Chhonhup Winter School
Placement of a professional teacher from Australia to help with teaching children and the professional development of local teachers. Providing educational material for the school.
- Location : Archalbot, Pokhara, Kaski District (GPS: 28.234080, 83.976400)
- Institution : Chhonhup Community Winter School (6 schools combined from the Chhonhup VDC, Upper Mustang).
- Population : Students: 30, teachers: 8, grades: 1 to 4
- Date : Nov 2015 to Feb 2016
- Category : Educational Aids, Teaching, Training,
Before the start of the winter months, when temperatures are approaching freezing point during the day, schools in the Upper Mustang region near the Tibetan border with Nepal close their doors and move to lower altitudes to continue teaching. Essentially, there is a winter migration of schools to warmer areas for around four months of the year.
In 2014, we met the teachers and children from six primary schools from the Chhonhup VDC in Upper Mustang soon after they completed a three-day journey from their mountain home at an altitude of around 4,200 metres to the warmer outskirts of the city of Pokhara where they rented a one-room building. This became their home and classroom for all grades during October to February.
The children slept on mattresses a few inches thick on a bare concrete floor and a courtyard at the rear of the building, covered with a plastic tarpaulin and furnished with plastic chairs, was were many classes were taught.
The six schools come together during the winter months to become the Chhonhup Community Winter School. Teachers conduct classes during normal school hours and after hours they become the children’s carers. The parents go to other parts of Nepal or India for three to four months to earn money to support the family for the coming year.
Over the years’ the Chhonhup community collected enough money to purchase land, located 15km West of Pokhara, to build their own school but not enough to start construction.
We placed an experienced teacher at the school for three months to help with teaching and the professional development of local teachers. We also provided educational support for the school in 2016 with the purchase of text and reading books, pens, writing books, and learning materials. In 2015, we provided the initial funding to help commence the construction of the new school.
Congratulations to Monica Lamperd on being the first participant in our Early Career Leadership Program (ECLP). The ECLP is a leadership development and skills-strengthening opportunity for passionate, creative and determined young people who have recently completed or are in their final year of study in the areas of education, development studies, engineering or other fields that are complementary to the Foundation’s core areas of work. The program provides leadership training and identifies and builds on the strengths of participants as leaders.
The program also provides the opportunity for participants to put these skills to the test during their Nepal assignment through helping to contribute to long-term community development goals in a cross-cultural environment. Monica worked on a number of projects in Nepal but her primary focus was to work with local teachers for three months at the Chhonup Winter School. Monica’s focus was to work with local teachers on improving the reading and communications skills of the children. She also worked on the professional development of teachers and helped them to plan classroom activities and prepare teaching resources.
Monica first went to Nepal in 2014 on the Pathways Program and spent three weeks teaching English to grade six students. She developed valuable skills for teaching English as a Second Language and fell in love with the country and its people.
She returned to Nepal on the Early Career Leadership Program a year later and spent three months teaching at a boarding school for kids from the Mustang region near Tibet. She also worked with local teachers to develop educational resources. Monica was appointed as our Pathways Program Coordinator and is looking forward to introducing new volunteers to the program.