A Fun Way to Learn

Monday 11 April 2016

Children and Teachers Display their Talents through Educational Exhibitions held in Kapilvastu District

Odari Higher Secondary School, located in Kapilvastu of Western Nepal, wore a festive look. The grounds of the school housed more than 33 stalls, with a well decorated stage at the center. These stalls were set up by 33 schools enthusiastically taking part in the ‘Educational Exhibition’ organized by the District Education Office through Odari Resource Centre with the support of Save the Children.

Ramesh, 16 and Baburam, 15, both in grade 9, were two of the students taking part in the exhibition. Ramesh generated electricity using bio-gas, whereas Baburam experimented with wind to produce electricity. "I never imagined I could actually build this device. I ran into challenges all the time. But I carried on. Now, the device produces electricity from wind as well as water," said Ramesh. This task created a new love for science in both the friends. “I don’t think I will ever fail in science from today onwards," Ramesh added.

Bipin, Santosh and Shyam with their materials

While senior students experimented with complex processes, students from the primary level displayed their own special skills. Among them were 10 year old Bipin, 11 year old Santosh and 12 year old Shyam. Bipin created a replica of his school bus, Santosh made a dhiki (traditional grinder) and Shyam made a jaato (traditional grinder), with locally available materials such as cardboard, wood and mud.

A little further, 14 year old Laxmi and 16 year old Kiran eagerly awaited visitors with their creations.  Laxmi created a little chhaugoth – a tiny shed in which girls and women from the far west spend their menstruation period, which poses health and security risks for them. "I read about the practice of chhaugoth in my textbook,” said Laxmi, "So, I made this chhaugoth to rebel against this custom and convey the message to my friends that I am with them."

Other students representing their schools at the exhibition expressed great joy at being able to do something out of the ordinary. This educational exhibition organized at Kapilvastu since last year is the perfect platform for students to hone and display their talents at a wider level. This year, the exhibition model was changed from district level to resource center level.

Kiran sits behind her Mughal architecture

"The district level exhibition last year was highly praised, but the schools in far-flung areas missed the opportunity," said Surya Prasad Bhusal, Assistant District Education Officer, Kapilvastu, "So, we switched to the resource center level to include as many schools, teachers and students as possible.”

The exhibition is useful not only to children, but also to teachers – as they create various teaching materials for more interactive classes. "We targeted both teachers and students, but children are winning the competition in most of the cases," said Kabiraj Bhandari, Resource Person of Odari Resource Center, "This has challenged teachers to come up with even more innovative materials."

Such exhibitions are so popular that schools are planning to create similar platforms on their own to inspire teachers and students.

"This idea of displaying talents is highly successful, with10 exhibitions covering almost the entire district," says Ishwar Khatry, Basic Education coordinator of Kapilvastu, "We are well on the way to create a practical teaching learning environment in schools."