Books and Values – Librarians and LVE
Ms. Sharada Siwakoti, one of Nepal’s LVE Facilitators and the Chairperson for the Nepalese Association of School Librarians (NASL) central committee, was instrumental in organizing and conducting three far-reaching workshops in September, October and November of 2016.
The first workshop, “Future Libraries and the Integration of Living Values Education” was conducted 27 through 29 September. A very successful and practical three-day workshop, participants were active and curious to learn. The workshop aimed to develop future librarians. Traditional processing of books, management, e-learning, event management, digitization, and modern technology were shared. Participants learned how materials could be used, without huge investment. Even poor schools can use technology with a little effort.
The Chief Guest was Mr. Upendra Prasad Mainali, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Education and the Coordinator of the library coordination session. Special Guests were Mr. Mahendra Siwakoti, General Secretary of the National Book Policy Association, Mr. Om Khadka, Head of Erasoft Solution, Nepal, and central executive members of NASL. The MC of the programme was Narbada Pokharel. Facilitators were Michelle Jensen, Sharada Siwakoti, Sunita Joshi and Narbada Pokharel. The main facilitator for e-learning and digitization training was Ms. Jensen. There were participants from four districts Katmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Nuwakot, as well as some NASL volunteers.
The second workshop, “Reading Habit Promotion Programme with the Integration of Living Value Education" was held on 5 October for the Sindupalcholk District, and included a book hand-over. The Chief Guest was Dr. Hari Prasad Lamsal, Joint Secretary and Speaker, Ministry of Education. The MC of the programme was Mr. Sadhuran, Nepal Secretary District Committee. Other guests included Mr. Jared Frost, Trustee, The Asia Foundation (TAF), Ms. Preety Thapa, senior manager, TAF, Samira Shrestha, Officer, Books for Asia, TAF, and other representatives from TAF, the District Education office, the District Development office, executive members of the NASL central committee and district committee, headmasters, teachers, librarians, parents and children. The chairman of the ceremony was Ms. Sharada Siwakoti, chairperson NASL central committee. There were 63 participants altogether.
The books were supported by TAF, including Nepali books for junior children by TAF trustee, Mr. Jared Frost. His generous support to local language books is incredibly helpful. Mr. Jared himself handed over books to 12 school libraries.
There were great discussion sessions about reading habits and activities for senior and junior students, the role of teacher librarians, and how to involve all stakeholders of the school community in developing reading habits. Sharing included, how to read books technically, a book and its parts, how to use a dictionary, how to find information, and the vision, methodology and core values of Living Values Education.
A special story-telling session was organized with the children, and songs were sung by Sunita Joshi and Sharada Siwakoti to make it even more interesting. A story was told by Rajeeb Dhar Joshi, with Sharada Siwakoti re-telling the story and engaging the children in discussion and activities to give insight about the story's message.
Participants were asked to write stories and songs according to their culture. Narbada Pokharel talked about the importance of libraries for a research-based education system. Mr. Tulasi Siwakoti and Sunita Joshi gave some ideas about using the Dewey Decimal Classification system, its main 10 branches and colour coding for the junior children’s book section.
Participants were enthusiastic to learn more and asking for additional training for better school library management and services. There was a group request for at least a week long training to help them be confident to run a school library, develop strategies and systematic planning and to integrate LVE in the school and library curriculum.
The third workshop, “School Library Information and Living Values Education” was conducted from 20 to 22 November. This three-day workshop for the Tanahu District included a book handover event and a school visit. The Chief Guest was Mr. Top Bahadur Shrestha, the District Education Officer. The 38 participants included social workers, academicians, head masters, political representatives, and the NASL executive members. The Chairman of the Ceremony was Mr. Lila Raj Pandey, NASL Chairperson, Tanahu district, and the MC was Mr. Aash Bahadur Ghimire, a teacher of Nirjala lower secondary school. Fourteen schools received books to develop libraries in their respective schools. The books were supported by The Asia Foundation; the other expenses were supported by NASL.
In the Tanahu District alone, 321 teachers, 5208 students and 2820 people in the learning centres will be benefited. There is a total of 489 schools, 57,973 students and 3,006 teachers (1966 men, and 1040 women) in the Tanahu district.
There was enthusiastic discussion among participants. NASL and LVE activities were conducted and handouts distributed. Participants were prepared to be able to run a small library and use reading habit promotion methods with students. Before this training, schools were doing project work in a scrap book form. Participants now have some knowledge about research skills, and a process and model to conduct project work. Participants enjoying storytelling and singing songs during the workshop.
Mr. Top Bahadur Shrestha highlighted the importance of school libraries for quality teaching and learning. Appreciating the work of NASL, he emphasized the need to provide such workshops to other schools of the district. He also requested participants to use the knowledge properly in their respective schools. Other participants also appreciated NASL’s work and asked that it be organized from time to time to support the huge number of schools.
