Building a more robust foundation through collaboration - A Story of Collaboration post covid
Sept. 15, 2022
In Talamarag, Sindhupalchowk Fellows Manila Hirachan (2020 Fellow) and Binod Ghimire (2020 Fellow) were disheartened to see students lagging in confidence. The students believed that without sound academics, they would not achieve anything worthwhile in life.
"I had a very specific desire when joining the Fellowship. I wanted to inspire my students to dream big and not let academics limit their aspirations and creativity. I joined Teach For Nepal because I wanted to prepare my students for life, where they could think critically and innovate every day," shares Binod. For Manila, the most significant achievement of the Fellowship would be no different than Binod, which is to serve in the community, transfer her skills and knowledge, and contribute to a better society.
Since the school reopened months after it was supposed to, the Fellows had much to cover from the syllabus. However, Manila and Binod found it pressing to work on the students' mindsets and morale and convince them that their low grades would not end the world.
Both the Fellows worked diligently to uplift students' interest in problem-solving and innovation. They started by founding Eco-Club and STEM Club. The clubs were composed of not just high achievers for the first time. Instead, the majority were the ones who had been struggling academically. Just as their students slowly built their confidence through the clubs, the Fellows learned about the School Innovation Challenge launched by WWF Nepal.
In the beginning, the students showed self-doubt and disinterest. However, with teamwork and a gradual increase in commitment, confidence, consistency, and hard work, they produced a prototype of a dumping truck. A single vehicle capable of serving not just one but two functions. The prototype included the functions of a vacuum cleaner for cleaning school surroundings and a waste collector for managing trash from the Melamchi river. Their hard work paid off. They brought home the trophy that various schools across the nation had competed for.
From gradually gaining self-confidence to being able to think about the conservation of the beautiful Melamchi flowing by their school, the students now seem more ready to pursue what they are capable of. Skipping the important step of building student morale and simply enforcing the conventional system geared solely toward academic achievement was definitely different from what Manila and Binod had joined the Fellowship for.
The pandemic might have come with its challenges, however, with such relentless and dedicated teachers, our vision for our students will still be achievable one Fellow, one student, and one classroom at a time. One day, all Nepal's children will have access to an excellent education.
The following video sums up both Fellow's work during the two years, how they resisted, worked relentlessly for their students during the most challenging times and still managed to achieve what they could at the time. Despite the multiple challenges, both Fellows' resilience and hard work helped them achieve what they had dreamed of when they landed in Terse. Wherein they as well allowed the students to achieve some hope and faith.
Binod Ghimire (Science Fellow) completed his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Tri Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, and Manila Hirachan (English Fellow) completed her Bachelor in Public Health from LA Grande International College joined Teach For Nepal and served Shree Terse Secondary School, Melamchi, Sindhupalchowk.