Shree Nurbuling Secondary School is a small community managed public school located in the village of Kharkadanda. The school has total of 120 students and is supported by nine teachers – four of which are supported by the government and the rest are privately arranged by the local community. The school runs English medium classes from Grade 1 to Grade 10 (including pre-school) and the children here are aged between 4 to 15 years. The classroom sizes are relatively small and are decently furnished with enough desks, benches and whiteboards. The people in the village place high value in education and students attend school with much enthusiasm and willingness to learn, despite poverty and scarcity.
Nurbuling was one of the first schools selected by HELP as a partner school in 2009, and can be seen as an exemplary model of what can be achieved with much hard work and dedication on the part of the community and the students themselves.
You will be expected to teach from 10 AM to 4 PM and each subject period lasts around 40 minutes.
NOTE: Fortunately, the school did not suffer at the hands of the devastating earthquake that shook the whole region in April/ May 2015.
All the textbooks except Nepali are in English but the students are mostly instructed in Nepali.
(Compulsory) Mathematics- arithmetic, algebra and geometry more significantly divided as you go to higher grades.
Science- basic ideas like living and non-living things, plants, etc. in junior classes while textbooks in senior classes have physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy lessons.
English- stories, poems, biography and similar texts and grammar
Social Studies- society-its issues and proposed solutions, geography, history, organizations.
Symphony/Moral Science- stories with meaningful themes for the children
Nepali- stories, poems, biographies, Nepali grammar and similar texts
Environment (E), Population (P) and Health (H) - basics and inter-relation between E, P and H
Office Account- office processes, accounting and organization
Optional Maths- trigonometry, graphs and mathematical principles (more theoretical)
The school has total of 10 laptop computers and a computer lab, and we encourage volunteers at this school to spend some time after school training teachers in some basic computer skills so that they can pass this on to students. We also encourage you to take some computer classes with children.
Students’ Level of English comprehension
Senior Classes (Grade 4 and above)
Reading- can read the texts in their books and actually understand them very well
Writing- student’s writing is fairly good because they have been using English textbooks for so long, but understanding can sometimes be quite limited as they are used to just copying from textbooks/ the board
Speaking- the pupils can communicate well with volunteers, especially in higher classes where students are more confident
Junior Classes (Grades 3 and lower)
Reading- can read their textbooks without frequent pauses
Writing- Good (most students can write grammatically correct sentences but are often copying directly from the board so actual understanding is fairly limited
Speaking- can manage to communicate with the volunteers but are quite shy (especially the girls)
Teacher’s level of English: Some of the teachers speak good English and all the teachers can manage to communicate with the volunteers but some of the teachers can be shy sometimes.
Exams: Teachers construct questions and exercises from the textbooks. They have simple monthly tests and more important exams every 4 months.
Library has around 500 books
Colors and drawing paper available; but in limited stock so needs constant replacing.
Science Lab with very little equipment- isn't in use due to lack of equipment
10 Laptop Computers and some desktop computers in a furnished computer lab
Extra- curricular resources: The main school playground is around 5 minutes walk from the classrooms, which is well fenced and the other playground is right next to the classrooms. Nurbuling has quite a lot of space (which is unusual for schools in the region), and has been the host of HELP’s Himalayan Olympics for two consecutive events. As the winners of 2014 and 2017’s Himalayan Olympics, students at Nurbuling are very keen on sports and have some very talented students. The outdoor games that can be played include- Football, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, Frisbee and a new basketball court is under construction. Badminton, rings and skipping are popular among the girls.
All classrooms have whiteboards and are furnished with adequate desks and benches.
How to teach effectively: The school owns a textbook for each school subject. You can copy a list of topics from the textbooks that you feel you would like to teach using the materials you have brought and/or the techniques you have acquired and teach in your own way. This will give the local teachers an idea of how to teach rest of the chapters in the book in an interactive way. You can be an inspiration for the local teachers.
The children love doing homework, so keep giving them some creative homework every day to make sure the students are revising their lessons. Try making the students to take benefit of the environment they have. E.g. herbarium, collection of wild fruits and flowers, etc. You can bring stickers that you can paste to the exercise books of students who do the best homework and class work. This really excites the students and the class environment hence inspiring them to learn properly and also to be disciplined.
Things that could make teaching easier for you: Card games for improving vocabulary and to teach sentence structures, teaching aids to help teach pronunciation (as most of the teachers learnt English pronunciation in a wrong way, the children learn it wrong as well. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to make the children’s basics of English up to date). White board markers would also be useful.