A representative from participants also highlighted the importance of LVE. He felt it was needed to upgrade human values and for the all-round development of children, lacking in our new generation. We teachers forget to appreciate and acknowledge children's work. LVE training is not only useful for students, it has a great impact on teachers. Participants found the conflict regulation method to be marvelous.
Values Support and Sustain the Wealth of Human Kindness and Resilience
This article, written before the devastating earthquake, is offered in tribute to the wonderful people of Nepal, who carry with them both the strength and resilience of their values that are being tested to the very full during these difficult times. The Living Values Team on the ground is continuing to offer every practical support in partnership with RUWON Nepal, and trust that the images and words below, reflecting a visit in February 2015, will soon return with the hope, trust and character that dwells in the heart of the nation. We all have much to learn from the people of Nepal, especially their gifts of how to further cultivate benevolence and to promote a more altruistic society. Thank you, Dhruba, RUWON Nepal and the Living Values Team for all your efforts and endearing support for the children of all ages in your homeland.
Further to the excellent developments and trainings in Nepal through the initiatives of Dhruba Prasad Ghimire, Focal Point for LVE in Nepal and his team, together with International Trainer Kana Gopal from Singapore, as indicated in previous news items; the timely visit of the President of Living Values Education, Peter Williams and International Trainer, Ioanna Vasileiadou in February helped to accelerate the significant developments in these lands to new heights. There were many highlights to the trainings conducted by both Peter and Ioanna including the ‘Practical Strategies to help develop and Sustain Living Values Education’ program as indicated in the enclosed photographs. 35 members of the Living Values Education team were trained into more Train the Trainer Skills and thoroughly enjoyed the balloon activity, cooperative tower building and especially the reflective practices through the use of affirmation cards and stories.
Mr Hariprasad reflecting on values
It was a delight to also welcome special guest, Mr Hari Prasad, previous Minister for Youth, who graced us with his presence. The message of the training – ‘Live your Values with love, confidence and kindness’.
A visit to the superlative Living Values Star Public Montessori School, under the leadership of Sarita Siwakoti, was a particular highlight for Peter and Ioanna who were received with garlands of flowers and invited to share in and witness the excellent living values activities including guided reflection time, songs and dances.
Model schools of this caliber help to set the standards and show a way that Nepal can share its values.
A visit to the innovative library directed by Sharada Siwakoti also highlighted the significant role that libraries can play in the educational process with a practical vision that living values stories have a very important part to play.
Sharing at the Library
Peter and Ioanna were also touched by a visit to the Orphanage that Dhruba looks after with his family – a true living values family where each of the 21 children received a diamond to represent their inner wealth and beauty that shone through their presence.
Living Values Education is also deeply heartened by the continuing support of Mr Bisho Prakash Pandit, the Secretary of State for Education, and trust that the continuing relationship will enable Living Values Education, Nepal to reach out and re-build its capacity with divine values for all.
Let’s wish that practical help from the Living Values family and the message of universal divine values will continue to support and sustain the wealth of human kindness and resilience that earthquakes and moments of significant diversity will never take from the heart and soul of the nation.
By Peter Williams, President of ALIVE
A Values Tree by Kindergarteners at Learn Hub Montessori School
Sharada Siwakoti, of supportive member of Nepal's LVE National Team, has shared a pictorial report of activities being done by kindergarten students and teachers at Learn Hub Montessori, Lok Darsan Primary School. The children have created a values tree. Thank you, Sharada!
LVE Increase Peace, Love and Cooperation with Teachers and Children
Sarada Siwakoti, part of the LVE Team in Nepal, reported, “As far as I noticed in the two schools, I found the environment has been changing with LVE. The teachers are treating children in a peaceful way and spread love and responsibility in them, and children are doing the same as they imitate their teachers. The teachers are cooperative and working in a team. Cooperative planning and teaching is practiced. The children seem very confident, open and frank when talking with visitors. When we started taking with them, they talked confidently in a friendly manner.
The hundreds of librarians and teachers who have been involved with LVE through the training of NASL, are finding that their way of seeing life has been changing. They are practicing values in their work place.
LVE Races on in Nepal
ALiVE Nepal has been working with Kana Gopal since early late 2012 to bring LVE to Nepal. With the help of Mrs. Gopal, the president of ALiVE Singapore and a Lead Trainer of the Association of LVE International, a strong LVE Team now exists in Nepal under the leadership of Dhruba Prasad Ghimire.
Building on a series of two sets of LVE workshops in 2012 and 2013, three trainings were recently held in Nepal, led by Ms. Gopal with assistance from the capable LVE Team in Nepal. Details of the LVE workshops follow.
26th to 28th November 2014
A three-day LVE Training for Educators was held for 35 persons, mostly educators and members of ALiVE Nepal in late November. Because of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation meeting, there was vehicle restriction and lots of challenges getting to the venue in Ghattekula, near the Singha Darbar where the main Government Ministries are located. It was quite impressive that all the participants managed to turn up every single day!
