Ganga Gautam
Associate Professor at Tribhuvan University, Nepal

My connection with the British Council goes back to 1988, when I joined the British Council Library to help with my undergraduate studies in English. Then, the only resource center available for us was the British Council Library.

Nepal English Language Teachers Association (NELTA) was founded in 1992 under the aegis of the British Council, Nepal. Back then I represented the student population and became one of the founding members of NELTA. I have been a part of several projects conducted jointly by NELTA and British Council to improve English language teaching and learning in Nepal. We collaborated to organize various international conferences for English language teachers; invited keynote speakers from the UK to address these conferences; and conducted various master trainer training sessions.

I was also a Teacher Trainer for British Council’s ‘English for Teaching, Teaching for English’ (ETTE) project.  The project was implemented in several phases, one of which was the revising of the ETTE teacher’s training manual. I along with my colleagues contributed during this phase and am very happy to be a part of this successful project.

Even in the past, British Council played a very important role in Nepal. It was the British Council through which English was officially institutionalized in Nepal. Several experts from the UK, sponsored by the British Council, helped us design and develop English curriculum textbooks at the school level. It also played an instrumental role in designing the curriculum for the teachers’ education program at Tribhuvan University.

As far as the role of the British Council in future is concerned, I think, it should continue to help Nepal to develop the capacity of local experts in order to carry forward this wonderful initiative. The capacity building of local expertise in education across all disciplines is needed, especially, at the moment. This is due to the present political scenario where we are moving from a centralized to a more decentralized federal political system. We need to restructure the entire education system in the country. To do this we must develop the capacity at the local, provincial and state levels. For this to happen seamlessly, we need resource materials and human resources. This is where the British Council could step in to make a huge difference, once again.