Prem had a contented smile on his face when he landed in Kathmandu this time.
“This is not my first time in Kathmandu, but I am really excited to be here this year. Never has a 60 minutes flight felt so long before,” says Prem, in disbelief.
Prem flew all the way from Surkhet to Kathmandu to attend his first British Council Action Research Mentoring Scheme (BC-ARMS) orientation workshop, being conducted for selected mentors at the beginning of April 2019. BC-ARMS is one of the schemes of the British Council through which we provide small research awards for mentors to facilitate a group of mentees, to navigate classroom-based research projects in their local contexts and contribute in improving quality of education in Nepal.
For this year, the British Council selected a total of nine mentors, Prem being one of them.
Prem first got associated with BC-ARMS scheme in November 2017 as a mentee. He worked as a mentee in the project for six months in Surkhet, identifying and understanding the problems that arise while conducting lessons in a class or teaching students.
“My engagement in BC-ARMS helped me to explore my real interest. As a mentee, I learned so much from my mentor about day-to-day researches that were related to problem-solving and preparing actions to help students in the classroom. In a way, it intrigued me to become a mentor,” says Prem.
“I have not looked back since then. I worked hard every day, prepared and applied for a mentor position in BC-ARMS in May. I’m glad I got selected,” he adds beaming with a smile on his face.
As a mentor, Prem will now be working with teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary level to identify their classroom challenges and support them with potential solutions in assessing learning, using multilingual learning approaches, integrating information communication and technology (ICT) skills and promoting inclusive teaching and learning by developing the 21st-century skills in them.
“Students do not learn equally in the classroom. Each student has a different learning style and difficulties in understanding a concept. As a mentor, we will help the teachers to monitor learners’ understanding and create an inclusive learning environment in the classroom. My involvement in this scheme will not only benefit the teachers and learners but also develop my skills in planning, analysing and decision making. After I complete this orientation workshop, I will go back and share my learnings with my colleagues,” says Prem.
Prem currently teaches English in SOS Hermann Gmeiner School to students of grade eight to twelve and dreams of becoming an international English teacher in future.
“Teaching is challenging. In my 15 years of a teaching career, I have faced a lot of challenges, but also learned to tackle. Learning by doing is still the best way to go,” says Prem.
“The workshops and opportunities like BC-ARMS have helped me to boost my confidence and hone my teaching skills. The teaching practises that the British Council and AARMS are conducting are accepted worldwide and hopefully will help me to pursue my dream of becoming an international teacher one day.”