HECAC is now actively recruiting volunteers and others for the following project
The Nepalese Environment ? Schools Mini-Garden Project
Raising awareness and subsequent action-taking by Nepalese schoolchildren, at all levels
This project is aimed at schoolchildren throughout Nepal with the intention of highlighting environmental issues. In this way, we can target the younger generation and with their help, address environmental issues rapidly, widely and effectively throughout the nation. It is an unfortunate but universal truth that environmental issues are becoming emergency issues [needing to be settled urgently] for our planet. We believe that schoolchildren should be made aware of these critical and challenging issues from their earliest days in school as otherwise the problems may be addressed too late and be irreversible.
HECAC's task force for this project is a group of united and motivated people who have carried out research in government, non-governmental and private schools, to assess the awareness among schoolchildren of the environment and issues related to it.
Back ground: (Generally there are three categories of schools)
- Government-sponsored schools . Financial support for these schools is fully borne by the Nepalese government.
- Private schools which are run with the intention of giving their pupils the best education. Their operating expenses are funded by concerned parents and sponsors
- Charity schools which are run with the financial assistance of private donors and donor agencies i.e. INGOs and NGOs.
We visited and talked with many children in all three types of school. We also talked with teachers of environmental studies, school managers and concerned local groups.
School Research Findings
School children, teachers, school management bodies and local groups are unaware of environmental issues and thus most of them do not carry out any environmental programs even on Nepal's National Environment Day ( June 5 th - the annual International Environment Day).
We found that schools have more pressing issues of concern, eg. inadequate classrooms, insufficient or lack of toilets, water supply and playgrounds. Many are located close to main roads and thus suffer from exhaust and noise pollution. Drinking water in many schools is not filtered. Classrooms are congested due to the lack of sufficient space, especially in private schools. In these schools, children are crammed into small rooms. This is because they do not wish to pay for the hire of extra classrooms. However despite this drawback, students in private schools appear to be better educated than those attending government and charity schools. Approximately 80% of students from private schools who attempt the S.L.C. [School Leaving Certificate] examination achieve a pass while of those children from government schools who attempt this examination, less than 35% pass. Charity based schools with their lack of desks, benches, chairs, drinking water, rooms, teaching materials and proper building are unable to compete with the other schools because of their tiny budgets. As mentioned above, charity schools rely totally on the mercy of charitable people giving donations and institutional donors like NGOs and INGOs. Likewise, environmental studies are low on the agenda of these schools' curricula. Only one school was found to have set up an ?Eco' Club? for environmental activities.
School managers are not concerned with the importance of organizing education or activities that concern the environment. Most of the schools do not have sufficient time, resources or land with which, for example, to develop a mini-garden (We define a mini-garden as a small garden which can be developed close to school compounds with the participation of schoolchildren) which would benefit the introduction of the subject. However, one school did show some enthusiasm for the concept of the HECAC mini-garden project. Nonetheless, they need some encouragement as the widely held belief is that environmental awareness activities are the concern of the government, INGOs, NGOs etc and not an issue of importance for school curricula.
Why you should help
It was found that charity based schools are most in need of volunteer support. One such school is the Charity Nepal School (CNS). See link below for further information about this school.
We invite volunteers with an interest in the environment to help HECAC with the mini-garden project at this school. Charity Nepal School , in particular, has been chosen by HECAC because:
- Their management have the experience and vision to enlighten the children in their care.
- Both teachers and students at this school are fully committed to working against environment pollution both inside and outside the school.
- Teachers at this school are unpaid volunteers.
How you can help
We (HECAC) are seeking volunteers to help with one or more of the following tasks at Charity Nepal School :
- Teaching - for periods of one month; three months, six months or a year.
- Helping to decorate classrooms, painting walls and helping with the installation of water taps and toilets.
- Donating some funds towards the implementation of Items 1 and/or 2.
- Supporting the project and the school's managers with your technical expertise.
- Information sharing and material support.
Hoped for achievements:-
HECAC believes that the mini-garden/school improvement project at Charity School Nepal will bear fruitful results. It will become the first environmentally-friendly school in the Kathmandu Valley and it is hoped that if it is a success, support for similar projects will be more forthcoming. The activities to be launched at the Charity Nepal School will help to raise awareness of the strategies of HECAC whose main aim is to tackle the major problem of environmental destruction. It is hoped that CNS's achievements will be watched and imitated throughout the Valley and ultimately all across Nepal.
Achievement will be:
From this children's environmental awareness project, HECAC hopes there will be fruitful results. The activities launched in CNS will, it is hoped, widen support and raise awareness for HECAC's strategies which are to target the varieties of environmental problems in Nepal . Charity Nepal School , it is hoped will be the first environmentally-friendly / aware school in the Kathmandu Valley . It is hoped that CNS's achievements will be watched and imitated throughout the Valley and ultimately all across Nepal .
So, let's join and help!
For more details about any of our projects, please click on the links below:
1. About Charity Nepal School
2. Chitwan Community Project & Wild Life Park
3. About the Candle Nepal Women Circle Project
4. Budhanilkantha Cleaning Program Launched on 15 Dec 2007
5. Proposal of HECAC to launch SEAC (Student Environmental Awareness Circle)