Celebrating innovation in education – Srijanalaya

Celebrating innovation in education

Celebrating innovation in education
Samikshya Bhattarai, Kathmandu

Aug 7, 2016- A unique education fair celebrating innovation in education is currently being held in the Capital. The three-day fair at Tangalwood features 12 different organisations committed to making education in Nepali classrooms more interactive and creative.

The fair—which aims to make learning more effective through practical approaches to education—has various stalls where parents and teachers can interact about making learning and teaching fun and productive. The event, meant for both educators as well as children, also features workshops, musical performances, dances and theatre. “We want to let educators know about the various creative ways that can be employed in educating children. The Nepali education system still retains a very theoretical approach towards education. This initiative is an effort to raise awareness that learning is not just derived from textbooks,” said Sharareh Bajracharya, curator of the event and member of Srijanalaya.

“The event was really fun. I wished school was like this every day,” said a student attendee at the fair after completing an exercise building cars out of cardboard boxes, “I learnt about friction and simple machines in class but never really understood the concepts before today.”

Sagun Sharma of Karkhana—the organisation that facilitated the exercise—said that practical education that helps translate theoretical knowledge into everyday usages was by-and-large lacking in Nepal. “We gave the students limited materials and basic knowledge about how to make cars and after that it was all their own design and creativity. The activity was done in teams of three, so the children learned about teamwork and due to limited material given to them, they learned to make the best use of the resources along with employing science and mathematical concepts. These are very important lesson that are seldom taught in Nepali classrooms,” she said.

Also present at the fair was the initiative Nepal Picture Library that presented an exercise in making history more fun by relating it to students’ family histories. “When you try to teach students history, all the pictures they see are of kings and queens. So what we try to do is to ask students to bring a picture of their family from a particular period. It helps to contextualise and understand history better,” said Shikar Bhattarai.

Nepal Prakriti Pathshala, that has been working towards promoting environmental conservation among children, were also at the event. The organisation has been actively working towards making classrooms more interactive, while helping schools around the country make localised curricula so that students can learn about their local environment.

Other organisation present at the fair included the American Spaces Book Bus and Book Tuk Tuk, Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, OLE Nepal, KU Art and Design, Women Leaders in Technology and Word Warriors Nepal, among others.

Jointly organised by Srijanalaya, Karkhana and Quixote’s Cove, the fair is slated to close with symposium on its final day on Sunday.

Published: 07-08-2016 09:16 in the Kathmandu Post.