The competent teacher is the prominent part to ensure quality in education. Consistent development of professional skills is the emergent need of great teachers. Himalayan Trust Nepal has given a supportive hand to the community schools of Solukhumbu region to refresh the teachers’ subject knowledge and teaching skills in the basic grades.
The School-Based Teacher Training Programme (SBTTP) is the key education project of Himalayan Trust Nepal, supported by HTNZ specifically from 2015. The SBTTP was first implemented in English Medium initiated schools of the Khumbu region from May 2015 to June 2017 and found that the project was highly successful in improving teachers’ teaching skills and increasing student learning achievements. The same model of the SBTTP has been replicated to eleven Nepali medium schools of Kharikhola, Juving, and Taksindhu cluster schools since August 2017. The programme has been found effective as the teaching skills of teachers and learning achievements of students at basic grades (grade 1 to 5) have improved considerably (according to the evidence given in Annual Report 2017/18, 2018/19)
The three HTN trainers visited each school and conducted six days school-based teacher training programme involving the school teachers and students. Nepali, English, and Math subjects were focused in the classroom activities. Following the six days’ SBTTP, three observation and monitoring visits to all project schools in an academic year were done to energize the teachers to continue to apply the child-centered teaching pedagogy in the classroom.
The first attempt of the school-based teacher training programme taught the lesson that many of the teachers need specific training in applying the Continue Assessment system in the basic grades. In the lack of knowledge and skills of CAS, the measurement of students’ learning achievement was found unreliable and inconsistent. When the CAS was used skillfully and properly the quality of teaching and learning was sure to increase.
Further-more the basic English language knowledge and skills in the basic grade teachers were very limited that had been a serious challenge for the English language teaching teachers. Classroom observation and the experiences gained, working with the teachers had indicated that most of the basic grade teachers needed to learn basic communicative English Language.
By the end of two years’ intensive trial with the teachers through SBTTP the average learning achievement of basic grades (1 – 5) students progressively increased from 46 to 57 percent. The designed target of the SBTT program was to achieve more than 60 percent achievement in each subject area which would be achieved by the end of SBTTP (April 2019) in Taksindhu, Juving, and Kharikhola areas.
All the aforesaid experiences convinced us to plan for seven- day center-based teacher training programme for 16 schools of Junbesi and 16 schools of Khumbu areas to support them to increase quality in the basic grade education. The seven-day center-based training will be conducted for the first and second year in each two project areas. The center- based training will be followed by six-day classroom-based coaching in each school with three monitoring and evaluation visits for five years (2019- 2024)