October 21, 2016
Nepal Prakriti Pathshala (NPP) or Nepal Nature School is an educational program of WCN established to enhance the understanding of sustainable natural resource management and the environment based on education. NPP has been travelling across the country giving on-the–spot and hands on education on environment and nature, in line with the existing curriculum. One of the shining successes of NPP has been its lead involvement in the development and implementation of two local official curriculums for grades 1 to 5 in Rasuwa district in the mountains and Chitwan district in the plains, in partnership with Resource Centres of Department of Education for Government Schools on local resources and environment. Furthermore, official textbooks developed to support these curriculums for grades 4 and 5 in collaboration with local teachers and officials and both students and teachers are benefitting from the textbooks since past two years.
As a progression of these interventions, in 2014 NPP was invited to contribute in finalization of a policy document ”National Framework for Local Curriculum” by Curriculum Development Center of the Ministry of Education of Nepal. It also supported publication and launching of the document officially. As the result of NPP’s direct involvement, the Framework now supports and promotes a hands-on and outdoor teaching modality for imparting knowledge rather than the traditional classroom chalk board method. The teachers are urged to be more innovative, to use locally available resources as teaching materials and to use local experts and wisdom as resource as well.
The overall aim of the NPP is to contribute to higher awareness and behavioral change towards more responsible natural resource use in Nepal by promoting better and more hands-on environmental education (EE) in schools. One major positive experience with the project has been that WCN has built its professional capacity to promote hands-on EE in Nepalese schools. It is recognized as a professional organization with high dedication and competency among schools, students, and the education sector. The approach of the mobile nature school, traveling to different schools to promote hands-on EE has achieved very good results working directly with students and volunteers. It has given WCN invaluable practical experience allowing them to refine their methodology and teaching materials. WCN has conducted programs with 600 schools and recruited 600 working volunteers in 24 districts of Nepal. From the above, WCN has established long-term working partnerships with more than 100 schools across the country. In addition, WCN established five models to carry out the principle of ”child to home to community” to engage local communities on the solutions of environment problems like waste management, household energy crises and addressing issues like climate change through installation of weather stations, tree plantations and water harvesting units through the active involvement of its local youth volunteers and students.
NPP is focusses in three approaches