Meera Shrestha
Former President of Nepal English Language Teachers' Association (NELTA)

I have been connected with the British Council since the Nepal English Language Teachers' Association (NELTA) was founded in 1992 at the British Council premises. If it wasn't for the British Council NELTA would not have been born. In my role as NELTA president, I would take every opportunity to remind our members that we owe our existence, in a way, to the British Council.

In 1992 the Assistant Director of British Council, David Pottinger invited us over. The group included Tirtha Raj Khaniya, the Vice Chancellor of TU, Jai Raj Awasthi, Vice-Chancellor of the Far Western University, the late Mr. Bajracharya, Principal of Anandkuti and many others from different universities and faculties. We gathered together at the British Council, where we worked out everything from the name and the acronym to the logo. We had doubts about who the members should be, so Mr. Pottinger suggested we include all teachers from primary to university. I was doubtful at the time, but now we have almost 50 branches and NELTA is one of the biggest teachers’ associations in the country - all thanks to the British Council.  

As teachers, we have to go grow continuously and be continuous learners, so that we are at least a few steps ahead of our students. In this regard, the British Council has helped us a lot. Every year we have a conference attended by teachers from all over the world. Since 1993, we have been getting key speakers from the UK courtesy of the British Council. And besides that, NELTA members have been going to the IATEFL Conference in the UK and upgrading themselves by attending workshops. The Hornby Scholarship is another example. This year our coordinator, became a beneficiary. These collaborations are ongoing and I hope it will continue to grow in the future.

The British Council is doing a good job not just for NELTA. Although my professional association with the Council began much later, I visited the library regularly in the early sixties. I am a graduate of 1965. At that time the British Council was just the British Library – so we used to borrow books, movies etc. Now it has evolved to become a cultural hub for our youth and not just for English. For e.g., I was there recently for the launch of a book. The Council continues to conduct events, drama, music, award shows for A level students and world toppers. 

Not just 60 years, but like Britain and Nepal recently celebrated 200 years of bilateral relations, I wish the British Council and Nepal partnership celebrate in the same way in years to come. We need the British Council and I congratulate the whole team.