Rato Bangala Foundation seeks to ensure the right of all Nepali children to a good-quality education. Since its inception in 2002, RBF as worked as a training institute which provides various types of training to primary and secondary school teachers. More specifically, it collaborates closely with Bank Street College of Education in New York and Kathmandu University in Nepal to run an in-service Primary Teacher Training Programme.
In the first few decades after Nepal’s entry into the modern era, the government focused on the construction of education infrastructure and increasing access to schools. Today, access to primary education is almost universal, for both boys and girls. The quality of education students receive is an entirely different matter, however, as is highlighted by the huge dropout rate at the secondary level. To increase the ability of schools to retain students by offering them a meaningful education in a child-friendly environment, RBF focuses on improving classroom practices, particularly in government schools, where there is profound need for such improvement. RBF’s aim to improve educational quality dovetails nicely with the core objectives of the United Nations’ Education-for-All initiative and the Millennium Development Goals.
With 23 years of experience at Rato Bangala School to draw from, RBF is uniquely placed to ensure that its work is practical and meaningful and that children acquire the life skills they require. The goal of RBF is to transform public schools into child-centered, gender-sensitive, community-owned schools which provide quality education to children. Employing a ‘whole-school’ approach, RBF works with parents, teachers, and administrators as well as students so that all feel empowered and all develop a sense of ownership of their local schools and the quality of education they offer
RBF believes that simple, low-cost and locally available teaching aids be used whenever possible and that classrooms should be organized to promote participatory group-learning exercises in which no student is neglected. In such a set-up, students interact and learn from each other and teachers serve as facilitators and guides.
RBF works with the government both at the central and the local level, thus ensuring the continuity and sustainability of its efforts in changing classroom practice.
In the last 12 years, RBF has successfully introduced its uniquely communal approach in over 700 schools in 22 districts of Nepal. It has trained more than 3,585 teachers and oriented thousands of members of parentteacher associations and school management committees and community leaders.
The direct stakeholder is the student, whose overall (social and academic) wellbeing and development is the central aim of RBF’s work. Three other key stakeholdersare school administrators, teachers, and parents, without whose support and commitment, students will not benefit.
School leaders must create a vision of a child-friendly school that caters to the developmental needs of each student, provides a supportive environment for teachers, and ensures the active participation of parents. RBF’s experience has shown that when school leaders observe educational institutions that function well, they strive to make their own schools better.
For schools to function well and best serve students, teachers must be equipped with the basic skills required for meaningful teaching. When they acquire the capability to create opportunities for students to learn in the classroom, they find meaning in their work and create a better environment for students. Teachers need empowerment and encouragement, and RBF ensures that they get it.
Once parents observe classrooms and see what and how students learn, they begin to value their children’s education more and become active in their children’s learning. In consequence, they desire to actively support the school and take part in its development. Their involvement in turn cultivates a sense of ownership and they become active members of an academic community.
A whole-school approach is a win-win situation in which each stakeholder group benefits more from the collective efforts of all other stakeholder groups than it would individually. When all members of a school community feel that they are inalienable parts of that community, they feel empowered to and desirous of contributing to its further development. The end result is a better school for the students.
It is with great pleasure that we launch the new website for Rato Bangala Foundation. Established more than a decade ago, RBF has worked fastidiously to try and add value to the education for children in Nepal. Working with both public and private schools, RBF strives to bring child-centered methodologies, hands-on learning in safe and enjoyable classrooms for children.
Creating skilled, caring and professional teachers in order to change their attitude and behavior is what RBF strives for. Till date it has trained over 3000 teachers from many parts of the country, with teachers from Kathmand, Dailekh, Gulmi, Dolakha and Kavre being the primary beneficiaries. The work done by the Foundation is directly linked to meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG-2) for education, and the goals "Education for All" by the year 2015. For its work in teacher training ,RBF received the prestigious UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Training in 2012. With the proceeds from this award, and the support of many Development Partners in Nepal, RBF conducted an international level conference titled "Quality it the Classroom: A Development Imperative for Nepal" in April 2013.
RBF continues to bring innovative and meaningful teaching methods and material into the classrooms. Of note is the English audio tape which is developed for independent leaning by students in the secondary level, and for use by teachers in the primary level classrooms. The work for the audio-tapes have been done with support from the Curriculum Development Center of Nepal. Presently RBF together with World Education has developed an effective package to teach reading (Nepali) in the early grades. This package is being piloted in many schools around the country, and will be revised before being finalized.
It is clear that no matter how much money is spent in education, how good the physical facilities of schools are, little will happen for the future development if the teaching/learning practices within classroom are not transformed. A focused program that gives attention to details must be put in place. Improving education at the mass level is a difficult proposition, but it is essential if we are to ensure a better future for our children, generations yet unborn, and tackle poverty and hunger.
In reviewing the education goals within MDG, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has spoken of the need to abandon the 'business as usual' approach and to invest time and effort, among other things, on training teachers right. This focus on teacher training is appropriate and goes to the heart of improvement of education. The focus on teacher training may be considered unglamorous by some and obvious by others, but as identified by the UN Secretary General this is crucial for Nepal in order to develop hope for the future.
We hope that this website is able to bring to you the essence of Rato Bangala Foundation.
|1.||Shanta Dixit : President|
|2.||Milan Dixit: Vice President|
|3.||Uttam Thapa: Treasurer|
|4.||Maya Sherpa: Member|
|5.||Astha Thapa Pande: Member|
|6.||Maneesh Shrestha : Secretary|
|7.||Shankar Pandey: Member|
|8.||Ram Bhandari: Legal adviser.|
The Foundation occupies two stories of a building, within the Premises of the Rato Bangala School but is a separate entity. The Foundation comprises a total of 6 office rooms for all staff members which includes the publications Department, an office for the accountant, a room for the trainers etc. In addition the Foundation consists of two large training rooms for long and short term training purposes.