“The idea of being a global student is effective, even outside the curriculum. Once it is a part of the curriculum, we will be quite unstoppable as global students.”
Anisha Adhikari is a recent SEE graduate from Shree Ambika Secondary School, a school in remote Pokhara. Adhikari has felt her self-confidence grow over the time her school got involved with the International School Award (ISA). When the school changed its rote-learning approach with project-based learning methodology under the program, she found herself more enthusiastic and curious about school work that suddenly had more research and tasks, as opposed to simply reading and writing homework.
This change in the school’s approach has allowed students like Adhikari be a global citizen from a remote village. She fondly shares the cultural exchanges that took place during global collaborative projects. For one such project, her class communicated with students in a school in Punjab, India over Skype to learn and teach local dances. The students from both schools perfected the dance and shared videos.
These global connections happened both virtually and physically. Adhikari recounts a visit from Bangladeshi students during their Parent’s day. The students gave interviews to their Bangladeshi counterparts and joyfully watched them dance to a Nepali folk song. They even sang each other’s national anthems. She now knows how to dance to a Punjabi song and can sing the Bangladeshi national anthem.
The activity-based learning has allowed the students to form local connections and challenge negative stereotypes. Community members have rigid ideas of learning and where it happens best, their growth as individuals and as members of the society helps change perceptions. One particular cross-curricular project that had the whole village talking part was potato plantation. They learnt how to plant potatoes from their teachers, dug the field on their own, got their guardians involved, produced a good harvest and sold it and made an earning. The school was awarded for it by the local government and the students got more involved in the community after the project
The projects contribute to the students’ communication skills, including reading, writing, critical thinking, observation, speaking. As government school students, they went to a private school and gave presentations about keeping the environment clean and the appropriate food to eat. The students were quite diffident about speaking English, but these platforms helped them build their confidence.
As a part of the global network, Adhikari sees possibilities of her school contributing, on technical education to other remote schools in Pokhara. She hopes other students across the region can grow and learn from it.