Education

‘By rote’ to child-centred learning

By Mark Adams – Mondo Volunteer working for 9 months in the Mondo Schools Kalimpong & Darjeeling. Mark (right) with some of the teachers in Mondo schools. I arrived in India full of anticipation and excitement.  Embarking upon a seven-month stint as a volunteer with rural schools in the northern most part of West Bengal, I was keen and enthusiastic.  A practical, creative teacher, I wanted to find out what lessons I could learn and how I might be of assistance to...

Learning and working outside of the classroom

The esteemed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, reflecting on her schooling in 1920’s America wrote, “My Grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school.” A century later, grandmothers in the developing world have quite a different reason for keeping their children out of school; work. When the choice is between reading books or reaping rice, hunger wins every time. In Nepal, the second poorest country in Asia, 70% of the workforce is engaged in the agricultural sector....

Our 2018 Nepal scholars start their journey

Since 2010, we have been supporting promising students from low income families to continue their education and take the Plus 2 (equivalent to A levels). This summer, we welcomed 60 new scholars to our family with a ceremony organised by our local team, the Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership (HELP), in Kathmandu. This takes our total number of scholarships awarded to 333! Jimmy Lama, Mondo’s country manager and his HELP team, have spent months sifting through applications from keen students from...

An educationalist’s view – volunteering with a difference

Michael Dennison, an education specialist, tells us about his experiences visiting Mondo partner schools in Nepal and India in May 2018. I recently retired after a 45-year career in education which ranged from a teacher of modern languages, local authority adviser and director of school improvement, head teacher to Government inspector of schools and education consultant. I was looking for additional voluntary activity in the education sector. It was therefore a propitious encounter when I met Hirsh Cashdan, a Mondo Trustee,...

Thought provoking and humbling experiences in Nepal

Liz (a student mentor/counsellor) and Robert (a retired electronics engineer) tell us about their experiences working and living in a remote village in the Helambu Valley, Nepal. Nothing prepared us for the stunning beauty of the mountains, our daily view on waking up each day in Nakote.  In February in Nepal, the skies are clear and blue, so the Langtang mountain range towered up into the sky in the valley ahead, as we set off down the hill to the school every...

Growing and smiling at Alpha Nursery

Josephine tells us about the highs and lows of her time working as a volunteer at Alpha Nursery School, based in a remote village in the Himalayas Last time I was in the Himalayas I was six and travelling to Everest base camp with my family. 12 years later I found myself back in the mountains, on my own this time, working in a small school in a poor, isolated community. To say I felt out of my comfort zone would...

Update on PIQUE – Programme for Improving the QUality of Education – Part 2

In Part 2 of this update on PIQUE, Hirsh Cashdan tells us more about how the schools have taken to the methodology and what is next for PIQUE. If you missed it, read the first part of his blog on PIQUE here. What we asked of the schools We encouraged the schools to take away the proforma which we had designed and populated together following the workshops (including their agreed aspirations and our advice) and to work through a first...

Update on PIQUE – Programme for Improving the QUality of Education – Part 1

Trustee, Hirsh Cashdan, tells us about Mondo’s work encouraging and enabling schools to take charge of their own destiny. Background to Mondo Foundation’s Support of Schools Mondo Foundation has been working with a variety of schools in three countries – Nepal, NE India and Tanzania – for almost 15 years.   In this time we have funded and, through our local staff in each country, run many programmes aimed at improving the learning experience of the children in the communities where the schools are...

Children in Kalimpong start the New School Year

Anna Brian, our Programmes Manger, recently visited schools in NE India and reports on the start of a new school year after a tumultuous 2017. 2017 was a difficult year for our partner schools in Kalimpong, NE India. A general strike called by the Ghorkaland Independence Party resulted in the schools being closed for over 3 months, as well as leaving many parents without pay for the same period. However, when I visited in March this year, the situation seemed much more positive. ...

Butterfly

The Flutter of Human Kindness

  Anyone who has had to pick up the tiny shards of glass from a smashed car windscreen will know how rough they feel on your fingers as you try to dislodge them from the crevice of the car seat or dashboard.  As hard and as sharp as cut diamonds, these worthless, slivers of glass are often all that is left at a crime-scene to show that ‘Vandal’, and his partner in crime, ‘Having a laugh’, have smashed their way into...