Kailash Kumari Rai, a residence of Mukli VDC passed her School Leaving Certificate (SLC) in 1996 and has been teaching at the primary level since 1997. Without formal teaching training, she felt nervous and uncomfortable about meeting social and professional expectations of being a teacher. She shared that,”I got appointed as a teacher but I was not knowledgeable about teaching”. I had just been teaching the textbook and tried to make the children able to understand what is given in the textbook rather than the learning process. I was not conscious of the evaluation process and did not care about whether the students learned that I taught or not.” Despite being unhappy with the system, She continued teaching her class in the same way she was taught at school. She did not have a choice because she had no exposure to other experiences and could not understand what could teach means in practice.
Mrs. Raj’s concept of education was based on rote learning and discipline. “I just tried to discipline the class, teach the textbook with the help of few rewards and more punishment”.
With a change to the Government of Nepal’s education policy, Mrs. Raj undertook Teachers’ Professional Development as part of the School Sector Reform Program. She attended a 10-day training course including 3 days of project work and 2 days of counseling with REED-Nepal. The training was focused on BrainGym, practical teaching, and learning, active participation of students, effective classroom management and
many other child-friendly teaching strategies. Mrs. Rai shared that, “I was happy to learn the skills to make my teaching-learning activities more effective”.
Routine staff meetings were also introduced by her school after the training program. In working with her colleagues, the teaching culture has changed and is no longer based on the traditional focus of discipline. Mrs. Raj now feels that “I am like a friend of the students. Students are happy to share their ideas and thoughts. They happily learn in a very cooperative manner and ask the things that they do not know very freely”.
She concluded that” Teaching is not about maintaining discipline in the class. Now I have teacher guide, teaching-learning materials in my hand while entering the class in place of a cane. Now teaching is inspiring the students to learn”.
Mrs. Rai has completely changed her approach to teaching. Not only is she empowered to be a good teacher, she is aware that she is a role model for girls and women in her community. She reflects back that, “Now the society respects me while the same society was challenging me for being a female teacher in past days”.
Ms. Rai continues to adopt child-friendly teaching strategies in her classroom and respected by her students and wider school community. She continues to work closely with REED-Nepal and has been identified as a key teacher for future training programs.
Name: Kailash Kumari Rai
Programme: Teacher Training Quality Education Programme
location: Birendrodaya HSS, Mukli, Solukhumbu