Living: Shyugenche Village
Shyugenche is 3.5 hour uphill walk from Timbu during monsoon after a 4 to 6 hour bus drive from Kathmandu. However, during the dry season, it is possible to reach the village directly by public bus which takes 6-8 hours and is very inexpensive. The village has a rainy summer (JUN-AUG), quite a cold winter (DEC-FEB) and warm sunny days during the remaining months. The village has sporadic electric power supply.
The village is mainly populated by the people of the Hyolmo ethnic group, whose ancestral history can be traced back to Tibet and who follow Buddhism. There are roughly 60 houses in Shyugenche village scattered sparsely on a slightly flat terraced hill around 2400m with a total population of around 600. However, the school's catchment area includes around 100 houses, also from other settlements below the school.
The main occupation of the villagers is farming and they grow crops like potato, millet, maize, corn and beans. Houses in the village are typically small and are not partitioned into rooms.
Although economically backward, the people there have a rich cultural heritage and they love to share their hospitality, which one can experience by attending one of their occasional village festivals or by visiting their homes when invited.
With a host family in the village of Shyugenche which is a 40 minute uphill walk from the school. Volunteers are given a separate room to be shared with other volunteers who teach together. There is a communal tap outside the house for washing clothes/ showering and a squat toilet inside the house. You will often see a lot of children around, who love to come and join you in the mornings and evenings, playing and chatting. The host family will provide three meals a day, typically consisting of rice, lentils and some sort of curry.
Otherwise you may stay in the hostel within the school. About 80 of the children and 6 teachers stay in the hostel. You share a room with about 14 people, but you’ll have your own area and the children are very good about respecting you and your belongings. There are male and female wash rooms, including taps to wash clothes, wash basins, squat toilets and a cold shower. The hostel has a cook who provides 3 meals a day and 2 tea times. As you are constantly with the children they love to teach you to dance or sing, or for you to teach them, see pictures of your family and friends or just talk to you but they will give you quite time particularly when they are studying.
Major things to do
Visit Sermathang- a touristic village that offers views of numerous Himalayan peaks- half an hour of uphill walk and an hour's walk across. You can go upto Tapka Kharka, where a beautiful statue of Guru Rinpoche has been placed on the hilltop. For this you have to walk 1 hour further from Sermathang village.
Hike upto Ama Yangri, 3500m- 5 hours walk each way.
Visit Ghyanghyul, another touristic village towards the opposite side to Sermathang.
Visit volunteers working in other HELP partner schools- Timbu- 2 hours downhill walk, where you can also organize to meet the volunteers from numerous other HELP partner schools on the weekends.
‘My overall volunteering experience in Nepal: 'a thoroughly rewarding and challenging experience, with some of the most unique, inspiring, and wonderful people I've ever met.'
Rachel Stoplar, 2013
‘Volunteering with HELP was a fantastic and very rewarding experience. I really enjoyed my time in Nepal, especially meeting the great HELP team and the lovely people of Helambu. I felt so welcome at Nurbuling, where the teachers, pupils and parents were so friendly, especially Chiring's mother, Sakiri, it was lovely staying with her.’
Tom Mawson, 2013
"The students at Nurbuling love singing and dancing. After a welcoming ceremony in which they performed many traditional Nepali songs and dances, the whole school gathered in the playground to dance the Macarena, which a previous volunteer had taught them. Once we had taught them 'Yellow Submarine', they were adamant we sing it at the end of every lesson. We felt hugely satisfied when, by the end of our 3 weeks, we had managed to get them to pronounce the 'Y' correctly!"
Priska Komaromi, 2011
Lara Spencer: email@example.com
Priska Komaromi : firstname.lastname@example.org
What/ How HELP-Mondo has supported
Nurbuling was in the first batch of schools HELP selected in 2009 and the community has remained very actively supportive to the ideas of improving education quality. In all the works we have done so far, the villagers have made encouraging contribution which we believe is important for sustainability and long term development of the school.
PRIOR TO EARTHQUAKE
3 room hostel building for up to 60 boarders
2 additional teachers
3 classrooms building
Clean drinking water supply to the school
3 laptop computers through Kids on the Grid Programme
A mini library facility mostly comprising story books for all the different levels at the school.
Music and sports equipments support and playground management
Science lab facility
Classroom management with desks and benches, whiteboard and notice board support
Kindergarten Class improvement and teaching materials support
A basketball court (the only one amongst our partner schools)
Fortunately the school did not suffer any grave damages as the schools in other areas. However, HELP has continued with projects in the school; a second hostel building has been completed so that there is enough space for all the boarders.
9803542315 (Sam sir)