-Pema Choedon Lama (4th Cohort)

During the lockdown period in Kathmandu, I returned to my hometown- Humla. As we knew that lockdown took place in most places of the world so, every sector was closed and especially service sectors like education was highly affected. At the time when I was home there weren’t any corona positive cases in the district but as per the government rules there was a lockdown.

As the lockdown period was extending people realized how the lockdown is affecting schools and students. Locals wanted to open the schools taking necessary precautions. An organization named Adara Development also helped to start the classes again. The organization has been helping people in education and health fields for many years in my community. Further, as the regular teachers were from other districts, there was no possibility of having them back in such a situation so Adara Development and community people managed to have local teachers/volunteers to teach the students in nearby villages.

So, I received a call from the organization. They wanted me as a volunteer teacher for 2 months at Shree Kanti Basic School, Kholsi which is 5 hours away from my village. At first, I was not sure and told them that I’ll update them later after discussing with my family. I thought I wouldn’t do it because the location is far, I’ll have to stay there for two months away from my family. But after discussing with my family I thought I’ll teach there. And then, I received an appointment letter to take classes for two months. We volunteer teachers had to teach a subject for four hours per day.

I taught two subjects; Mathematics to primary and English to secondary level students. At the beginning I was nervous because it was my first job and also there was a fear of dealing with the new community, people and environment. The villagers are from different caste; they have different language and follow different culture and norms. I also learned that the villagers and local political parties frequently have issues/arguments related to caste and culture. The unnecessary fights, arguments and inequality among people have affected their children’s education and growth. Moreover I also learned that most of the teachers are not ready to choose Kholsi School because of those issues. So, I think this is one of the reasons why the village is backward in so many things compared to other villages.

Fortunately, I got support from the village Secretary and his family. Students were also very much active and willing to learn something new which is why it was easy for me to work there. While I was enjoying the work and teaching students there suddenly, corona positive cases were found in the headquarters and then, we received notice from the municipality to close all the schools. So, I only got to teach for a month but it was an amazing experience. I also got to learn my own strengths and weaknesses.

Before this, I always used to think that I am not interested in teaching and also it is not something that I can do. But now I have realized that I can do it and I also have an ability to work with school students and can share my knowledge whenever they need it.

Further, I figured out that students had difficulty in every subject; even in Nepali. They do not have enough stationary items and course books. However, one thing that I liked the most there was that the parents were very supportive; they wanted to provide good education to their children. One of the parents also said that,

” मिस, इच्क्षा छ कि आफ्नो बच्चाहरुलाई तपाईंहरु जस्तै पढेलेखेको बनाउने तर स्कुलमा टिचर राम्रो आउँदैन, किताब छैन, विदा धेरै हुन्छ अनी घरको काम गर्दै जान्छ तिनीहरुको जीवन”.

This was really touching and I felt like now I have to do something and feel proud about my own progress. During one of the classes, one student raised his hand and asked me a question, “Miss you said you also graduated from similar school as we are studying now, but how do you learn English that much?’ I felt good about myself and that question encouraged me to support them as much as I can. I didn’t get to spend more time, but I got to share my knowledge, experiences, and things that I have learned so far.

The experience was interesting. A month of teaching not only created a good experience but also helped me to improve my weaknesses and refresh my own school level learning. Also I found the students very curious and smart. During the class, every time I used to give my own examples and stories to make students understand better and increase their attention. I had a lot of fun while teaching them. This whole experience has motivated me to teach further. I am also thinking to apply in Teach for Nepal after my Bachelors.

As Samaanta always encourages its fellows to pay forward, I think this experience has made me understand it better and value it more.

I want to thank my family, Samaanta Foundation and Adara Development for all the support and unconditional love and encouragements.


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