Thus Thought's Pilot Project - Chhinamakhu Village, Nepal

Chhinamakhu Village

Thus Thought has selected Chhinamakhu VDC as the site of the pilot project in the Bhojpur district of Eastern Nepal. This village was selected because it is the village that Chandra Rai was schooled and as a result our ability to organize and communicate in this village makes it an ideal site for our initial operations. The tabs in this section include all of the maps and location data, the census and school data, and the SLC Examination pass rate since 1992 for Chhinamakhu VDC.

Chhinamakhu VDC:
  • represented by 1 Chair, 1 Vice Chair and 9 elected officials
  • each VDC is divided into 9 Wards
Number of Wards: 9
  • about 100 households or less in each ward
  • represented by 1 President and 3 elected representatives
Population: 3,288 (Male 1,565; Female 1,723)


Age Group

Total

Male

Female

0-19 1,666 836 830
20-34 642 274 368
35-49 448 203 245
50-69 398 183 215
70 & over 134 69 65
Data - Chhinamakhu VDC Schools

Schools

Chhinamakhu Schools

Grades Offered

Female Student

Male Student

Total

Shree Tribhuvan Ma.Vi., Word No. 2, Chhinamakhu

1 - 5

27

36

63


6 - 8

77

83

160


9 - 10

57

62

119


Total

161

181

342

Shree Saraswati Ni.Ma.Vi., Word No. 8, Rumala

1 - 7

85

81

166

Shree Adarsha Pra.Vi., Word No. 5, Naulagau

1 - 3

-

-

21

Shree Theula Pratawit Pra.Vi., Word No. 1, Suntale

1 - 3

-

-

61

Shree Tribhuvan Ma.Vi., Word No. 3, Ghorenagi

1 - 5

71

60

131

Shree Sapten Pra.Vi., Word No. 6, Chhukalung

1 - 5

45

45

90

Shree Janajagriti Pra.Vi. Word No. 9, Wadumla

1 - 5

41

39

80

ShreeSamudayirAngrejiSchool (Private), Word No.
2, Devisthan

Nursury, K, 1, 2

-

-

66

TOTAL




957


Subjects taught in governmental schools of Nepal:

Class 1 - Nepali, Math and Serophero (Around Neighborhood)

Class 2 - Nepali, Math and Watawaran (Environment)

Class 3 - Nepali, Math, English and Watawaran

Class 4 - Nepali, Math, English, Mero Desh (My Country) and Watawaran

Class 5 - Nepali, Math, English, Mero Desh and Watawaran

Class 6 - Nepali, Math, English, Social Study, Population, Health, Prevocational and Moral Science and Science

Class 7 - Nepali, Math, English, Science, Population and Environmental Science, Social Study and Health

Class 8 - Nepali, Math, English, Science, Population, Social Study, Health Prevocational and Moral Science

Class 9 - Nepali, Math, English, Science, Population, Social Studies

Optional Geography and Education

Class 10 - Nepali, Math, English, Science, Population, Social Studies

Optional Geography and Education



National 10th Grade School Leaving Certificate(SLC) Examination Results

1992 to 2007 Regular SLC Examination Results and Percentage

Year

# Students Taken SLC Exam

Passing Students

Percentage Passed

Remarks

1992

42

14

33.33%


1993

19

4

21.50%


1994

16

6

37.50%


1995

32

11

33.33%


1996

53

3

5.66%


1997

17

-

-


1998

14

-

-


1999

55

21

38.18%


2000

46

4

8.70%

First time ever 1st division

2001

45

7

15.55%

Two 1st division

2002

66

-

-


2003

35

8

22.86%

One 1st division

2004

45

8

17.70%


2005

86

1

1.16%


2006

44

10

22.73%


2007

64

16

25.00%

Avg (16 yrs) => 17.70%



Needs Assessment

Initial Visit

Preparation:

  • Initiated contact with the village school and started getting data.

  • Communicated with the village that we were coming.

  • Setup formal meetings with the school, parents and village officials in two schools.

1stSchool:

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.

2nd School:

Shree Saraswati Ni.Ma.Vi., Word No. 8, Rumala

  • 1 session with the teachers, principle, parents whose children were not regularly attending school.

Other Schools:

  • 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.

Student Home Life:

  • Worked with several different households to observe and understand the household activity such as chores and fieldwork that take student time.

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 Kathmandu to present the school needs and started the process of how Thus Thought can work together with them to address the needs identified.



Initial Visit Findings

Weak Foundation:

  • 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.

Student Life/Time:

  • 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.