Diyalo schools with agri-gardens
About the Implementing organization
Name: Diyalo Foundation
Year of establishment: 2014
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status / Community enterprise or business / Cooperative business / Public-private partnership / Women’s association or organization
The crux of Diyalo Education is its innovative pedagogy, beginning with proper teacher support and teacher-training. Diyalo teachers undergo 4 teacher trainings in the following areas: education philosophy, language, STEM and interdisciplinary teaching, and social studies. Teachers are taught by other teachers for self-proliferation of pedagogy and increasing reception rates.
Diyalo's pedagogy emphasizes experience and nature-based learning. The teacher-student activity ratio in traditional government schools is 80% to 20%. I.e. kids are passively engaged 80% of the time, and actively participating 20% of the time. Diyalo's curriculum aims to reverse this to 20% teacher activity and 80% student-led exploration and engagement.
Every Diyalo school features a garden to function as an outdoor classroom and facilitate agricultural learning. The primary mathematics curriculum, for example, includes counting plants and calculating the number of seeds that one can plant in a small plot of land.
Surrounding mountains, forests and rivers are explored on class excursions facilitating nature-based learning and community integration for sustainable resource awareness. In science classes, Diyalo uses crops and the surrounding environment to explain plants, animals, and ecosystems.
Diyalo plans to also use the agri-gardens as a learning space for community farmers who otherwise would not have had access to agricultual education.
Forests / Mountains / Rivers / Wildlife
Type of Action
Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Pollution prevention, clean up / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security
The school's current teachers are working with education experts to design the Diyalo curriculum. This new curriculum differs from the current curriculum because it will relate to the realities children face on a daily basis in Nepal. Further, it will be tailored to the children’s needs. Our kindergarten curriculum is based on best practices combined with suggestions from United World School kindergarten teachers and early childhood development experts from around the world.
Our curriculum blends education about nature along with traditional academic subjects. Teachers engage directly with their students to create learning opportunities based on each child’s interests and their surrounding environments. Teachers promote curiosity and independence as the children develop self-help and socio-emotional skills. They encourage their students to share their experiences at the same time they get to know one another and understand their communities.
Sustainable Development Impacts
We will build schools through a 1/3rd collaboration model. Specifically, the resources will be provided equally by the: the Diyalo Foundation, the local district education office where a project is to be implemented, and collaborative exchange with the local community that will benefit from the operation of the school.
The first Diyalo school in Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal was constructed by the Diyalo Foundation with labor and material support from the local community; the teachers are funded jointly by the government and Diyalo.
The Foundation monitors and evaluates its teachers on a quarterly basis and provides training when required.
At the end of our 10 year agreement with the government, the governance of each school will be returned to their respective communities and district education offices. At that time, the Foundation will no longer have a direct presence in the schools. It will, however, provide transitional assistance to the schools’ new leaders.
Diyalo's schools will be models and an inspiration not only to the rest of rural Nepal, but to third world world countries in general.
Diyalo’s approach scales because of the collaborative exchange that occur between the community stakeholders and the Foundation. A transaction in this framework is using a means of exchange other than money.
These exchanges increase economic activity and open opportunities by valuing items other than cash. Some transactions are facilitated with time, labor, or locally produced goods and services. Others use independently issued regional, national or global alternative currencies. This enables our partner communities to buy-in without access to traditional currency.
In order scale, our programs will be transparent; the Foundation should not be solely responsible for the delivery of its programs in order to grow. This is why we partner with United World Schools to provide high-quality and transparent monitoring and evaluation.
The Diyalo Foundation works along side its implementation partner, UWS/Diyalo Nepal. UWS/ Diyalo Nepal has already built ten schools and has plans to build 30 more. This partnership enables the building process to be highly replicable, with processes in place to scale. However, the curriculum implemented in the majority of schools, other than the Diyalo Schools, is a low-quality government standard.
Thus, Diyalo's pedagogy must be made widely accessible and easily implementable in order to succeed. Diyalo's teacher training process is currently being systematized into a training program that is replicable and scalable in the form of a training guidebook, with distributable packet based chapters. This way, the Foundation can host teacher training as needed based on monitoring and evaluations. Additionally, Diyalo can provide training to other organizations that are interested in our innovative pedagogy.
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