The school has around 595 students and 13 teachers- 6 supported by the government, and the remaining financed through the local community, HELP and another charity called Teach for Nepal. It runs from grade 1 to grade 10 and also offers a Nursery class. The children are aged between 3-17. While most other Tamang villages do not have any schools at all or they mostly only go up to primary level, it is quite unique that the school in this poor but large Tamang village goes up to secondary level, mainly thanks to the efforts and team work of some of the key people in the villages and their leadership and co-ordination at the local level.
This big school has some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the region, with up to 90 students cramped into the same classroom. Until recently, there were not enough classrooms to serve all the grades offered, so each class had to stay at home for one day each week. Many of the classroom didn’t have enough desks and benches for all the children, forcing children to sit on the ground. People in the village place a high value on education, and children come to school with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, despite the poverty of the region and the scarcity of resources at the school.
You will be expected to teach from 10 AM to 4 PM with an hour of lunch break. Each subject period is 45 minutes long.
NOTE: Following the devastating earthquakes in April and May in 2015, several of our partner schools including Bhotenamlang suffered major damage, which destroyed much of its infrastructure including classrooms, toilets and the playground, as well vital educational resources such as whiteboards, desks and benches. As quickly as possible after the quakes, we helped to build over 225 temporary classrooms across 45 schools of which Bhotenamlang was one where we made substantial contribution. Thankfully, four classrooms and toilets we had built for the school in 2014 did not collapse, so the children are using them. But then many classrooms are still being taken under TLC.
Bhotenamlang is one of the 15 schools HELP has signed an MoU with Department of Education and HELP is currently working on fundraisings to help build permanent classroom building for the school.
All the textbooks except English are in Nepali and 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 problems and 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)
Namlang School has a few laptop computers, 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 with very much difficulty, without properly understanding them.
Writing- Very few students in a class can manage to write grammatically correct sentences.
Speaking- the pupils cannot properly communicate with volunteers and students can be shy, but in higher classes their confidence increases and they are better at communicating.
Junior Classes (Grades 3 and lower)
Reading- very few students in a class can manage to read the simplest texts in their books.
Writing- Can barely write some of the simplest words they learn.
Speaking- can manage to communicate with the volunteers but are shy
Teacher’s level of English: Two of the teachers can communicate well with the volunteers. Other teachers are keen to learn and practice their English with the volunteers but can be shy. Your approach to speak to them and slowly correct their English can encourage them to speak more of English.
Exams: Teachers construct questions and exercises from the textbooks. They have simple monthly tests and more important exams every 4 months.
Four of the undamaged classrooms are well furnished with enough desks and benches.
All TLC classrooms have whiteboards.
A small library with variety of books appropriate for the students in all the classes but they need more books.
Resources for extra- curricular activities: Most of the time the school has only one football and a volleyball and a single set of equipment for simple games like skipping, badminton, etc. The playground is quite inappropriate for football and volleyball.
Drinking water supply is irregular and so the toilets are not adequate and so are not well managed.
4 desktop computers supported by the government and three laptops we provided.
Extra- curricular resources: The playground is right next to the school, which is being fenced. The outdoor games that can be played include- Football (gently), volleyball, badminton, table tennis, Frisbee, softball. Badminton, rings and skipping are popular among the girls.
All classrooms have whiteboards.
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.
What/How HELP-Mondo has supported the school:
Namlang was one of the schools HELP identified in 2013 and the local community has remained very supportive of the ideas of improving educational quality. We believe that the support and encouragement of the community is vital for the sustainability and long-term development of the school.
So far, HELP/ Mondo has partnered with the school/ community in the following projects:
Construction of 4 new classrooms
Construction of 4 room toilet building
Fencing of the playground
Funding for a secondary level English teacher
Sports equipment support soon after which the school participated in the Himalayan Olympics.
Classrooms management through supporting classroom furniture, white boards and Notice boards and Early Childhood Development room management
Workshops and teachers training
Sound system to help them organize their morning assembly
Emergency shelter kits such as tarps for all the households in the village
Installation of solar panel in school and village to resume power
Contribution towards building of TLC
Cell phone for teachers
School Bags for all 535 children
Desks and benches
Fleece for half of the children during winter
Continued teacher salary funding
And currently working on Permanent School Building design and fundraising.
Extra toilet building
Library facility upgrading
Classrooms management- especially the lower classes
Computer lab management
Namlang is a 3 hours steep uphill walk from Tipeni Bazaar, which in turn is reached via a 4 hour bus journey to Melamchi from Kathmandu and an hours drive from Melamchi or 2.5 hours walk if the roads are damaged. The village is situated at roughly 1800m and serves around 400 households in the village. It 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.
Namlang is populated by people from the Tamang indigenous community, whose history can be traced back to Tibet and the people follow Buddhism, which is evident from the presence of stupas and prayer flags in the houses and around the village. Bomzan, one of the clans of the Tamang ethnic group is supposed to have originated in this particular village and the name of the village is related to a legend involving the Guru Rinpoche. There is a monument of the Guru Rinpoche sculptured on one of the high rocks on the side of the village towards Lekharka. Most people practice subsistence farming and mainly grow rice and wheat on their farms that lie below and off the village; maize and millet in their farms in the village itself. Although economically poor, the people 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. Many of the villagers still practice traditional cattle raising mainly yak and sheep for cheese and ghee and wander around with their cattle throughout the year.
Volunteers stay with a host family about 10 minutes walk from the school. There is a communal tap and squat toilets outside the main building of the house and volunteers get a private room (though they will have to share with other volunteers). You will often see a lot of children around, who love to come and join you in the mornings and evenings to play and chat.
Major things to do
Attend local social functions. Though the villagers have more social functions in the winter, they have fewer in the summer, for the people remain busy on their farms throughout the monsoon, which still feels like quite a lot.
Visit Okhreni, a village on the hilltop- 3 hours walk from the village.
Visit the Yak sheds of the local people, hike up from the village might take 2 to 4 hours each way.
Visit the local sculpture on the vertical wall of the remaining part of the large rock, which during breakage caused an earthquake in the village.
Visit nearby villages; Lekharka- 1.5 hours walk across, Gunsa- 2 hours walk across, Thangpalkot- 2.5 hours walk across, and meet other volunteers working in other HELP partner schools to share experiences.
Sam Lambrick: email@example.com
Ansuhan Frenando: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pal Ranhiem: email@example.com
Contact Details of People in School
Mr. GopiKrishna Parajuli
Cell: 00977 981831882
Mr. Surendra Shrestha
Cell: 00977 9808599791