"Ohhh ya, what a hit, what a hit!" screams a student in joy as his team member scores a goal.
Soccer, more popularly known as football, is a treasured sport in Sindhuli district and the students at Shree Mangala Secondary School cannot get enough of it. As they play hard under the scorching sun the school bell rings, signaling the time for morning assembly.
All the students immediately line up in respective groups at the school ground and the assembly begins with a prayer followed by the national anthem of Nepal Saya thunga fulka haami euta mala Nepali…
This is one of the 20 schools in Sindhuli district supported by World Vision under Education Recovery Project. As a part of the project intervention teachers from the selected schools have been trained on Literacy Boost which is a proven literacy programme that supports the development of reading skills in young children of grade one, two and three.
Menuka Karki, teacher at Shree Mangala Secondary School says, "Teachers play a critical role in enabling students to learn to read in the early grades. However, not all teachers have the essential skills and knowledge required to effectively play this role. I am glad I received training on Literacy Boost which has taught me how to incorporate the core reading skills into the curriculum in order to ensure that children are learning to read and remain motivated to learn while in the classroom."
Babita Basnet, teacher at Kalika Primary School received the same training and her school is also being supported under the same project. She explains, "After the training I have been teaching my students in a completely innovative and child-friendly way. For example, I have been using flash cards to teach my students the five core skills of reading acquisition: letter knowledge, sounding out words, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. This is completely different from the traditional teaching methodology in Nepal."
Learning to read in the first years of primary school is critical for retention and success in future grades. Children who do not develop reading skills during early primary education are on a lifetime trajectory of limited educational progress and, therefore, limited economic opportunities. Literacy boost addresses the ways children learn to read, how teachers and parents can help, and create an environment for that to happen anywhere: in school, at home and in the community.
Another highlight of Education Recovery Project is establishment of book corners. 20 schools in Sindhuli district are being supported to establish book corners in grade one, two and three. Book corners consist of mobile library bags with books and stationary materials for developing print rich teaching and learning classroom environments.
"I like reading books at the book corner. It is easily accessible to all students," says a student of grade one at Shree Mangala Secondary School.
"It gives me great pleasure that our early grade students are properly using the book corners to improve their reading skills," says Dipak Raj Pokhrel, principal at Shree Mangala Secondary. "It is good to know that World Vision and implementing NGO Sindhuli Integrated Development Services Nepal are also supporting us for construction of new school building after the previous one was destroyed by the 2015 earthquakes."
Four earthquake-affected schools in the district are being supported with construction of new buildings under the project.
We dream of a better tomorrow where vulnerable children are provided with the opportunity to access quality education and safe learning environments.