Project Namaste IX
Gyan Jyoti Secondary School
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Pokhara Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI)
WHAT WE DID
For the ninth edition of Project Namaste, we focused on an education programme catered to students from grades 3 to 5 (7 to 15 years old). Typically, the Nepali children are taught English through rote learning and are hence less adept at conversing in English. Our team aimed to tackle this problem through an innovate language programme. The interactive lessons incorporated crafts, games and storytelling, allowing the students to improve their ability to learn English. As an added feature, media lessons conducted exposed children to the wonders of laptops and projectors to further excite their interest in education. Each student was also given a journal book that they could personalise. Daily worksheets were recorded inside so that students could keep these lessons with them.
Apart from teaching the students, we also tried to show the teachers, who sat in to observe our classes, that lessons could be made more interesting while still maintaining effectiveness through such activities.
The Teacher’s education programme aimed to equip teachers with basic IT skills to enable them to perform simple administrative planning and prepare educational materials with greater efficiency. Apart from familiarising them with the computer components, we also taught them how to use Microsoft Office and Paint. Due to the varying levels of IT competency, coaching was conducted on a one-to-one basis, allowing us to tailor the programme to their comfort levels. Additionally, the team also prepared instruction manuals for future reference.
With the support from our sponsors, we managed to donate two projectors and four laptops to Gyan Jyoti Secondary School. In addition, five laptops were given to schools from previous Namaste Projects and one to PCCI to equip them with more teaching resource. We believe that the knowledge shared and tools donated can create a more effective teaching environment for the schools in the community.
The team also helped to refurbish infrastucture to create a vibrant and conducive learning environment. Wall murals were painted on the exterior of the building with the theme of colourful alphabets and animals. Also, with the generous help of our sponsors, the team was able to co-fund the construction of a classroom roof which was blown off by strong winds. The classroom was revamped and refurnished to become the school’s library.
Project Namaste IX
I think what left the greatest impact on me was the students’ willingness to learn. I did not realise this before, but having a conducive learning environment has become something that I had taken for granted. I thought that going for lessons everyday was a chore and did not enjoy learning at all.
However, I was so surprised to see that the Nepalese children were always so excited and eager to learn new things everyday. Despite the fact that the facilities the school offers are very minimal (just small classrooms with chairs, tables and blackboards), they truly enjoyed learning and anticipated lessons everyday! One of the students even brought me to the toilet to ask me the meaning of the english sign we pasted on the door, and quickly noted it down in her notebook. These really left a great impact on me, and made me realise that being able to study in a city like Singapore is a privilege that I should cherish. T
Project Namaste IX
Leader, Namaste X
I was really lucky to have met Shanker. When I first met him, I was greeted with much enthusiasm. He exclaimed that he was really happy that we are here, not only because he gets to make new friends, but he also gets to practice his English with us. At only 12 years old, Shanker is a boy with noble ambitions. He acknowledges the disadvantaged circumstances that he was born into, but does not see them as a limit to his goals in life. With load sharing being disruptive to daily life, he aspires to be an electrical engineer so that he can bring light to the whole of Nepal.
Shanker left me with much motivation and enlightenment. We might not always see the seeds we sow grow into trees - if they even grow at all. Though in the short run the short time that we spend with the schools we are at might not seem to amount to much as the students are only left with fleeting memories after our departure, sustainability comes when we keep this project going year after year, hoping to encourage the students we interact with - sparking interest within them to seek quality education, and hoping to empower children like Shanker, or to encourage more to be like him, and one day these seeds might just grow into trees and shelter those around them.
Song Yea Ram
Project Namaste VIII
I went to Nepal to teach the Nepali but I came back with an overwhelming feeling that I was the one being taught by them instead. From the students' eyes filled with eagerness to learn and the teachers' one-hour long mountain trekking journey to our school to learn IT skills, I questioned my attitude towards true learning. The daily gift of flowers picked by students during their morning walk to school gave me joy that cannot be compared to a materialistic satisfaction. Waking up to the cold breeze from the ice-capped mountain and falling asleep while admiring beautiful sky embedded with countless stars made me appreciate the simple life in nature away from the screen-sized virtual world that we are so attached to.
My trip to Nepal last winter was undeniably and thankfully a true blessing and I wish I had impacted their lives as much as they did to mine.