British Council Nepal has partnered with VSO Nepal to implement English and Digital for Girls’ Education (EDGE) programme as a component in the latter’s wider Sister for Sisters’ Education II with aims to improve the life prospects of adolescent girls in socio-economically marginalized communities in Nepal. The programme focuses on enhancing participants’ English proficiency, digital skills and social/life skills; all key skill which have been identified as lacking in the labor market in South Asia. EDGE also focuses on improving girls’ awareness of social issues. As a result of skill development, they will be better able to make informed and independent life choices, as is their right, in order to contribute more fully to the family, the economy and society. In addition, EDGE aims to improve the leadership skills of a smaller group of peer leaders drawn from the same communities of adolescent girls. 

Initial Training for Peer Group Leaders (PGLs) was conducted in Birendranagar, Surkhet on 24 - 28 May, 2018. Total of 60 girls attended the training. 

The girls were selected from the cohort of Sisters for Sisters Education-II Big Sisters and Little Sisters, who will then cascade the English, digital and social/life skills learning to the club members in EDGE clubs. Global Action Nepal (GAN), implementing partner, selected PGLs using tools developed by the British Council. Out of 101 girls, 60 girls were selected by using selection criteria which measured their English and Digital skills, willingness and self-reflection, apart from their educational level.  

Four Master Trainers from British Council delivered 4 days intensive residential training to the girls where they were facilitated on learning different skills. Majority of the girls mentioned about learning English, digital and developing communication skills, when asked about expectation of the Training. The girls were acquainted with training schedule and were given different tasks to do based on the English and digital skills they were provided. The resources for the training were Peer Group Leader handbook, Peer Group Leader Workbook, EDGE Club Notebook, pen drives, English and bilingual dictionaries, story books, laptops and phablets.  

One of the Mater Trainer, Mr. Ishwor Prasad Kadel said, “Girls’ involvement and participation is the training activities were commendable and in the second day, my sessions were on "EDGE Pack" and "How to play games"; both sessions went well with good involvement of the participants. This time I found that the participants needed more time to explore the PGLs Handbook and they needed more time than I managed to get introduced with the contents in phablet and computer. Yet, I am very much satisfied with the progress the PGLs have achieved by the second day of the training”.

“The participants enjoyed the other session. They went through all the games in laptop and phablet, had group discussions and shared their understandings working with their PGLs pairs and the PGLs who will be running clubs in close areas”.

After the training, feedbacks from the girls were taken which showed that almost all girls were happy with the training and contents of the materials. They were also satisfied with the trainers and their training delivery. As many of the PGLs were using the laptops and phablets for the first time, they were nervous and excited as the same time. Most of them said ‘using laptops and phablets were the most exciting part of the training’.