Opening the world for students and teachers

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Transforming classrooms and empowering village girls

posted Dec 19, 2013 by Rati Bishnoi

Progress

Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI - www.nepaltti.org) and our partner Her-Turn (www.her-turn.org) are happy to announce that we have already trained 150 village teachers and conducted Girls Empowerment Workshops for more than 400 girls. Teacher trainings were conducted in Sindupolchowk and North Gorkha, remote rural communities with low female literacy rates and high rates of attrition among girls.

Teachers loved our trainings and students told us they enjoyed their classes more after their teachers attended our training. Her Turn Girls Empowerment Workshop participants learned about heath and safety, developed leadership skills, and implemented small community projects. We are thrilled to report that workshop attendance rates exceeded 99 per cent! The girls, school staff and communities report increased confidence levels, leadership skills, and initiative on the part of the girls. A principal told us that Her-Turn workshop participants successfully “shifted the culture” of their school and community.

Risks and challenges

Our major challenge across the past few months has been political instability in Nepal. The November elections were preceded by country-wide strikes which paralyzed public transportation and other services, making it difficult for us to travel to villages to conduct our trainings and girls empowerment workshops.

Get personal

"Before the Her Turn workshop, I used to feel scared to do the things I love, like poetry. I now participate fearlessly in school activities. I just did a poetry workshop and read my poems in front of everyone. " Her Turn participant, 12 " Before our teachers took the training, there was a lot of cramming for the exam and teachers only taught us from the book. Now they ask us questions to make sure we understand and they ask us what we think." Dolma Lama, Nawayug School

Next steps

Because demand for our programs is so high, we are continuing to conduct teacher trainings and girls empowerment workshops for additional communities in North Gorkha.

Budget

Line items Original budget Amount spent so far

Training and follow up support to 200 village teachers

Workshops for 400 village girls

Trainer and staff salaries

Total

$6,000

$2,200

$6,800

$15,000

$4,500

$ 2,200

$5,100

$11,800

 

Report status

posted Apr 23, 2013 by Rati Bishnoi

This project was fully funded on Jan. 21, and Catapult delivered your donations for this project to the Global Fund for Women on Feb. 6. The Global Fund for Women is currently in the process of transferring the funding for this project to Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI). Your donations are scheduled to arrive in Nepal by April 26, so the project can begin on that date.

As a result, a report on the first 90 days of project activity will be provided by the Global Fund for Women and NTTI on July 26. Check back soon and, in the meanwhile, please read about what NTTI has been up to so far this year:

Empowering Women and Girls, Inspiring Teachers, Teaching Change

By Ashley Hager, Project Director

  • In January, we piloted our first Girls’ Sensitivity training to make teachers (especially male teachers who are the majority in government-run schools in Nepal) more aware of the unique needs of female students. The Girls’ Sensitivity Training curriculum is the result of what hundreds of village girls told us about the kind of support they need to stay in school.
  • In January, we also piloted our Her Turn - Girls' Education and Empowerment Program in Timbu village in Sindhupalchok district. Forty female students from a rural government school learned about locally specific health and safety issues, enhanced their confidence and leadership skills, and implemented a small community project in their school.
  • In March, NTTI launched its Cultural Immersion Program to give teachers from the United States a chance to discover what education is like in Nepal, especially for girls. Cultural Immersion Program participants visited a range of schools (urban, rural, government-run and private) and had a chance to observe classes, participate in an NTTI training, talk to students, and even teach.
  • Other exciting news relates to Sumati Shakya, who has been promoted to Education Program Officer from her position as NTTI’s first Master Trainer. In her new role, Sumati will supervise other trainers from different castes and will travel to very remote parts of the country with a team of trainers. These can be challenging responsibilities for a Nepali women and NTTI is extremely proud of Sumati’s rapid professional growth, courage and commitment.
  • Education & training
  • Human trafficking
  • Violence against women

Training 230 women as teacher trainers and school mentors in Nepal's poorest villagers.

Why we care: In some of the poorest villages in Nepal there is not a single woman who can read or write. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are extremely susceptible to being sold into forced marriages or sex trafficking.

How we're solving this: Bringing “Her Turn –The Girls Education and Empowerment Program” to the remotest villages in Nepal.

“Students are thinking for themselves, rather than memorizing what they have been told; they are learning to solve problems and to take a proactive approach to their own lives and to the issues facing their country.” –NTTI staff member

Founded in 2010, Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) works to reduce attrition rates in Nepal, especially among girls, by improving the quality of teaching and encouraging creativity and critical thinking in Nepali classrooms.

Four female teachers trekked six hours across Nepal’s rural landscape to learn how to design engaging curriculum and develop their students full potential as Nepal's next leaders. Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) develops women’s teaching leadership skills in rural communities and, “provides effective and intensive trainings to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and self-advocacy in Nepal’s most disadvantaged schools.” Seventy percent of NTTI’s teacher participants have said that NTTI’s trainings are the best they have ever received. NTTI has already trained more than 1,000 teachers and provided high quality instruction to more than 80,000 students, including 26,000 girls. Leading the way in developing the highest quality teachers in the country, NTTI will now bring “Her Turn –The Girls Education and Empowerment Program,” to the remotest villages in Nepal.

NTTI operates in some of the poorest villages in Nepal, where often there is not a single woman who can read or write. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are extremely susceptible to being sold into forced marriages or sex trafficking.

“Her Turn” will dismantle this dismal outlook on life that many girls face. Not only will NTTI provide young girls with positive female role models and teachers, but the organization will also train 230 women in leadership positions, such as teacher trainers and school mentors. Women teachers who are trained in gender issues are a life-changing resource for students, helping at-risk girls deal with gender discrimination, improving their self-esteem, and avoiding forced marriages and trafficking. NTTI is also conducting "girls' sensitivity trainings to make teachers aware of the unique needs of female students. The workshop was designed as a result of feedback from more than 100 village girls noted that they would be more likely to stay in school if the bathrooms at their schools had locks; if their teachers did not beat them; and if their male teachers refrained from touching them.

The “Her Turn” project will also:

  • Build the self-confidence of 400 village girls
  • Train principles and school administrators on how to combat sex trafficking and domestic violence
  • Train two female teachers to lead train-the-trainer workshops
  • Train a team of female mentors and workshop facilitators to spread awareness that works to reverse the traditional belief that women are intellectually inferior to men
  • Establish a local girls’ support and response committee, especially for girls at risk of sex trafficking…and so much more!

NTTI has already proven that “Her Turn” is a success through their pilot program that was conducted last year, in which girl participants unanimously reported they have increased levels of self-confidence. Help NTTI support a new generation of female leaders and motivated students committed to eradicating illiteracy and empowering girls for a bright future in Nepal.

 

Video Credits

Directed, shot and edited by: Aleksandra Perczynska
Music by: Akashic Records (Creative Commons)

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