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Parliamentarians, Ambassador and Over 50 other personalities visit rural public schools to teach children (Feature Story)

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Kathmandu, November 24, 2016: US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz, CNN Hero Anuradha Koirala, Chief Editors of national dailies and weekly including Annapurna Post Yubaraj Ghimire, Gunaraj Luitel, Kiran Nepal, Dil Bhusan Pathak and around 50 other leaders visited public schools across Lalitpur and Sindhupalchowk this week. They taught students of Teach For Nepal (TFN) Fellows for one day, under the ‘One Day in a Classroom’ initiative. Other visitors include Inspector General of Nepal Police (IGP), Former Vice Chair of National Planning Commission, Former Secretaries, Media Personalities, CEOs, young professionals, social activists, and artists. The visits are happening at schools where Teach For Nepal Fellows are currently serving as teachers and community change agents.

Many of our students have never left their village. Their life aspirations are limited to ongoing career trends within their communities such as going to Gulf countries to work or becoming a helper/driver on local bus or milk-trucks. - Nawang Sherpa, TFN Alumni and Fundraising Coordinator at TFN

“Many of our students have never left their village. Their life aspirations are limited to ongoing career trends within their communities such as going to Gulf countries to work or becoming a helper/driver on local bus or milk-trucks. Meeting these leaders face-to-face will be inspirational to these children. Our students deserve more career choices and a higher sense of possibilities irrespective of where they are born. Hearing from these personalities will open their eyes and broaden their minds towards possibilities they always found distant from their lives,” shared Nawang Sherpa who completed Teach For Nepal Fellowship himself last March and has since been serving as a Fundraising Coordinator at Teach For Nepal.

On Monday, Yubaraj Ghimire, a senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Annapurna Post, who joined the visit and delivered at Shree Goth Bhanjyang Higher Secondary School in Dalchoki of Southern Lalitpur shared that he was amused by the question one student asked, “If Trump was elected by the people, why do so many hate him?” Krishna Gyawali, Former Secretary with Government of Nepal, who also offered a class at the same school was impressed that the students were not afraid to ask questions. One student asked him, “How can we become politicians? What should we study and what interests should we pursue?” He admired the will and support of parents of the TFN Fellows for allowing them to live so far away from home and serve at rural areas for two years. “It was really a rewarding visit that helped open my horizon of thinking also,” he added.

Dil Bhusan Pathak, News Chief at Kantipur television, on the same day at the Narayani Higher Secondary School of Gimdi, stressed the importance of confidence and hardwork to the children.

The visits have been inspirational for the students and has provided a unique learning opportunity that the children wouldn’t otherwise have.

There is apparently no job that is greater or lesser. I can fulfil my dreams too. I had no idea that earthworms can be sold at Rupees 1,500 per kilogram. – Ashish Jimba ,Grade 7, Chandeshwari Secondary School

“There is apparently no job that is greater or lesser. I can fulfil my dreams too. I had no idea that earthworms can be sold at Rupees 1,500 per kilogram,” shared Ashish Jimba, Grade 7, of Chandeshwari Secondary School in Simle Lalitpur after listening to Bhushan Tuladhar, an Environmental Engineer. “I am so proud today to have such a personality in our classroom,” shared Kusum Khadka, grade 10 student, at Jyotidaya School in Chapagaun after the class with Ambica Shrestha of Dwarika’s Hotel. “She shared that she was inspired by her grandmother. When she was young, she lost her husband. Many people including her relatives were not very supportive of her. But eventually she not only became a successful entrepreneur but also a social worker. At the age of 84, she came to our class. Her life has inspired me to continue on to become a social worker,” added Kusum.

