Himalayan Trust family, global partners, Government officials, engineers, accountants and the local community made this aim a reality at the beginning of 2018.

As with all our projects, community contribution is a key principle for us. Between 10-25% of the cost of each classroom has been donated by the local community. We have strived to achieve full compliance with the laws and regulations of Nepal and have worked very closely with the Department of Education. Each design was created to ensure the schools are best placed to support the state provided education system.

Our Education programme will continue to work with the schools in Taplejung to improve the education in the area. The improved facilities will help in motivating and encouraging both staff and students resulting in improved attendance and a higher pass-rate.

Our work in Education

Click on the images below, or click here for more information about our work.

Lunchboxes – A Solution to a Problem

We may not have the fondest memories of our school lunches when we were children.  I suspect, however, that they were more important to the rhythm of our day than we remember.  When a group of Trustees travelled to the Taplejung District of Nepal in 2018, a number of the schools we visited asked if...
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Facilitating girls’ attendance at schools

Chhaupadi, the practice of banishing girls and women to a hut or shed when they have their periods, is common in Nepal, particularly in the remote areas. In some parts of Nepal people believe they will be punished by God if women enter the home during menstruation. Although chhaupadi was banned by the Supreme Court in...
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Thanking Mary Lowe for 30 years of service to the Trust

Mary Lowe officially stood down as our Honourable Secretary last year and Rebecca Stephens sits down with her to talk about the early days at the Trust, how our work has involved since then and her most treasured memories of working with the mountain people in Nepal  …. Mary, you are one of the ‘founding...
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Volunteering News

David Wilson is going to Nepal in early November to spend a month working in HTUK supported schools. He is a primary teacher from Manchester, so well used to teaching across the curriculum, and has an interest in cricket. Our Education Programme Team has created an interesting schedule for him. David will start his volunteering...
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