We have obtained the following results after implementation of the girl’s education program in 3 public schools. A total of 115 girls of grade 8 have been benefitted from this program to date. The following are the outcomes;

• Transformed educational system from conventional method to cooperative learning method;
• Improved academic achievements of girls especially in Math, Science and English;
• Decreased dropout rates of girl child in grade 8 - 12;
• Ensured that the entire girls of the school get through the SLC examination with good division
• Prevented early marriage of girls;
• Assured to pursue higher secondary education (Grade XI and XII),
• Empowered the girls to be self - sufficient and self sustained in their later life;

Supporting Academic Achievements for Girls:

A Home-School Support Program

 People from all over Nepal come to Kathmandu with an aspiration to get employment opportunities to sustain the family needs. On the contrary, they end up doing unskilled work on a daily basis. A large numbers of their daughters and other girls are also working as a domestic labor at the house of higher class people. The money they earn is insufficient for the family to live with, thus, the education of their children remains in lower priority so much so that the girls become weak and vulnerable in carrying out their individual roles and responsibilities as a member of the society. Majority of students of the local people of Kathmandu City send their children to private schools which charges high amount of fees and in return, they provide better education for them but the children of daily wage workers are compelled to send their children in public schools.

The public schools provide free education but these are poor in quality and standard. The free education provided by the public schools mainly covers tuition fee but they still have to manage other cost for teaching/learning materials, books, copies, bags, uniforms, extra-curricular materials, sports, Tiffin, and stationeries etc. These items become a huge burden for the family. In addition, the domestic labor (students) has no alternative except to join the same public school. The private education system, which is very expensive, is far to reach for low income family (daily wages worker). The overall success percentage of private and public schools is 41% (SLC report, 2013) whereas it is below 30% in public schools. In the case of above mentioned girls, the percentage goes even down than 30%. The main reason behind this low pass percentage among girls of public school is because of un-effective teaching/learning pedagogy. Furthermore, the school still follows conventional teaching/learning practices with focus on rote-memorization without understanding. The teaching is totally based on lecture method among larger group of children (45-50 in one class). There is extreme lack of individualized support and assistance for the girls to help them with challenging (hard) subjects like Math, Science and English, in which they hardly pass through. The teachers themselves are not efficient and competent enough, especially, in the above subjects. The schools do not have appropriate and effective academic tools, equipments and materials. So, there is greater need of teaching/learning material in each public school. The ratio of students and teacher is as high as 45:1 in each class room. The parents and/or guardians are mostly illiterate and/or semi literate. They can neither guide their children at home, nor, they can afford extra cost for tuition/coaching for their children. So the girls gradually get detached from the school education while studying in grade secondary level.

While implementing the ECE program, we realized greater problems of the older children aged 14-18 years studying in grade 8 – 12 in regards to their educational achievements because almost 70% of them were un-successful in School Leaving Certificate (SLC)-the national board exam, resulting in their gradual drop-outs from the school and leading them into early marriage. After marriage, they never get chances again to join the school. ICRI-Nepal, therefore, introduced educational support program targeting the girls studying in grade 8 since July 2013. The 8th grade is the foundation step to intervene this type of supporting program towards SLC and higher secondary education. So the program will reach up to grade 12, accordingly. The goal of the program is to ensure academic achievements of girls at least up to higher secondary level from low income, marginalized and vulnerable family through home-school support program.
The activities carried out by ICRI-Nepal

The activities carried out by ICRI-Nepal

ICRI-Nepal works with the school administrators and School Management Committee (SMC) to garner support for delivery of quality education within the school set-up. We organize periodic meeting/s with them to identify the causes of their weakness and thereby provide individualize support for her not only to score good marks in the exams but also for their overall development. Furthermore, we organize training and orientation sessions for the teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills in delivery for effective methods with specific lesson plans based on cooperative learning approach.
We focus on cooperative learning approach, and most importantly, work with the subject teachers to help them deliver the educational contents in the most effective and appropriate manners in the class room set-up as well as introduce formative and portfolio evaluation systems on periodic basis. In the beginning, we conduct diagnostic tests in above mentioned subjects. Under the new approach, the trained subject teacher divides the whole class in to small peer led group consisting 4 students in each group. Each group-work activities have been designed with 5 Es (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluations) to assure effective peer learning achievement. The subject teachers are further trained on new techniques such as cooperative learning approach, demonstrative and discovery methods to have equal opportunity to their academic improvement as well as personal development. Also, we organize teaching/learning materials development workshops for the subject teachers out of the found (inexpensive) objects/materials. Our master trainers constantly mentor, coach and guide them to ensure best utilization of the materials at the class room set-up. Besides, we organize monthly meeting/s with the teachers to share problems, ideas and information to come up with appropriate solutions and strategies for further intervention.

The center of our program is the delivery of direct support and assistance (subject coaching/tutoring) for the girls. Each subject tutoring class is conducted for 40 minutes (3X40=120 minutes i.e. from 8:00 – 10:00 in the morning). The coaching/tuition classes are based on latest learning principles and experiential learning cycle. We periodically take achievement tests except the written ones of the girls to make sure that they continue to build up their understanding and enhance competencies for their overall development including grade promotion (pass through the exams they appear in). Apart from the regular coaching/tuition class, our ongoing research and experiences show that their participation will be highly ensured if we could additionally provide stationary supplies, uniforms, books and lunch for the girls. The coaching/tuition is provided by the highly trained subject teachers with major strategies like; individualized guidance, mentoring and support. We have observed in our ongoing program that the girl’s participation in the program is increasing (it went up to 42 from 24) and their internal term exam results have been improving with greater scores especially in the coached subjects.
We have also been collaborating with community is a key program activity to raise awareness among parents and guardians and to help them realize their vital roles in helping their children while they are at homes. This activity has somewhat created enabling environment for the girls to focus on their study at homes.

ICRI Nepal Projects

Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility

National Center for Learning Resources

Network for Children Prisoners and Dependants

Infant Care Facility Improvement Project

Supporting Academic Achievements for Girls

GPO Box: 25946, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: +977-1-50-10986
FAX: +977-1-55-50985

Email: icri@icrinepal.org