Conferences & Workshop
Quality in Education: A Development Imperative for Nepal
In 2003, RBF jointly sponsored a five-day national-level conference on improving the quality of education for Nepali children with UNICEF-Nepal and the Nepal office of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Participants from all over Nepal showcased a practical approach to education. Trainers included teachers from Lincoln School, Rato Bangala School and the government sector. Participants from four of Nepal’s five development region worked to present an action plan. Student participants gave presentations on issues that were meaningful to them, such as traffic rules, preserving the environment, supporting libraries, and providing books and stationery to orphans.
Revisiting Minimum Standards
An in-depth paper on minimum educational standards was presented to educationists, university faculty student leaders, journalists and heads of government educational institutions at an interaction session held on June 18, 2006. While standards have focused on physical infrastructure in the past, this presentation highlighted meeting standards in achieving the social and emotional needs of students. Minimum standards, it was argued, can be met only if people at all levels, from the Minister of Education to the individual student, perform their duties to the best of their abilities. The paper made suggestions about what central offices, regional directorates, district education offices, schools, school heads, teachers, parents and students themselves need to do to realize their vision of good-quality education. For a full report in English and Nepali, please visit the publications section.
Quality in the Classroom
The Quality in the Classroom conference, which was held in April 2013, grew from collaboration among RBF, the Department of Education, and other education partners. It brought together a broad range of education stakeholders and leaders, classroom practitioners, international experts, policymakers, and grassroots implementers to share ideas and showcase best practices. The conference hosted 36 presentations and 48 workshops over three days. These sessions encompassed a huge range of issues related to ensuring quality in the classroom, ranging from effective ways to teach mathematics to learning styles to guiding principles. The 662 participants were diverse: they represented 35 of Nepal’s 75 districts as well as 13 countries on six continents. An important achievement of the conference was the synergy that developed among Nepal’s government and non-government sectors and international stakeholders like UNICEF and UNESCO. It is hoped that this conference will guide future activities in improving the quality of education in Nepal’s classrooms, particularly those in public schools and serve as a reference for policymakers, educational experts, and school teachers, in their efforts to improve the efficacy of teaching and learning. ‘Hamro Iskool (School)’ the song launched during the conference has become very popular amongst students.
Bal Sahitya Mahotsav
The Bal Sahitya Mahotsav organized jointly by Rato Bangala School, Rato Bangala Foundation, World Education and UNICEF was held on 21 and 22 February 2015. More than 4000 people took part in the festival which consisted of workshops for children, mural and book making, celebrity book reading sessions along with numerous book stalls. The RBF staff were involved in Early Grade reading book stall, ensuring active participation of Government Officials visiting the festival and participation of Government school children. Famous personalities such as Kanak Dixit, Chandani Joshi, Narayan Wagley and actor Rajesh Hamal attended the Mahotsav.
The second series of Bal Sahitya Mahotsav was held during February of 2016. Both open and closed sessions were ongoing during the day. The guest speaker was Peter Larangis, a well know children’s author.
The third series of Bal Sahitya Mahotsav was held during February of 2017. The Chief Guest for the same was Marcus Pfister, a renowned children’s author from America. Activities included plays, mural making, book making, celebrity read aloud, book signing, face painting etc.
Teachers, students and Principals from the Santi School Project, from Jiri, Lalitpur and Dhading attended the festival on day one and once again on day two. On the second day they were given trainings on ways to conduct BSM in their schools. The training was well received.