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Teachers win uphill struggle

Mountains and monsoon rains did not stop teachers in remote parts of Nepal benefiting from a project that is enhancing their English skills.

Some teachers walked two to three days because of treacherous transport conditions just to get the training courses held as part of the English for Teaching, Teaching for English (ETTE) project.

But their efforts paid off with teachers saying they are now more confident speaking English without fear of mistakes.

Teacher Huma Thapa who had completed the 112 hour-long course said the experience would change the way she taught. She said: “Our classroom will be different now. We used to teach English [in Nepalese] through the translation method, now we will teach English through English, and we feel that we are achieving our goals.“

The project has targeted 600 teachers in seven isolated districts and has been used as a major opportunity by the Nepalese Department of Education to reach their teachers and help in their language proficiency. So far the Government has provided financial support equivalent to £6,000 and the success this year has encouraged the Government to continue their support next year.
Mahashram Sharma, Director General, Department of Education, said during the opening ceremony of training in Baglung: “ETTE Training has given an opportunity to government schoolteachers improving their English language. In today“s global competition, training like this will help our students to compete in the global context.“

Nepal has a population of 28 million with 70 per cent literacy rate. Schools mainly teach in Nepali and there is a great demand for English language, which is viewed as a language of opportunities in the country.
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