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STEM Jamboree-2019

STEM Jamboree-2019

STEM Jamboree 2019 was celebrated with much anticipated grandeur and fanfare on November 15, 2019 in Dhangadhi, Kailali. The annual event organized by STEM II (Supporting the education of Marginalized Girls), is marked to celebrate girls’ education. This year, the event featured a day long activities of cultural performances, exhibitions, fun activities. More than 600 students from all across the 30 project schools in Kailali district, far-west region of Nepal, participated in the program.

The event kicked-off with a formal event inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Province 7, Trilochan Bhatta, who lauded the project’s efforts to uplift educational standards while expressing the commitment of the government to develop community schools of the region. The event was also attended by Mercy Corps Vice President, Dina Esposito, and recently appointed Mercy Corps Country Director, Christie Getman.

 

Celebration of Girls’ Education

Awards and Honor

The program with the theme of “Celebrating Girls’ Education”, awarded 16 top performers of the Secondary Education Examination. Similarly, four Out of School Girls, recipients of vocational training and GTF loan, as part of the project’s transition campaign to provide technical skills and access to finance to start up and sustain small businesses, were also awarded during the program. Three School Management Committee chairperson and four Parents Teachers Association chairperson, all female leaders, were also awarded during the program.

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Cultural Performance

The program featured cultural performances by various schools with a message of unity and inclusion. The event served as a platform to showcase talent and performance skills for the STEM school students where the students not only put on a great show featuring original compositions and performances. Students from Mahadev SS Shankarpur and Karnali SS performed in a popular Nepali song that highlights the different cultures of the country with a message of Unity in Diversity. Similarly, Mohanyal SS performed a dance number on a national song with a message of nationality and inclusion. The standout performance was by Karnali SS with an original composition dedicated to all the girls who have transformed their lives against all odds while praising the project work in supporting to do so.

Exhibition Stalls

The program with the theme of “Celebrating Girls’ Education”, awarded 16 top performers of the Secondary Education Examination. Similarly, four Out of School Girls, recipients of vocational training and GTF loan, as part of the project’s transition campaign to provide technical skills and access to finance to start up and sustain small businesses, were also awarded during the program. Three School Management Committee chairperson and four Parents Teachers Association chairperson, all female leaders, were also awarded during the program.

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Teaching and Learning

This year, all the project schools showcased ‘Teaching and Learning’ materials as part of the intervention aimed at using local materials and resources to adopt new teaching methodologies. The different schools exhibited various teaching and learning materials such as  large maps and globes for geography, dummies and posters of human anatomy for biology and arts and crafts as part of culture studies.

Economic Development

The event also featured stalls of various small scale enterprises of the Girls’ Transition Fund (GTF) and vocational training. It featured food stalls, hosiery stalls, clothing and tailoring stalls. The project participants of the GTF have been able to establish small enterprises that has helped generate a steady source of income.

Science Exhibition

The science exhibition was one of the most popular stalls during the event. Four schools were chosen for the event where they showcased exceptional experiments such as liquid powered mechanical arm, air pressure rockets, modified drones and the most popular model smart city of Dhangadhi.

Peer Organizations

The event also featured stalls of various peer organizations active in the area. The stalls included education materials of different organizations such as WOREC, Red Cross Society, World Vision, among others.

Self Defense

The program with the theme of “Celebrating Girls’ Education”, awarded 16 top performers of the Secondary Education Examination. Similarly, four Out of School Girls, recipients of vocational training and GTF loan, as part of the project’s transition campaign to provide techThe Jamboree included a situational self–defense demonstration by trained facilitators. The facilitators demonstrated on how to handle tricky situations and using simple yet effective techniques to get out of physically threatening situation. Self-defense is a part of a bigger intervention of the program that promotes the right to a safe environment for girls and boys. The event was an ideal platform to create awareness among the students on the right to secure and safe environment and its available resources.nical skills and access to finance to start up and sustain small businesses, were also awarded during the program. Three School Management Committee chairperson and four Parents Teachers Association chairperson, all female leaders, were also awarded during the program.

Games

The event was marked with lot of fun activities along with outdoor games. The football penalty shootout was the hit of the day where school children were given an opportunity to score a penalty against a trained goalkeeper. Whoever scored a goal would be awarded a gift prizes. Along with the penalty shootout, other outdoor games included balloon bursting, spoon and marbles and other fun activities such as photo booths, face paintings and various arts and crafts stalls with creations from the students themselves.

Role Model

The event this year selected Radha Paudel, a dedicated activist for women’s rights, as a role model for the program to share her experiences and stories with the school children.  Paudel has been working for Peace, Human Rights, and Women Empowerment and is considered a devout activist of dignified mensuration. She is also the recipient of Madan Puraskar and N-Peace Award and working as an independent researcher and campaigner. Paudel shared a powerful story of her past while sharing the prevalent menstrual taboos and restrictions. Paudel also exchanged experiences with the students providing her insight on the current scenario.

Influence and advocacy Platform

As part of the project’s objective to influence government authorities and institutions on adopting successful interventions implemented by the project, STEM Jamboree was an opportune moment to highlight the project activities and its impact of the program. The event was inaugurated by the Provincial Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta while attended by the Mayors of the various municipalities and   representatives of different institutions. With the policy makers and local representatives aware about the program and its efforts, it is one step closer to attaining the project goal of continuity of the project interventions even after the end of the project.

Quotes from attendees

”I really would like to  extend my gratitude towards STEM and its efforts to uplift education standards of the region. I am committed towards the improvement of education in community schools and urge local representatives, political leaders and other government officials to take ownership of the community schools and its improvement. I really appreciate that STEM-II is supporting to improve the life chances of girls through education and economic empowerment. I would like to see the scale up of the program in other districts of the province as well”.

Trilochan Bhatta

Chief Minister, Sudurpaschim Province

”We have been together with STEM from phase one.The project has supported Girls Club (GC), additional classes in four major subjects – Maths, Science, Nepali and English – where  the majority of students scored low and failed. The club has helped in improving learning outcomes for girls. It has enhanced the confidence of girls and reduced drop out number significantly. From this year, we have started conducting extra classes for SEE in my school as part of the girls club. I would request to implement such interventions from primary level in the future”. 

Gorakha Nath 

Principal of Fulwari SS 

” We got an opportunity to learn and share the initiatives and achievements of STEM from each other which STEM has been doing for long. We are now in new system.. We have not only changed the provision, we have also changed the new systems as well. We are exercising new federal system. In this context, we are facing a lots of problems.  Now secondary level education is in under local government. There are many challenges before us for the management of education. We have to identify our needs and priorities and move ahead accordingly. If development organizations want to collaborate with local government, they should also focus on priorities of local government. We are backward in education for long and STEM has been working for education in order to resolve such backwardness so far. We are ready to have collaboration with STEM and support this.”

Tapendra Rawal 

Mayor, Tikapur Municipality