Enhancing access to quality educational opportunities, enabling the poorest people in Nepal to gain the knowledge, life skills and attitudes to improve their lives.
1. Child-centered Community Development
We involve all community members so that school improvements are 'owned' by the community and therefore encourage sustainable change. We help by converting old, bare-walled classrooms where children sit in rows on dusty floors and learn by heart into child-friendly classrooms. In these freshly painted, carpeted rooms, books and learning materials are available, the walls are print rich with posters and printed materials and trained teachers encourage students to pose questions and work things out for themselves.
2. Multilingual Education
Imagine coming to school for the first time and not understanding a single word that the teacher is saying. This is the experience of thousands of children whose mother tongue is not Nepali as Nepal has over 120 languages used as a mother tongue. UMN provides primary level textbooks in both Nepali and the local language and trains teachers so that children can learn from their first day at school. This has reduced the number of children who drop out of school in the areas populated by ethnic minorities.
3. Helping Disadvantaged Groups
The Dalit (so-called low-caste) Girls Scholarship Programme enables girls from poor economic backgrounds to receive a high-quality education and improve their life chances. In addition, UMN educational scholarships target pupils with disabilities or other challenges. Inclusive teaching-learning practices in schools appropriately help children with disabilities to access a quality education. We provide vocational training to young people including some who have left school early due to child marriage or other issues, often poverty-related.
4. Computer Access
Many schools in Nepal lack computer facilities, compelling students learn computing skills by using textbooks. In order to support schools to develop an ICT-friendly learning environment UMN, in partnership with EduTech Nepal, is working to establish Computer Labs in selected schools, with 20 computers along with a range of educational software and train teachers. The schools with computer labs are also encouraged to promote ICT skills to the people in the community in order to ensure community involvement and supportive monitoring visits for sustainability.
5. Child Rights
Traditionally children in Nepal had limited rights. However, these are now enshrined in the Constitution of Nepal (2015). UMN works to implement this by empowering children and young people as a powerful force for social change. By joining a child club, children are able to learn about and then educate their own community on the issues that affect them such as child labour, early or forced marriage and care for the environment.
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