How We Will Transform Education in Nepal

Jan 03, 2018

Adam Rouhana

Education  Pedagogy  Mission

A pedagogy designed by Nepalis, for Nepalis: 

Aditi Adhikari, Diyalo’s Education Director, is a native Nepali. She holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in International Education Policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Over the past eight months, Adhikari has worked with experts in the field to develop a transformational pedagogy unlike any that exists in Nepal. Currently, the majority of pedagogy is adapted from India’s system, which, in turn, is based on 19th-century British colonial education. 

Our approach—place-based learning—provides students with an education that is relevant to their current lives and the futures they are likely to live. Place-based learning immerses students in local
heritage, culture, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences, turning communities into classrooms. Ten US studies connect place-based education with academic achievement. Student-driven learning and hands-on interdisciplinary inquiry allow students to learn about the world through active exploration.
Further, our pedagogical plans take advantage of the seminal thinking of Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget supplemented by other leaders in the field such as Maslow, Rogers, and Erikson. Student-driven learning and hands-on interdisciplinary inquiry allow students to learn about the world through active exploration. Experiential learning has been scientifically proven to engage multiple senses, build social-emotional skills, create a context for memorization, expand critical thinking ability, and have greater relevance to real-world applications.
In our new model, students are active 80% of the time as they collaborate with others, learn from their peers, and share their experiences, upending traditional 20:80 student-to-teacher activity ratios.
At the same time, Diyalo innovates by putting teachers first, actively countering social norms surrounding teaching as a low- status job. Diyalo teachers receive fair wages, promoting their centrality to our model and creating an example for the rest of the country. Finally, an enriched environment is central to learning outcomes. Diyalo hopes to equip each of its schools with an agricultural learning garden, electricity, basic computers, internet, a library, art supplies, and sufficient toys. This approach is the direct culmination of what we’ve learned on the ground in Nepal, talking with our partner communities and with leading education experts. 
Education is key to any nation’s development. Each country has to decide how it wants to bring up its future citizens and leaders. Only a design by Nepalis for Nepalis will succeed in transforming education in Nepal.