Khas (Kshatriya/Chhetri (15.8%), Thakuri/Chhetri (1.47%), Brahmin/Bahun (12.7%), Magar (7.1%), Tharu (6.8%), Tamang (5.6%), Newar (5.5%), Muslim (4.3%), Kami (3.9%), Rai (2.7%), Gurung (2.5%), Damai/Dholi (2.4%), Other 92 ethnic groups (including Sherpas) (less than 2 % each)
Nepali (69%), Maithili (7%), Bhojpuri (5%), Tharu (3%), Tamang (2%), Gurung (1.5%), Newari/Nepal Bhasa (1%), Magar (1%), Awadhi (1%), Rai (1%), Limbu (<1%), Bajjika (<1%), and Other 81 languages (total less than one percent of the population)
Labor Force (2004 estimate):
manufacturing/craft-based industry: 6%
5 Development Regions
3,913 Village Development Committees (VDC)
1 Ministry of Education
5 Regional Directorate
34 Educational Training Centers (ETC)
75 District Education Offices
Pre-Primary (ages 3-5) - "Shishu"
Primary (grades 1-5) - "Pra.Vi"
Lower Secondary (grades 6-8) - "Ni.Ma.Vi"
Secondary (grades 9-10) - "Ma.Vi"
Higher Secondary (grades 11-12), also known as I.A and 10+2 - "Uccha Ma.Vi."
School One: Shree Tribhuvan Ma.Vi., Word No. 2, Chhinamakhu
Observation of living conditions as well as informal meetings; discussing pressing issues with students, parents, and teachers.
Organizing formal meetings with the teachers in 2 sets of meetings:
Introductory meeting to tell them about Thus Thought and determine their needs
Followed by 14 class observation/audit in different subjects from grade 1-10 taught by different sets of teachers.
Held 3 sets of meetings with students from grades 1-5, 6-8, and 9-10 to better understand the needs of the students.
Follow-up meeting with teachers to get their feedback and initial ideas.
Formal meeting with parents of top students, teachers, principles, and village officials.
School Two: Shree Saraswati Ni.Ma.Vi., Word No. 8, Rumala
1 session with the teachers, principle, parents whose children were not regularly attending school.
Observe the conditions of the school infrastructure.
Visited 5 of the 8 schools to observe the conditions of the infrastructure and understand the distance between houses and schools.
At home met with a 1st grade student who attended private school to better understand the difference of resources such as materials and curriculum between public and private schools.
Understanding the Student Life:
Worked with several different households to observe and understand the household activity such as chores and fieldwork that take student time.
Search for Positive Deviance:
Worked with the different elements of the village from students to teachers, to differences in home life in order to discover traces of positive deviance. Analyzed why some students perform better than others. What are the parents doing differently than other parents? What are students doing differently than other students?
Team Building and Organizing
Determined which people in the village would be great to work with and engage with.
In Katmandu, brought together Chhinamakhu villagers who have migrated to Katmandu to present the school needs and started the process of how Thus Thought can work together with them to address the needs identified.
Students in all grades felt that they were weak in Math, Science, and English. These are the subjects that students usually fail in SLC examinations. Refer to Appendix C for information on student pass rate on SLC examination from 1992 to 2007. The average pass rate for 15 years is only 17%.
Both a confidence and knowledge issue.
Too much focus on imparting subject material from textbook.
Lacking other skill sets such as research, presentation, working in groups, thinking, creativity, self-directed learning, and civic duties.
The quality of the 8 schools were all different. When the students graduated from the 1-5 school and joined the main school, their knowledge level was not at the 6th grade level of the main school.
Lack of Rich Learning Environment
Mostly using textbook and classroom lecture method.
Concepts such as Australian explorers, which they were learning in English, were far from the student learning schema. For example, learning about explorers with small, low-quality, black and white pictures in the textbook is not conducive learning the class material.
Even the teachers who are mostly local, have not traveled outside the village, find it hard to make the students understand such material.
Students Not Empowered
There is no student organization or representation where they can utilize their leadership skills, organizing skills, working in teams, or have a voice in their education.
The student learning structure is “Top Down” rather than interactive in which students do not have the ability to give and receive feedback.
Students are not being utilized for responsible tasks such as library or computer lab supervision and management. For example, a teacher was in charge of opening the library but she does not have time in her day to open it. Therefore students only have access to the library once a week for an hour. Students could easily run this for little training and low supervision.
No student clubs based on their interests in which they can learn valuable tasks such as organizing, raising funds, or practicing English.
Daily household chores. Amount of chores vary by family. Have to find time to study between their home chores and field work.
Distance from school can be up to 2 hours each way and still have to do their chores at home both before and after.
Certain seasons such as harvesting/planting time, the children have to do more work than usual.
Most parents are not actively involved in the students education. They send their children to school but they do not really follow up to their attendance and what they are learning at school.
In most cases the parents are illiterate, so they do not understand how much time the students need for their education as well as cannot assist with assignments and coursework.
Varied Teacher Quality
Teachers go through a 10 month training course once in a career. Also, teachers within the village attend this training session at varied times so that the information is not current and consistent.
There is no formal “knowledge sharing” between teachers. Therefore techniques and strategies that are or are not working are not addressed amongst teachers.
There is no ongoing assistance to help with the implementing what they have learned in their training course. Therefore benefits of undergoing the training are lost over time.
Teaching quality varies between schools. Therefore, when students are put into upper level courses their skills are vastly different depending on where they have attended previous schooling.
Education is not only about teachers teaching. Another major component of being successful at school is for students to become more effective at learning. Understanding how he/she learns, how to manage his/her study, and applying specific study techniques to enhance learning are very critical for success. Reading for comprehension, writing with conciseness, taking quality lesson notes, relating knowledge for understanding, and preparing and taking exams are some of the fundamental techniques that will help to improve a student's performance at school. The goal of How to Learn program is to help students become better at acquiring new knowledge, which will help them succeed in school and life.