We initiated the Explore After SLC course at EduLift on 15th April, 2014 with the hope that young adolescent learners who had recently appeared for their School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinations could benefit from some exposure to experiential learning.
At EduLift, we aspire to break free from the status quo of education in Nepal which is an all round exam-centred approach. While understanding the need for theoretical knowledge as the basis for students’ learning and development, we find it imperative that students get out of this dreadful cycle of education that only prepares them for standardised exams and not for life. Hence, the Explore After SLC course was launched with the mission to help these students in transition discover, explore and experiment a new kind of learning that is more holistic and relevant.
The Explore After SLC course consisted of 10 weeks, the first 4 weeks of which were focused on Weekly Challenges set by EduLift to enable students develop life-skills such as research, planning, execution and presentation skills. Following these 4 Weekly Challenges, students were then asked to come up with their own choice of challenge to deal with, work for 1 whole month on it and present it on the final day- 21st of June.
During this time, students also received intensive individual counselling, group counselling through which they explored their interests and further studies/career choices and got exposure through Guest Speaker Series and field visits.
During the final project, students worked in groups of four and had to choose a topic that dealt with a social issue. What separated the final project from the weekly challenges was that the solutions had to be applied to a real audience, hence creating a real impact. The final projects of the students were to be exhibited on 21st June and they were as follows:
-Verbal Bullying in Schools
-Waste Management in the Streets
-Encouraging Rooftop Gardening
-Recycling Waste into Art Objects
-Reducing Use of Motor Vehicles
-Eliminating Use of Plastic Bags in Schools
-Reusing Organic Waste to Make Compost
ON the final week, the students once again set out in groups to work on the event that would take place on 21st June. Groups were divided into six categories based on the responsibilities assigned such as program coordination, venue planning, food and beverage, guests’ list and so on. The funds for the event were also raised by the students through tickets made by them.
June 21st witnessed the closing of the Explore After SLC course. Students laid out their stalls, welcomed their guests to entertaining Bollywood dances and some songs, made presentations about EduLift and their experiences finishing off with some refreshments. This was followed by certificate distribution among EduLift staff and students for completing the EduLift course along with a token of remembrance.
It has been a very rewarding two full months and yet it seems to have passed by much too quickly. We at EduLift would like to sincerely thank all our students and volunteers- Harri Pickering and Liliana Salazar, our guest speakers & field visits facilitators – Saunak Bhatta, Prof. Jagan Nath Shrestha, Suman Shakya, Sujan Dangol, Nripal Adhikary, Lobsang Sangbo and James C. Hopkins, our supporters, mentors, friends and family of EduLift for all your love and support along the way. Here is to rethinking education.