Teach for Nepal: Passing the light

IMG_20170409_155828(3rd Cohort: Completion of 2 years fellowship & Induction into the Alumni Movement)

Recently I had an opportunity to attend an annual event program of Teach for Nepal (TFN), committed to end education inequality in Nepal. TFN is doing good job in recruiting/managing fresh and talented graduates for two-year rigorous fellowship program and sending them to teach students in underprivileged rural villages of Nepal, currently in Sindupalchowk, Dhanusha and Lalitpur districts.

IMG_20170409_170300(TFN Fellows: Passing the Light Ceremony)

On 9th April 2017, Sunday afternoon, TFN, along with other awareness raising, informative and cultural events, marked the fellowship-completion of its third cohort program and welcomed newly recruited fellows of the fifth cohort in the Nepal Academy, Kamaladi, Kathmandu, by celebrating “Passing the Light Ceremony”.

IMG_20170409_165145(5th Cohort: Welcoming new fellows into the movement) 

We, as citizens, are more or less aware of the problems faced by our public education sector. One can readily relate to the issues of insufficient number of competent teachers and lack of resources in public schools, especially in remote villages. I was extremely happy to learn that TFN fellows, in their service endeavor, were able to apply insights from their personal learning and professional experiences to bridge the gap of unavoidable educational and social injustice faced by the students of public schools in Nepal.

IMG_20170409_170023(TFN Fellows: Passing the Light Ceremony)

I was impressed to learn that students were not only being taught Math, Science and English in classes but were also being trained to become the successful future entrepreneur of Nepal. Today, we desperately need the kind of workforce which is educated and equally equipped with right kind of skills to start small businesses and create jobs on its own. Besides, TFN fellows deserve big applause for taking leadership initiative in disaster response activities during the Gorkha Earthquake 2015, fighting various social and gender inequalities in the field as well as being instrumental in developing entrepreneurial skills of their students.

IMG_20170409_151650(A dance performance by the students of Shree Secondary School, Bagchauda, Dhanusha District)

I gather that seeking an opportunity in the field of education / teaching did not occur accidentally to the TFN fellows rather it must have happened after a rigorous thoughtful process which could have been hugely influenced by their life experiences, striking reality of the country as well as their personal longing to do the needful.

Personally, I came close to such realization twice myself. The first one, when I was reading this book called “Microsoft Dekhi Bahun Danda Samma” by John Wood, of Room to Read fame, and the second time, when I was watching Salman Khan, of Khan Academy fame, in a YouTube-video explaining how he started tutoring his cousins over the internet. Collaborating with local communities, non-government and government bodies, these organizations have been voicing for quality education, gender equality in education and free education for all. Today, both the organizations have achieved significant success in educating the world in their own unique ways.

Aligning with similar core values and trying innovative ideas to reach beyond, the movement put forth by TFN is highly encouraging and commendable in its own right. In this regard, like many others out there, I feel proud to express my own shared beliefs with TFN initiatives and since have been trying to support it by contributing in whatever small ways possible.

IMG_20170409_170527(One of the stalls, exhibiting students’ creative handicraft and entrepreneurial skills) 

I strongly believe that we tend to become the stories we tell ourselves, thus the only way to bring about change in society is to change the story itself. Teach for Nepal is bringing a paradigm shift in the public secondary school education of Nepal, breaking all the cultural, social and economic barriers. Let’s become a part of this inspirational story, we, someday, will tell the world.

IMG_20170409_170321(TFN Fellows: Passing the Light Ceremony)

(Note: Today, 1st Baisakh 2074 BS, My best wishes and heartiest New Year greetings to Teach for Nepal and all of its collaborators, sponsors, supporters and well-wishers, including past, current and future TFN fellows, who actually make the mission possible on the ground.)

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About SafeNEPAL

Environmental health & safety professionals for planet, people and profit.
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