National Center for Learning Resources [NCLR]
ICRI-Nepal took over the leadership of National Teachers’ Training Program and transformed it into National Center for Learning Resources (NCLR) in early 2005. The broader goal of NCLR is to transform the dull, rote-memorization, un-stimulating and teacher centered school education system into joyful, meaningful and creative learning environments.
NCLR acts as a technical support group to government and non-governmental organizations, community, public and private schools. NCLR improves the quality of pre-primary and primary education that young children receive in both urban and rural Nepal. NCLR ensures quality education through Teachers’ Training Program and supports the long-term goals of the Education For All Plan that is being implemented by Ministry of Education and Sports, Government of Nepal.
Under NCLR, a seven member Advisory Board Council (ABC) has been formed to guide overall project activities, formulate strategies, drive, expedite and monitor the project progress. The specific objectives of NCLR are to:
-Support young children in making their learning meaningful, joyful and creative through developing a home-school support system;
-Provide an opportunity for teachers to develop their professional capabilities by organizing short-term and long-term teachers’ training programs, conferences, workshops and seminars;
-Develop replicable model and disseminate innovative approaches and materials that help young children to learn in meaningful, joyful and creative ways.
In meeting the above objectives, the project has adopted the following strategies in planning, implementation and evaluation levels and process:
-Development and enhancement of partnerships, collaborations and coordination with government agencies (Districct Education Office), local NGOs, CBOs, corporate houses, and local community groups;
-Community participation and mobilization;
-Stakeholder empowerment such as School Management Committee-members, teachers, parents, guardians, PTA, community people, community trustees, social leaders, social entrepreneurs etc;
-Local and non-local volunteer recruitment and mobilization;
-Mobilization of older children in helping young children learn in the school environment;
-Intensification of local, regional and international networks of people, friends and experts to create a solid base for ECD concept implementation and modifications;
-Integration of other on-going programs of local community into ECD program.
NCLR's activities include training, research, materials development, advocacy and consultancy services for educational programs.
-It organizes Trainers' Training Programs, on-the-job training for pre-primary and primary school teachers, pre-service and in-service training for Early Childhood Development (ECD) program facilitators, and in-service training for supervisory personnel.
-It develops innovative teaching and learning materials and makes them available to interested trainers, teachers, parents and children.
-It organizes seminars, dialogue sessions and exhibitions on pertinent topics and issues for raising awareness about ECD and joyful learning for young children.
-It provides technical assistance in restructuring/re-organizing the pre-school classroom set-up in order to have the real transformation of trained teachers’ knowledge and skills into class room situation
-It conducts community-teaching methods to empower the parents/guardian of young children
-It provides consultancy services for ECD project design on upgrading pre-primary and primary schools.
-It develops IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials that are friendly for the teachers, parents/guardian, and community people to raise awareness on ECD
-It conducts research and advocacy on pressing early childhood issues in the Nepali context.
NCLR has specifically adopted a community mobilization and participation approach in promoting ECD concepts. Specifically, the project has created the following modality:
-A seven-member advisory board council comprised of ECD experts, academicians, master trainers, policy makers, educational leaders has been formed to guide overall project activities, formulate strategies, review objective progress and catalyze the project’s intervention processes;
-Provision of trained coordinators to drive and expedite overall project activities and service deliveries;
-Provision of National Director to mentor overall project activities, and to provide administrative, logistical and managerial assistance;
- Formation of a four-member Project Management Unit (PMU) comprised of 1 advisor, project coordinator, national director and local community representative;
-Formation of sub-committees at the school level to make sure that basic health, hygiene and sanitation needs are appropriately identified and properly dealt with;
-Formation of 3 member teacher’s group in school to sustain the changes as well as to make sure that we make best use of the ECD materials, protect them and keep them up-to-date and in a ready-to-use mode with assistance from ICRI-Nepal’s experts;
-Training and empowerment of school head teachers to monitor the overall teaching and learning process and provide feedback on outcome
During the past year, NCLR Team has conducted several highly acclaimed Teachers’ Training Program workshops for educators at both public and private schools in the Kathmandu areas. NCLR has received requests to expand its services to the rural areas outside Kathmandu valley as well. It has received the enthusiastic support of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Department of Education, National Center for Educational Development, Research Center for Educational Innovation & Development/Tribhuvan University (CERID/TU), Curriculum Development Center (CDC) who the main governmental organizations responsible for the education and welfare of children in Nepal.
In addition to larger scale, multi-day workshops conducted at a variety of locations, we work with individual teachers in each school on a weekly basis, spending a minimum of 3 to 4 hours assisting them with planning, technical support and material development skills delivery. Participating teachers also attend regular monthly meetings at ICRI-Nepal’s office to share best practices and learn new techniques from each other and from NCLR facilitators.
NCLR team organized interschool visitation programs in pre-schools for the teachers/ participants to share information, ideas, experiences regarding classes modeling, sharing materials safe keep and usages, overall setup etc…
NCLR Team conducted classroom reorganization and reconstruction workshops to assist schools in making classrooms more conducive to learning and “child-friendly.” Most classrooms in Nepal are in traditional condition, with decaying walls, ceilings, doors and windows, dilapidated furnishings, and few if any educational materials. Beyond these reorganization and reconstruction workshops, NCLR has provided technical assistance and limited funding to individual schools participating in the NCLR Teachers’ Training Program, facilitated the repair and painting of crumbling classroom walls, ceilings, doors and windows, and furnishing classrooms with needed materials. We are working closely with school administrators to assure that they utilize their own resources as much as possible to accomplish the work themselves. The entire restructuring/reorganization activity has been accomplished with true participation and team spirit of the School Management Committee Members, the community leaders, the parents/guardian, the teachers, the older children, and local/non-local volunteers.
ICRI-Nepal and its program, NCLR, have received virtually unanimous positive feedbacks from the teachers and school administrators who have participated in its Teachers’ Training Programs, in-service training for supervisory personnel, seminars, and classroom reorganization projects. NCLR team is working closely with private foundations, local NGOs, and Nepali governmental offices to continue our work and find ways to create sustainable solutions to Nepal’s need for educational support and reform. Most importantly, as compared to last year, after the intervention of this program in Choina Bina Guru Ganesh Primary School and Pragati Sikshya Sadan Secondary School, the enrollment of children has significantly increased this year. There were about 18 students in pre-primary section of Choina School but this year the enrollment is about 35. Similarly, there were 22 in nursery and 26 in KG last year in Pragati School where as this year the number has gone up to 40 in nursery and 35 in KG.
GPO Box: 25946, Kathmandu, Nepal