Journey of Global Pathshala to ISA Award

The International School Award (ISA) is a global accreditation scheme recognizing good practice in incorporating international dimension in schools. It acknowledges school collaboration internationally and provides a framework for recognizing schools globally. The International School Award rewards schools that have shown a commitment to embedding international awareness and understanding within their class or school. It offers a framework within which we were to form international partnerships and achieve specific and comprehensive curriculum goals. It encourages exchange of ideas and information with the partner schools, which is an enriching experience for both sides. It broadens the outlook and expands the horizons for young learners.

At Global Pathshala school where striving for excellence is the basic requirement, translating this dream into a reality was not difficult as we have responsible and tirelessly working team. On April 2018, the idea of ISA project was brought into the school by the school Principal and Coordinator. After getting clarity about the project, the school started working towards it in full swing. Teachers and students took active part and gathered information from various resources like the Internet, magazines and newspapers. School tried to overcome the obstacles they faced during the process and were ready for evaluation within the deadline. The story behind their successful journey is full of ups and downs; joyful moments, struggles and some tiresome activities. But grabbing the achievement between their hands has left all those difficult days behind.

How many projects:
School did Nine different projects following the curriculum of different subjects.

     Title of the Projects                                          Class Involved

  1. Ethnic Dresses                                                            VII
  2. Mathematics in Historical Monuments                 VI
  3. Ten Days of My Life                                                   VIII
  4. Food for Healthy Body                                              UKG
  5. Duna, Bota Tapari [Local Curriculum]                  VI
  6. We Care for Our City                                                  II
  7. Awareness in Anti-Social Activities                         VI
  8. Home Sweet Home                                                     I ‘A’
  9. The World of Animals                                                I ‘B’

Why did you choose these projects?
Global Pathshala is a school which focuses on merging the Eastern hearts and Western minds. For the project ISA we had taken up nine projects. And each project was carefully chosen by the teachers keeping into account what is the most essential thing for students to learn at their age and class. The detail information of the individual project is given below:

 Project 1: Ethnic Dresses:

It is a collaborative project with an international partner school. Our partner school was G.G.P.S. from Pakistan. For the collaborative work we chose students of grade seven as the sample students. As Ethnic Dresses represent our culture and practice from a long time. We tried to promote our culture in school and also aware our students on its importance.

Project 2: Mathematics in monuments: 

It is the second collaborative project with an international partner school. Our partner school was Acre Co-Ed Elementary, UNRWA, Lebanon. For this project, we chose grade six as sample students. The students visited different historical places and observed different monuments and compared those with the monuments of Lebanon. The students learnt about the use of mathematical shapes in the monuments. They gathered the information about using those shapes by our ancestors while building monuments. They also learnt the cultural and religious importance of those monuments.

Project 3: Ten days of my life:

This is the collaborative project with an In -Country partner school. We chose students of grade eight as sample students and Shree Mahendra Shanti School, Balkot, Bhaktapur as the partner school for the collaboration. This project was aimed to deal with the daily activities of the students of both schools i.e. Global Pathshala and Mahendra Shanti School. we wanted to help the students of both schools develop a habit of dairy writing and its importantance.

Project 4: Food for Healthy Body:

This is the third collaborative project with an international partner school. Our partner school was Lahore Learning Campus, Pakistan. For this project, we chose grade UKG students as the sample students. This project was aimed to aware the students about the different types of food we eat and their benefits to maintain good health as they need to know which food to be eaten and which to be avoided. This project helped to develop healthy eating habit at an early age.

Project 5: Making Leaves Plates [Duna, Bota and Tapari] 20% Local Curriculum:

Under this project we chose grade five as sample students and helped them make leaf plates -Duna, Bota and Tapari_. After the completion of the project, the students were aware of those bio degradable plates and their cultural importance. They could describe the importance, their use during festivals and cultural practices in Nepali Society.

Project 6: We care for our city:

This is an in – School project with international dimension. We chose students of grade two for this project to help them understand the importance of public properties and the ways to protect them. The students also spread the message of what to do and what not to do at a local public place. For the same they prepared a chart having Do’s and Dont’s and pasted it at a Temple in Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur.

Project 7: Awareness on Antisocial Activities:

This is also an in – school project with an international dimension. We chose students of grade five as sample students. It was time for them to learn about the problems existing in the society where they were living in and also around our neighboring countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This project helped them to identify five different anti-social activities prevailing in the community and to aware them about the precautions.

