It’s been an action packed couple of weeks as members of the Nepali CITCNepal team have visited the UK to enhance their professional development. From the 7th to the 23rd of June CITC’s founder Dawa Geljen Sherpa and Education Development Officer Samden Sherpa were joined by 3 of CITC’s sponsored teachers Llami Sherpa, Chhiring Tamang and Mani Kumar Rai from the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. For most of the team, this was their first ever overseas adventure!

A key part of the trip was for the teachers to participate in a teacher exchange, facilitated by our UK Sister School partnership. Female teachers Llami and Chhiring were supported as part of the Soroptimist International’s Educate to Lead campaign. They had the opportunity to visit schools from the Dudley partnership including St James’s Church of England Primary and Crestwood Primary. They also visited The Bishops’ Blue Coat Secondary School in Chester, Woodchurch Road Primary in Wirral and Kirkham Grammar School in Kirkham. They led assemblies and discussed their culture and experiences from Nepal with the children. The children were enthralled by their lively traditional Nepalese dances and colourful ethnic dress.

It was wonderful for the CITC teachers to be welcomed so warmly by the schools where they observed and participated in a huge variety of lessons from Early Years right up to Upper Secondary level. This provided an amazing insight into the delivery of a range of child centred teaching and learning methods and enabled them to appreciate how various learning theories can be applied in practice. They were also invited to staff and school council meetings. CITC strongly promotes the employment of Nepalese female teachers to act as role models and catalysts of change and as such it was especially valuable for the teachers to see so many female role models in the UK teaching profession, a huge cultural difference to Nepal where teaching is still very male dominated, particularly within senior positions.

Chhrring: “Thanks to CITC I have been able to develop as a teacher. I have many proud moments such as creating displays for my classroom and reading story books. My trip to the UK has shown me lots of useful teaching methods.”

Llami: “Thank you so much to CITC for giving me this opportunity to learn new skills to take back to my class.”

Mani: It has been an amazing experience for me to visit the UK and see so many schools. It has been great to see so many female teachers that are respected in the profession. Thank you to CITC for giving me this chance."

Feedback from our UK schools has been extremely positive, particularly in helping them to enhance their global awareness through first hand links with Nepal. Many of the UK teachers have even been inspired to visit Nepal to enhance their own professional development!

As well as the teacher exchange, the team attended events including a Federalism and Education presentation led by Nepal’s Secretary of the Ministry of Education Dr Hari Lamsal and Dr Tejendra Pherali from the UCL Institure of Education, University College, London to analyse the shift towards federal governance structures in Nepal and the set of policy decisions it entails for the education sector. They also participated in an ‘Educational Inclusion and Rights in Practice in Rural Nepal’ workshop, a partnership event with Liverpool John Moores University to explore themes relating to educational practices, gender equality and the benefits of partnership learning between the UK and Nepal.

Dawa had the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament along with CITC Trustee Mike Hagen to discuss the challenges for education in rural Nepal with MP Stephen Twigg, chair of the Parliamentary International Development Select Committee and a passionate champion of education and equality in developing countries.

Adhering to their busy schedule, the team visited as many valued CITC supporters as time would permit including The London and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services, The Rotary Clubs of North and Mid-Wirral, Hengistbury Investment Partners,The Everest Base Camp Team from Solutia Inc., Shayne and Hazel from Kaboodle and the North West Girl Guides. Many CITC supporters also gathered at an open house afternoon hosted by CITC Trustees Sarah and Mike where Dawa and Samden led a presentation to showcase the impact of CITC’s work on the ground in Nepal.

The team were fortunate enough to enjoy many memorable experiences during their stay including a fire boat trip on the Thames, a day of sightseeing in London, a speed boat adventure on the Dee Estuary and a visit to the Albert Dock in Liverpool where they took a ride on The Wheel of Liverpool to see stunning panoramic views of the city's famous landmarks and beyond.

Huge thanks to Lindsay Mason, Sally Sixsmith, Richard Jenkins, Annette Roberts and Sarah and Mike for welcoming the team into their homes and providing such warm hospitality.

Photographs of the trip are being collated, please keep an eye on CITC’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more information!