Encouraged by the success as well as the lessons learnt from the Dailekh School Project, RBF decided to replicate the program in other districts. In partnership with the Department of Education, it launched the three-year Enhancing Quality of Basic Education in Western Gulmi Project in 2012. This project covers 31 government schools in six remote village development committees in western Gulmi. Beneficiaries include 4,000 children, 200 teachers, and 100 school leaders, catering to a large number of children, most of whom are ethnic minorities.
It is designed to enhance the quality of basic education and promote Education for All, it recognizes that children learn best when they are active members of a classroom community. The Enhancing Quality Basic Education (pre-primary to grade VIII) in Western Gulmi Project introduces major educational innovations to provide good-quality basic education in a child-friendly, gender sensitive and cost-effective manner, in a deprived area of rural Nepal. The project develops and refines teacher-training programs and classroom improvement methodologies which can be replicated in other districts. The project trained 200 school leaders through an intensive three-day residential joint planning workshop.
The 200 school leaders then selected at least five of their most promising primary teachers to participate in a 12-month training (one month of face-to-face training at the district headquarter followed by five months of supervised practice-teaching in their own schools and then this same cycle repeated before certification according to demonstrated performance). These teachers were then responsible for improving the overall quality of education in their schools.
Eventually, all teachers of the chosen 31 schools were trained in the child-centered approach to teaching and learning. At the end of the training program, all schools received a package of teaching materials for their classrooms and books for their libraries.
Resource Persons and School Supervisors were responsible for carrying out the level of supervision required to ensure sustainability and continuity of the program.
The project has a two fold objective:
- Help the 31 selected schools meet the minimum enabling conditions outlined in the School Sector Reform Program by 2015. These include improvements in physical facilities and the learning environment.
- Help schools develop into child-friendly schools as envisioned in the National Framework for Child- Friendly Schools to ensure Quality Education. To ensure sustainability, RBF will develop a replicable model for transforming public schools that function poorly, into child-centered, gender-sensitive, community-owned schools which provide good-quality basic education to children by building the needed skills and changing the behavior of teachers and parents and creating a system that can support such transformation.