After presenting our amendments and student pledges for the lessons related to the Second World War in grade 10 social studies curriculam to the acting director, Dr. Bal Krishna Ranjit in the Curriculum Development Center, Anne Frank Project Nepal 2012 has finally come to an end. We spent around an hour discussing the possibilities of including the topics of the Holocaust and the story of the Anne Frank along with other major events and figures related to WWII in Nepalese curriculum. Dr. Ranjit, a great appreciator of world history himself held AFPN's effort in high regard and promised to present the amendments to the academicians related to the field. He also assured us that he would provide us with enough feedback once he held the meeting with other officials.
Before our visit to the CDC, we had met the undersecretary of Ministry of Education, Mr. Rojnath Panday to discuss the procedures and likelihood of amendments. We had received a very positive response from him.
We hope we hear from Dr. Ranjit soon. (Though he is the deputy director of the CDC, he is currently acting as director).
Please have a look at the pictures below. Any feedback are most welcome.
We collected 747 pledges altogether
Pledges packed and ready to be presented to the Curriculum Development Center (CDC)
Dr. Bal Krishna Ranjit is the acting director of the CDC right now
CDC, Sanothimi, Kathmandu
Presenting our amendments to the director
Dr. Ranjit analyzes our proposal
He starts giving us fee backs
After an hour long discussion, he accepts our proposal and promises to present it to other academicians
Dr. Ranjit looks at our proposal one last time
We will be waiting for the feedback
After visiting 12 schools in 4 districts and reaching out to more than three thousand students in three months, Anne Frank Project Nepal's educational exhibition has finally come to an end today, at Kathmandu Academy. Over the course of these school visits, we found most of the students very enthusiastic and thoughtful about the topics we discussed. Around 99% of the students did not have any idea about the Holocaust. Few of them knew Anne Frank, but not a whole lot. But we were very excited to learn that almost all students we interacted with thought that the topics that we presented on were important and they should be included in Nepalese curriculum. We have collected 745 pledges to support the movement to amend the curriculum of Nepal so that the story of Anne Frank, and the history of the Holocaust are mentioned in grade 10 social studies textbook. We have developed lessons (Thanks Nick) that includes important historical figures and events related to the second world war that have been obliterated from Nepalese curriculum. We will be presenting that to the Curriculum Development Center in Kathmandu in next couple of days.
About the visit in KA itself, students had a lot of reflective questions. It was very nice of those students to attend the program even after their classes was over for the day. A particular question from a student currently studying A levels struck us. He asked how hopeful we were that the CDC would be taking us seriously, and that our amendments would be acknowledged. We replied that we, to a certain degree were hopeful, but not a whole lot. We recently had a meeting with a secretary at the Ministry of Education and he had told us that it was a right time for the amendment because the CDC has been planning to change the entire grade 9 and grade 10 curriculum. So, our amendments could be taken seriously. But, keeping the fact that Nepalese curriculum hasn't changed for a very long time, our proposal could just be stored in the piles of other files. But, we will make an effort, and we think that is more important.
Please have a look at the pictures from the KA visit.
We will be back with more information in just few days.
On a fine morning of 29th July, AFPN visited DAV Sushil Kedia VV HSS in Jawlakhel, Lalitpur. We interacted with around 200 grade 10 students. It was the first time we had reached out to such a large number of students in a single school for presentation/discussion session. Sudip Bhandari had talked about the project in DAV's school assembly the previous Friday, and had asked students to search about the Holocaust and Anne Frank in the internet during the weekend. The pre-learning exercise worked, and a lot of students had very thoughtful questions on Sunday.
Please find pictures here:
A student reading the informational flyer we handed out
A poster related to Anne Frank's life
Power point presentation
A student reading the informational flyer
Around 200 students watching the video attentively
There is one more school visit for this year. Please come back for more updates...
On 25th July, AFPN visited Ullens School as a part of traveling educational exhibition. Most of the students there knew about Anne Frank. Principal, Mr. Medin Lamichanne told us that grade 7 students there read Anne Frank's book "The Diary of a Young Girl" as a part of their curriculum. It could be the only other school besides Rato Bangala School that has Anne's book in its school curriculum; it is definitely a matter of research.
The next day, on the 26th we visited Rupak Memorial International HS School. We had few troubles setting things up, and we had to cut the presentation short because of scheduled load shedding, but everything else was fine. We received a lot of thoughtful questions from the students even after the program was over.
Please have a look at some pictures from these school visits:
From left: Ashish Uprety, Sangam Shrestha: New volunteers in AFPN team
It was interesting to see discussion among students during the poster presentation: Ullens School
Nick Kang and Julia Coffin heading the discussion part: Ullens
Students busy filling out the questionnaire: Rupak Memorial HSS
Teachers and students watching the documentary: Rupak Memorial
Nick handing out surveys: Rupak Memorial. It was his last school visit. He left for Canada, his home country the day after. He was an integral part of the project. Thanks Nick.
Come back for more updates...
