"Better Classrooms Better Learning" handbook launched in British Council

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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On February 10th, an important new handbook for schoolsBetter Classrooms Better Learning was launched at the British Council in Lainchaur, in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Education, NCED, Curriculum Department, I/NGOs and education practitioners. It is published both in English and Nepali and is accompanied by a documentary training film calledBetter Learning.

This book has been published in response to the inability of many public schools to implement the policies laid down by government forquality childcentered teaching, and the massive drift of primary school children from public schools into private English medium schools, causing a shortage of pupils and low self esteem and commitment in public schools in Nepal.

The author is Mr. Aidan Warlow, a leading educational author, headmaster and teacher trainer from the UK. Mr. Warlow came to Nepal in 1998 and became the founder Principal of Kathmandu University High School, and later founder Director of the KU Dept. of Art and Design. At the same time, he has been deeply involved in researching and developing primary education in Kavre District.

The British Council, Pahar Trust and Global Action Nepal took the opportunity to publish this handbook for educators, trainers and teachers, in order to create a better learning environment inside the classroom.  Global Action Nepal has been working in the field of quality education for a decade ("putting children at the centre"), and will be working with line agencies of the Ministry of Education and educational I/NGOs to introduce this book as a means of improving the classroom environment and teaching / learning pedagogy.

This book covers the following issues:

  • Classroom organization: appropriate desk arrangement, teaching aids, interactive learning.

  • Specific guidance on developing spoken English

  • Creative writing in Nepali

  • Experimental science

  • Practical Maths

  • Investigatory social studies

  • Effective use of a library.

  • Clear instructions for earthquake drills and emergency First Aid.

The book is accompanied by a film based on the principles outlined in the book, which was taken in a typical village primary school in Kavre. Teachers and students were filmed as they engaged in everyday lessons. The camera intimately followed the children not only during school hours but when they go home to do domestic duties and homework.

We hope that the book and film will give inspiration to schools that are striving to improve performance through their own initiatives. Mr. BK Shrestha, Director of Global Action Nepal, believes that this book can pave the way for attaining quality education in schools in Nepal. Dr Robert Monro, Director of the British Council, said “It is not the fault of teachers or students that they have few resources in their schools. This book will not replace those resources, but we hope that it will help committed teachers to provide a better quality education with what they have.”