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Beyond Kathmandu: Work With the Archini Foundation in Hetauda, Nepal

In my last post I wrote about leading a literacy workshop with Room to Read Nepal. That experience was gratifying in itself, but what I didn’t know at the time was that it would lead me to further work and relationships, outside of Kathmandu this time. One of the participants in the Room to Read workshop was an educator from the city of Hetauda, in south central Nepal. When we met, Pratibha Dangol was working in Room to Read’s regional office in Makwanpur District, but she had plans to leverage the experience she had gained as a classroom teacher and a literacy worker to create an organization of her own that would promote change in her local area. I promised to do what I could to help her, and when I returned to Nepal in April of 2013, Pratibha invited me to be a part of the first-ever workshop organized by the newly minted Archini Foundation, titled “Progressive Leadership in Schools”. The participants were school leaders from both government and private schools in the area who came together for three days of workshops, talks and team-building exercises. For my part, I tackled three challenging topics: How Do Children Learn: Using Observation and Research to Rethink Teaching Practice

Helping Teachers Be Their Best: Creating A Professional Development Plan That Works

Considering the Culture of Classroom Management: From Punishment to Encouragement In my next posts I will consider each of these workshops, but first … a bit about the city of Hetauda. I was excited about my trip there because, despite many journeys to Nepal, I had somehow never managed to travel outside of the Kathmandu metropolitan area. Hetauda is in Makwanpur District, about 140 kilometers south of Kathmandu and to get there Pratibha had booked me a seat in a Sumo, a small multi-passenger van. There is a good highway linking the two cities and Sumos make back and forth runs continually, carrying 8-10 passengers per trip. The drive took four hours, with a stop along the way for lunch, and wound through lovely mountainous countryside and villages … a pleasure to watch from my front seat window. Hetauda is at a much lower elevation than Kathmandu (roughly 500 m v. 1300 m) and in April it was quite a bit hotter there than in the capital. It’s a bustling small city with a population of about 80,000, an important intersection/stop along two of Nepal’s main highways. The city has been growing in recent years and I saw quite a bit of construction (mostly new homes) while I was there. With Pratibha and her wonderful assistant Bindu as my tour guides I visited local schools, colleges, shopping districts and even a regional fair with carnival rides and a midway. I spent a week in Hetauda and I can’t wait to return … the sooner the better. ORIGINALLY POSTED BY BETH NORFORD AT 12:31 PM TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2012

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