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people and places

Supporter for English Teaching

Pokhara, Nepal

This program supports two primary school in the Pokhara Valley in rural Nepal. Volunteers work alongside teachers to develop English language skills.

The project

For many years education at private school in Nepal has been in English and as English is a requirement for most jobs parents have tried to find the cash to send their children to private schools.  However there is now a move towards teaching in English in government schools as well, and school books have been translated into English.  

This has created a real challenge for teachers in government schools as they are frequently not fluent in English themselves and struggle to understand the content of the curriculum, even before considering how to teach it to their pupils.  Volunteer help is invaluable, both in developing the teachers' confidence in speaking and understanding English through everyday conversation, and in helping them interpret the books and develop teaching and learning materials.  Each volunteer will have an individually designed placement outline, ensuring their skills are utilized in the most appropriate way to support the schools.  

The principals of the schools that volunteers will be supporting have given details of the kind of volunteer support they would most value.  Their priorities are:

  • English literacy teaching methodologies
  • teacher training methodologies
  • lesson planning
  • early childhood education methodologies
  • the development of appropriate sustainable and cheap teaching aids.

People living in this part of Nepal are traditionally subsistence farmers.  In recent years some have gone to the Middle East to seek employment, usually on short-term contracts, which has led to some destabilizing tendencies.  Despite this they are generally very supportive of the schools and do all they can to promote their children's education - for example money is frequently raised by the community to pay for additional teachers so class sizes are usually relatively small.  School lunches are some school transport is also paid out of community funds.

The schools

The project's centre will be Shree Amar Jyoti Guan Pharka, a government primary and secondary school about 10km from Pokhara town.  This is the only secondary school in the community, with three feeder primaries, serving a big 'village' comprising several small communities.  The primary and secondary schools are on separate sites and volunteers will be based on the primary school site which covers classes up to grade 8. Alternatively volunteers may be based at Shiva Shakti School, which is one of the three feeder primary schools for Amar Jyoti.

Amar Jyoti School currently has 18 teachers and approximately 260 pupils; however volunteers will not meet all of them as they will be based on the primary school site where there is currently a nursery class and four other classes with about 10 children in each class.  Shiva Shakti School currently has 10 teachers and 95 pupils, with classes from nursery to class 5.  

Under government reorganization of the education system, the primary education phase is due to increase to class 8 and both schools plan to increase and reorganize their classes on the primary sites to encompass classes up to class 8.  Children start nursery school from around age 2, and move into kindergarten from age 3 to 5.  By the time they reach class 5, which is when primary education currently ends, they are about 10 years old; however the education system in Nepal is very flexible and there can be quite a wide age range within any class.  

Volunteer work

Volunteers will work with one or more teachers in one of these primary schools, focusing on helping the teachers deliver the curriculum in English.  They do not need to bring any equipment with them, but will have received a lot of preliminary information as part of the preparation process to help them prepare for their placement.

The location

Both schools are in a beautiful rural area, and volunteers will get to know this area well as they live and work here.  They will stay at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, a renowned and high quality lodge for tourists walking in the Himalayas and enjoying a relaxing break in this tranquil part of Nepal.  The Lodge has strong links with the community and support both these schools as well as various other community projects. Staff from the Lodge will coordinate the volunteers' experience, liaising with staff at the schools to ensure that each volunteer's skills are utilized appropriately and making sure that all runs smoothly on a day to day basis.

Typical day

Volunteers will start the day with a pleasant 20 minute walk through the countryside from their accommodation, accompanied by a local guide until they are confident to go on their own.  The school day begins at 10.00 with drill and the singing of the national anthem.  

Volunteers will then go with the teachers they are to support, accompanying them to their classes and working alongside them.  The school day is divided into eight lessons of approximately 40 minutes each, with a 10 minute break mid-morning and a 40 minute break for lunch (tiffin) - however in practice timings of lessons are much more flexible than this.  

The day ends at 16.00 every day except Friday, which is a half day and ends at 13.00.  The working week is Sunday to Friday - Saturday is the only weekend day in Nepal.

Details on Arrival

Volunteers can join the program at any time during the school year, although we usually avoid placing volunteers during the main exams in March and during holiday seasons - the school closes in June/July during the monsoons and there are holidays around the festival of Divali (usually October) and for the rice harvest (usually November).  During the application process volunteers will be told precise term dates for that year and times to avoid.

Volunteers will be met on arrival in Kathmandu and given a city tour and overnight accommodation.  They will then fly to Pokhara (included in the costs), where they will be met at the airport and taken to their accommodation at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge.

Free-time activities

There is an excellent infinity swimming pool at Tiger Mountain Lodge (where volunteers have their accommodation).  There are also many walking trails, and guides will willingly take volunteers on wildlife walks in the hills.  

Other activities are available in Pokhara, about 20 minutes away by car.  Here you can visit several museums such as the Gurkha Museum, book boat trips on the lake, paragliding or micro-light flights, or visit the spa.  

The mountains of the Annapurna Range can be seen on a clear day, and it is possible to organize trekking trips into the mountains when the volunteer placement is finished.

Water Sports
Swimming
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
English at High School level
Required Documents
life story and references
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The primary requirement is for teachers and teaching assistants. However as each volunteer's placement outline is written specifically for them to utilize their skills to meet local needs, it may be possible to match volunteers with wider skills. For example someone who does not have teaching experience but is a skilled musician or artist would be welcomed by the schools to broaden the children's experience..
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 10:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
50+

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Included Services

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Services by people and places

Costs include:

  • full board accommodation at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge
  • airport transfers in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • return flight Kathmandu - Pokhara
  • full local orientation
  • wildlife walks with local guides
  • local SIM card
  • project and placement liaison
  • contribution to project, used to buy essential equipment for the school

Airport Pickup at Pokhara Airport

Volunteers will be met on arrival at Kathmandu International Airport and taken to overnight accommodation at a hotel in Kathmandu.  The following day they will be collected from the hotel and taken back to the airport for the short internal flight to Pokhara.  They will be met at Pokhara Airport by a member of staff from Tiger Mountain Lodge and driven to their accommodation (about 30 minutes).

Accommodation

Volunteers will stay at the luxurious Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge. Accommodation at the Lodge is in very comfortable individual bungalows with en-suite facilities.  

The Lodge has a dining room and seats on the terrace where you will eat your meals. There is a bar and comfortable seating areas, all with stunning views of Pokhara on the valley below and the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas. The Lodge has a pool.  

The staff at the Lodge look after volunteers (and guests) really well, and our local partner is based there so volunteers can be sure of 24/7 support.

Bungalow
Food & Beverages

Breakfast and dinner are provided at Tiger Mountain - there is always a choice of Nepali and European food. A packed lunch will be provided on school days, and volunteers' personal preferences can be provided for. There is usually a cup of tea and a piece of cake waiting for volunteers on their return from school!

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Pokhara Airport (PKR) in Pokhara. We assist you to find cheap flights to Nepal.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Nepal provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Nepal you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Nepal.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$3,310.00
5 weeks
$3,873.00
6 weeks
$4,411.00
7 weeks
$4,948.00
8 weeks
$5,486.00
9 weeks
$6,024.00
13 weeks (max. stay)
$8,175.00
Average fees
$728.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Pokhara/Nepal between 4 weeks and 13 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. people and places will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Nepal.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with people and places during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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