Kiran Nepal, Managing Editor at Himal Khabar Patrika; Guna Raj Luitel, Chief Editor at Nagarik Daily, Sushil Khadka, CEO at Bajeko Khadka, Sushil Mainali, Journalist and Executive Director at Yeti Media; Sudeep Acharya, CEO at Dish Home; Shriju Tuladhar, Deputy Director at National Reconstruction Authority; Mahesh Swar, AGM at Kantipur Publications; Dr. Sneedha Mainali, Dentist at Nirvana Wellness Center; Dr. Bishal Dhakal, Founder at Health at Home; Dibyesh Giri, CEO at Smart Tech Solutions; Merina Ranjit, CEO at Chaudhary Foundation; Usha Pokharel, Educationist; Binita Adhikari, Child Rights Activisit; Professor Jennifer Angus of University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; Birendra Chaudhary, Founder of Tharu Museum; Binaya Bohra CEO at Vianet; and Priya Joshi, Founder of Makers Keti offered classes to children in Southern Lalitpur on the same day.

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On Tuesday, Anuradha Koirala as well as US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina Teplitz traveled with the TFN team to deliver classes. Teplitz delivered a lesson to the students of Jyotidaya Cooperative School on the use of ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) to learn career opportunities. Jagadish C Pokharel, Former Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission; Rajendra Giri, CEO of Kailash Bikash Bank; Bimal Phunyal (Country Director, Action Aid); Shanta Dixit, Director at Rato Bangala School; Vijaya Lama, Pilot; Milan Dixit, Principal at Rato Bangala Scholl; Kosmos Biswokarma, Journalist; and Shailendra Raj Giri, Managing Director Merojob.com and and Dil Nath Puri (District Education Officer, Lalitpur) also delivered classes on Tuesday.

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Agni Sapkota, Member of Parliament, Upendra Kanta Aryal, IGP, Nepal Police; Prakash Rimal, Chief Editor at The Himalayan Times; Subhash Ghimire, Editor at Republica Daily; Jimmy Lama, Founder of Helambu Livelihood Organization; Mausham Shakya, Life Coach, Karmath Dangol, VP of Cloud Factory; Sunita Danuwar, Executive Director at Shakti Samuha; Om Thapa, MD at Bizmandu; Bhaskar Dhugana, Director at QFX; Nama Budhathoki, Founder Kathmandu Living Labs; and Pavitra Gautam, CEO Karkhana among others travelled to deliver classes on Wednesday and Thursday.

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“Our guests have been traveling between 2-5 hours to deliver their classes. Upon arrival we have the arrangement for the leaders to interact with students and answer their questions. Additionally TFN Fellows as well as the school team are getting a rare opportunity to interact directly with these guests. Through these interactions, the guests will get to learn about the public school context from the school team. The visit will be encouraging to the school team as well as Teach For Nepal Fellows who have been teaching for 2 years in the classroom and pursuing community leadership activities,” shared Prajwal Khadka, Partnership Coordinator at Teach For Nepal who himself also served as a first cohort of TFN Fellowship.

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The fundamental belief behind this initiative is that ‘One day, One moment, One person, and One idea can make a difference.-Shisir Khanal, CEO, TFN

Sharing the idea behind the campaign, Teach For Nepal CEO Shisir Khanal says, “Education is more than what is in textbooks. Given that children Teach For Nepal Fellows teach have very limited exposure, we strongly felt that having direct access to leaders from various sectors would help build their aspirations. As Teach For Nepal Fellows volunteer for two years, leaders volunteering for a day can make a huge difference.” He adds, “The fundamental belief behind this initiative is that ‘One day, One moment, One person, and One idea can make a difference.'”

Teach For Nepal (TFN) is a movement of outstanding university graduates and young professionals who are committed to ending education inequity in Nepal starting with two years of Fellowship teaching in rural public schools. The Fellowship is highly competitive, challenging, and rewarding leadership development program, which prepares the participants to become lifelong leaders. Teach For Nepal Fellows come from diverse academic backgrounds including Science, Health, Management, Education, Law and Social Work, with minimum of Bachelor’s degree from universities in Nepal or other parts of the world. Currently 95 Fellows serve 7000 children at 36 rural and remote schools of Lalitpur, Sindhupalchok and Dhanusa. Teach For Nepal Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process.

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IGP Upendra Kanta Aryal
IGP Upendra Kanta Aryal
Kiran Nepal
Kiran Nepal

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