Dailekh School Project
RBF works closely with Rato Bangala Partnership in Outreach Program (RBPOP), the charitable wing of Rato Bangala School. In the first five years of its operation, RBPOP selected five districts—Dhading, Dailekh, Lalitpur, Makwanpur and Myagdi—in which to partner ten school each. All aspects of teaching and learning in these fifty partner schools improved. Working closely with the Department of Education, this public-private partnership emphasized student-centered learning and the empowerment of all members of a school community. After five years of such wide, and therefore necessarily diffuse, support, RBPOP turned its focus entirely on the remote district of Dailekh, intending to have a more profound, concentrated impact. The Dailekh School Project is a one-of–a-kind project.
With support from RBPOP, RBF, and the government of Nepal (the Department of Education, NCED, Dailekh District Development Committee, one municipality and 55 village development committees), the DSP strived to lead efforts in educational development across the district. DSP sought to overhaul teaching and learning at a scale that would touch each and every household and thus be a catalyst for socio-economic transformation. It aimed to improve community school education in Dailekh so that it is at par with national standards for classroom practice but still contextualized to fit the local conditions. DSP trained school leaders and teachers, provides backstopping activities, fostered the formation of child clubs, offered supportive supervision, and supplied teaching and learning materials for various subjects. As of April 2014, DSP had intervened in 513 schools and had trained more than 2,000 teachers and impacted 75,000 students. In keeping with its philosophy that all stakeholders must be actively involved to transform an education system, RBF ran workshops for school management and other relevant authorities.
In 2009, 900 heads of schools and leaders of school management committees of each school in Dailekh came to RBF to reflect on the project and to develop individual five-year school improvement plans. School supervisors, planning officers from Dailekh District Development Committee and Resource Persons from the Dailekh District Education Office also participated in the workshop, as did the coordination committee members of various political parties, Village Development Committee secretaries and executive officers of Narayan Municipality. A little over halfway into the project, 1,849 teachers in Dailekh had been trained. In addition, selected lead teachers from 350 schools came to Kathmandu to undergo a long-term residential training. The DSP was unique and ambitious project that has changed the way non-state actors work both in teacher training as well as in collaboration with the government.