Project 8: Home, Sweet Home:

This is also an in – school project with an international dimension. We chose the students of grade one as sample students to help them understand the importance of each room in a house and why are those names given to those rooms. It was really a step towards the students with an amazing idea they needed to have.

Project 9: The world of Animals:

This is a collaborative project with an in – school partner. For this, we chose the students of grade I and the support for the partnership was made by Shree Saraswati Basic School, Mahohara. As we wanted students from both the schools learn about different kind of animals found in the world and their eating habits, we used flash cards of those animals for making the students learn effectively. After the completion of the project they were able to learn about the eating habits of animals and their shelter.

Challenges difficulties while conducting projects.

Implementing a programme of this magnitude was indeed a very challenging and stimulating task. As we are a mini globe, we have students from diverse background and culture. Moving ahead, there have been crests and troughs along the path. Making understand about ISA and its activities with such diverse age groups and cultural background was not less than accomplishing a challenging job. Joy upon having established on international school link and frustration upon losing another was very difficult to tolerate. Besides, the unanticipated closure and holidays compelled us to reschedule the timeline of different projects as well.

Along with all those difficulties we aimed in removing the chalk and talk model of content-oriented teaching which cannot adequately prepare young people for the future and tried to shift focus emphasis on value-oriented experiential learning. With high determination of teachers, students and continuous support from management team we moved forward towards the happy ending of the precious journey of ISA.

Impact on school, Teachers and students:

Working towards the ISA was a new experience for our school. This was the first time our school participated in such a big project. Despite our initial skepticism, we decided to take up the challenge. Going ahead with ISA with most of the classes with diverse students was not an easy task. But the completion of the projects with many activities has made a noticeable change in school, teachers and students. Through ISA we realized that there may be variety in the languages and customs but we belong to one globe. It was an extremely motivated and dedicated team of teachers whose zeal and unstained cooperation ensured that participation in the activities was a stimulating and enriching experience for the students.

The students whose passiveness used to be the barrier of gaining the outcome of any activity was changed after the activities were carried out in the school. They moved from being passive receivers of information to young people who creatively and innovatively engage with learning process. Improved technology has given them powerful tools to bring about change in the educational field. Each project was designed to cater to the needs of different regions, diverse cultures, traditions in other countries. With the help of comparative study, students learnt about diverse global culture.

The ISA platform gave the students the much needed exposure for pursuing cross-cultural exchanges. The international interactions have widened out students’ horizons manifold times. Our ISA activities focused on global teaching learning skills and global values. Throughout the year the year the students got the opportunity to showcase their work in the form of display boards, charts, drawings, paintings and PowerPoint presentations to the students and other invited dignitaries. What made the students excited and the journey memorable was the interaction with foreign students and the keen interest and involvement of our parents and resource persons.

It is widely accepted that the traditional chalk and talk model of content-oriented teaching cannot adequately prepare young people for the future. We need to shift focus emphasis on value-oriented experiential learning. To counter the challenges that the schools across the world are grappling with, a holistic and promising ISA approach has become an effective solution to most of our issues.

With this, the journey of ISA has opened a window to other countries and cultures, giving teachers and students a new outlook on the world. It has given the school a fresh and attractive identity, and a new globally conscious ethos. We discovered new ideas and approaches towards learning. It benefited the teachers and students. The teachers were exposed to new methods of teaching which we have now initiated in the school. The teachers and students have also become familiar to new technology like using emails. ISA gave us the opportunity to learn about other cultures and traditions. The activities encouraged team spirit among the school staff, parents and students. Working for the ISA was a joyful learning experience for the school.

Challenges ahead:

This is the fifth year of the school’s establishment. In this short span of time we have grabbed International School Award. Now the time has come for the continuation of such big programmes and of course it is a challenging task to any of the schools. We believe this achievement as the initiation of our journey but not the end. So we have thought to come up with more projects based teaching methodologies to our students in the days to come. We are even collaborating with UK partner schools for some other projects too. So what we can say is, we are ready to accept the bigger challenges than this and are determined to come up with the fruitful completion as well. And this is not impossible if a good mutual understanding is there between management, teachers, parents and students.

 Rita Rijal
ISA Coordinator
Global Pathshala, Kaushaltar, Bhaktapur

 

 

 

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