Story from Rukum under Education
When seven-year-old Karuna Budha Magar was first admitted to school, she was surprised to hear her teachers speak in a strange language. Later she found out that it was the Nepali language. She is a Grade 2 student at Tribeni Secondary School in Rukum.
Karuna speaks Kham Magar at home as this is her mother tongue. With the teachers not speaking her language and with all her text books in Nepali – a foreign language – Karuna did not look forward to going to school. She struggled to understand the basic concepts of maths and science.
UMN's Integrated Education Improvement Project developed and translated the school books into the Kham Magar language with the help of local teachers to promote literacy in their first language. Teachers were trained in the Multi Lingual Education approach and the transitioning phase later to another language.
UMN's partner in Rukum, MIC Nepal, organised various training programmes for members of the School Management Committee and Parent Teacher Associations on child-friendly teaching methods. Now with additional learning materials in their mother tongue, so many ethnolinguistic minority learners like Karuna can enjoy and understand their lessons.
Teacher Shila Gharti says, “Earlier, Karuna could not recognise the letters. We could see that she was struggling. Sometimes she even missed classes. But now, Karuna has improved so much and we see her as one of the smartest students in the class.”
Karuna is a happy school girl who has made her parents proud by securing fourth position in her class.