AFPN visited SOS Herman Gmeiner School and Little Flower School in Chitwan. We had trouble using the power points, so, we improvised our introductory presentation a little bit. We used black boards and the posters to explain concepts and terms. It was a different experience because it allowed us to interact with students even more. We were extremely glad that students asked thought provoking questions and their answers to the questions in their survey were very reflective. We would like to thank the school administration in both these schools for welcoming us even in a very short notice.
Please have a look at the pictures from Chitwan:
SOS Herman Gmeiner School
Students taking the survey: SOS
Discussion Session: SOS
Poster presentation session: Little Flower School
Discussion Session: Little Flower
Please check back for more updates in future...
AFPN visited 4 different schools here in Pokhara (SOS Herman Gmeiner School Pokhara, Tops Higher Secondary Boarding School, Novel Academy and Amar Singh Higher Secondary School) in the span of two days. It was mostly school administrations' help in setting things up, and the inquisitiveness students demonstrated that made all of these visits really effective. We are hoping to start school visits in Chitwan in next couple of days.
Please find pictures from our school visits in Pokhara:
Poster presentation session: SOS Herman Gmeiner School Pokhara
Social studies teacher discussing the topics: SOS
Power point presentation: SOS
Discussion Session: SOS
Students learning about Anne Frank and the Holocaust through pictures: Tops Higher Secondary Boarding School
Students working on the written survey: Tops
AFPN on wheels
Amar Singh High School
Nick leading the discussion session again: Amar Singh
From left: Sudip Bhandari, Diwash Timilsina, Nicholas Kang
Today AFPN visited Valley View English School in Mid-Baneshwor as a part of traveling educational exhibition. The program reached out to more than 300 students during the school assembly and the discussion session. We received from the school administration, mostly from Mr. Ram Prasad Dhungana, the co-ordinator of the school.
Students, mostly 10th graders were very interested in the presentation. We received a lot of thoughtful answers for the subjective questions of the survey. There were quite a few students who approached us and asked reflective questions after the program. One student asked if we had considered teaching about the Nepalese civil war, which would be much easier to relate to, than the Second World War. We answered that it would be very hard to remain neutral on the issues of the war that we have experienced ourselves, and the last thing we would want the student group to is be divided based on political ideologies. But we do want students to think about various wars and reflect on those wars so that we can infer pressing lesson from them. There were others who wanted to know how the project started and why. We discussed on these questions briefly and directed them to our website: annefranknepal.org for further information.
Overall, the program ran very smoothly and the response we received from students were really reflective. Thanks to Nicholas Kang, Sabi Gurung and Subhash Ghimire for their effort. It was Nicholas' first school visit after coming to Nepal from Canada to help us with the project. We all are now looking forward to meeting more students from other institutions in the future.
Here are few pictures from the project today:
Sabi just about to start the presentation
Students looking at posters
Anne Frank Project Nepal off to a great start
After two weeks of preparation, Anne Frank Project Nepal 2012 has finally started reaching out to students and teaching them about the Holocaust and the Second World War through the story of Anne Frank. On July 2, we met more than 200 students in Kathmandu Valley Higher Secondary School in Chakrapath, Kathmandu. One of the surprising things about this visit was that unlike most of the students we interacted with last year, few students from this institution knew who Anne Frank is. Most of them did not know about the Holocaust, which was not too surprising. But, we are always amazed to see students being so inquisitive about the topics we discuss, and the students here were no different.
We started off by setting up our banners that portray life during Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, the second world war, and specially life of Anne Frank. The school administration was kind enough to let all the students from grade eight to ten visit those posters during their busy class schedule and also be a part of the discussion session that took place after the poster presentation session. We received a lot of questions from the students about the posters and the materials presented in them, a clear indication that students had started thinking about the topics, a very good start.
We then entered a pretty humid room for the rest of the program. The windows were shut and curtains were up to make it dark for the projector display to be clearer. A room with not enough air flow in a 32 degree C temperature means a lot of sweat and exasperation. Yet, most of the students were patient enough to stay there for around 2.5 hours. We started off by introducing us (Subhash Ghimire, Sabi Gurung and me myself), and the project. We then showed them the power points for around 20 minutes to give them an idea about the topics that the video we were going to show them later will refer to. It was particularly difficult to talk about race, so we took it slow and provided ample opportunity for students to ask questions and discuss. We then showed them a video about life of Anne Frank, which was around half an hour. This was followed by a very quick written survey. With the help of the subjective questions in the survey, we tried to start a discussion. We asked them what they learned, why they should learn about world history, why do they think we were there with the project, what lessons can we draw from the topics, etc.
The program ended with a very positive response from both the students and teachers. We have collected a lot of pledges to amend the social studies textbook to include the history of the Holocaust, and also the story of Anne Frank. We are hoping to visit 11 more schools here in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Gorkha and other districts, and meet more students.
Here are few pictures from the program:
Students getting ready to view the posters
Students gazing at a poster
A teacher describing the Holocaust
Subhash Ghimire (Site Supervisor) and Sabi Gurung (Program Coordinator)
Sudip with the introduction banner
Students in a queue to get into the discussion room
Students being handed out the brochure and the survey
Brief introduction about the project and the team
Sabi starts the power point presentation
The pledge to support amendments to the curriculum
Active participation during the discussion session
Thank you note by the principal
Getting out of the discussion room: end of the program