Building a strong foundation for children's education.
Nov. 20, 2018
Ujjwal sir, as the students call their Janak Secondary School math teacher, is at the whiteboard with marker in hand.
He can't be stopped.
Left to the right he works, light on his feet, flicking out percentage, stacking towers of numbers, turning grade 9 into a gallery of cave art.
And here's the really impressive part:
Every student is locked in. There's no daydreaming or goofing.
Twenty-five youngsters watch and listen as a smiling Ujjwal Shrestha takes his math class on a thrill ride of the banking world through a maze of interest rate and loans, out to prove consequences of not paying bills on time, or you are setting yourself up to pay compound interests.
He puts the cap back on the marker and turns around and says to his students, "Get to work!" and claps his hands really fast.
Six students split into two groups and each group pulls out name cards that say, ABC Bank and XYZ Bank respectively. While the rest of the students act as banking customers.
As some of the students start counting the money they made using scratch paper, Nabindra, grade 9 student, tells me the formula looked so hard to understand in the beginning, but now, it's easier. And he has this to say about Ujjwal's way:
"He teaches us in such an interactive environment, it is very hard to forget even if we want."
In many schools in Nepal, teachers apply difficult and cumbersome processes to teach students and the students are encouraged to learn an overwhelming amount of information by drill in an ever-dwindling period of time. It's no secret that young children learn by watching the world around them and teachers need to be more creative in teaching the subject to make students interested in it.
"To help maximize student's learning, I play different roles and adopt corresponding approaches to cultivate student's interest," says Ujjwal. "Sometimes I am a Facilitator, sometimes an Evaluator and Coach and other times an Expert."
According to Ujjwal, one factor to make learning task meaningful for students is to show them the purpose of it. By showing purpose, students showed a strong, positive relationship with the curriculum and did well because the subject content interested them. Interest is more related to performance than students’ beliefs about the importance of effort or natural abilities.
Rising income inequality in the country has imposed a double burden on schools serving low-income children. Teach For Nepal Fellows are bringing teaching and technological revolutions in the classroom across the country to increase skills in students required for a good job in a globalized market.
In the last year alone 95% of students taught by Teach For Nepal Fellows from 32 schools in three placement districts (Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk and Dhanusa) passed Secondary Education Examination (SEE) allowing them to continue on to higher education. More than 50 students taught by Teach For Nepal Fellows are currently pursuing higher education with a full scholarship in Kathmandu and six are currently studying in Germany, India, Bosnia and the United States of America.
|Ujjwal Shrestha completed his Bachelor's of Business Administration from Nepal Commerce Campus. He is currently serving as a Teach For Nepal Fellow in Janak Secondary School, Gimdi, Lalitpur.
Currently, 110 young leaders from the diverse educational background are working as Fellows in 51 schools in Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk, Dhanusa, Parsa, Lamjung and Dang.