Three members who attended are keen on whole school training for their schools – Parijat, Babylon and Olympiad – all private schools. Plans are in place for those trainings to take place before the next school semester in April. In general, Nepalese parents prefer private schools to public schools, also called community schools, as they see them as offering better quality education. ALiVE Nepal would like to reach out to both private and public schools in their land. They are also exploring reaching out to all early childhood schools which number well over 30,000.
Three of the attendees – Sarita, Sunita and Sharada – attended the first LVE Training for Educators in Nepal in December 2013 and have conducted trainings for their staff or contacts. Sarita and Sunita manage their own schools for nursery level to kindergarten using Living Values Education and Montessori learning as the foundation. Sarita also runs a day care on the same premises. Sharada has been introducing professional library services to Nepalese schools and has covered at least 1000 schools under the Nepal Association of School Libraries. She has given introductory sessions on LVE to several schools.
The training was opened by Guest of Honour Prof. Bidya Nath Koirala, a well-known academic in Nepal noted for his work in values education. The special guest was Mr Hari Prasad Nepal, a retired Secretary for Ministry of Youth and Sports in Nepal and one who is devoted to living a values-based life. He is doing a master’s degree offered by Annamalai University and based on the Values and Spiritual course by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
The Secretary for Education, Mr Bishwo Prakash Pandit, closed the session and invited ALiVE Nepal to have a conversation with him regarding how the curriculum could be made values-based for Nepalese schools. He was happy that Living Values Education was bringing “divine values” to Nepalese schools. Mr Pandit is also the UNESCO head in Nepal.
29th & 30th November, 2014
Twenty-eight of the 35 participants attended an additional two-day LVE Training for Trainers which focused on:
- How adults learn and adapting the training for them;
- How to deepen their own values, an on-going process and pre-requisite for all LVE trainers;
- Identifying the anchoring or key points in each of the sessions; and
- Designing a training.
1st December, 2014
Twenty-six of the 28 TTT participants attended this day-long session which brought them through the format of Values-based Parenting to help them facilitate this process. VBP, when shared with parents, is arranged in 12 two-hour sessions with a concluding three to three- and a-half-hour session for the whole family to create their family coat of arms and close the session. The session was moved through quickly focusing on what was not covered in the 1st LVE Train the Trainer seminar. These included a dialogue on:
- What are parents;
- Parenting Skills; and
- Family coat of arms workshop.
Mr Manoj Upreti, who coordinated the trainings and is responsible for overseeing and managing LVE trainings in Nepal, will be doing follow-up work with trainers in 2015. Ms Indu Gupta from India, will be working with him in this area. There are plans to start the first follow-up session at the end of January or February 2015.
ALiVE Nepal is also following up in several areas. These include:
- Translating the LVEP Educator Guide and all the Living Values Activity books into Nepalese;
- Strategising moving LVE nationwide, starting with whole-school trainings for District 32 schools and other interested schools in Nepal. The focus will be on Kathmandu initially; and
- Working on a training manual in Nepalese.
The next rounds of training will be in April or sooner.
Three rounds of LVE trainings have been conducted in Nepal, in December 2012, April 2013 and November 2014. To date, all teachers of Star Public Montessori School that Sarita manages, The Learning Hub that Sunita manages and SAV School owned by Mr Govinda Panthy, have been trained and have started implementing LVE in their schools.
LVE for School Librarians in Nepal
Sharada Siwakoti, on behalf of the Nepalese Association of School Librarians (NASL) which trains teachers and individuals and specializes in school librarian training, reported that they just finish 35 days of library training. For the first time, a Living Value Educational workshop was included in the program. A certificate distribution ceremony was held May 2 with chief guest, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Education, at the Nepal National Library in Pulcholk Lalitpur. The 27 participants included educators from the Learning Hub Montessori school, Bhatkeko Pool, Kathmandu and Star Montessori School, Imadol and Lalitpur. They will all use the LVE approach and do LVE Activities with students. It's wonderful to see LVE growing in Nepal, benefiting children, educators and families.
Living Values is taking off in Nepal!
“In Early December, sixteen people met in Nagarkot, Nepal, in the idyllic setting of Country Villa for a Living Values Education Workshop. The group was comprised of Dhruba Prasad Ghimire, the Secretary-General of RUWON (RUral WOmen Network), nine other RUWON members, two school principals, three educators and the General Manager of the hotel. It was a group who resonated totally with Living Values Education and who are very keen to move it nationwide.
The training only happened because of the love of Sudehpa Tham, a Singaporean who has been helping Nepali schools for the past 14 years, often out of her own pocket. She organised the training, involved all the participants and even found a sponsor. Sudehpa was the co-trainer; Kana Gopal, the president of Singapore’s LVE national organization, led the training.
Krishna Katwat, the general manager of Country Villa, is already applying what he learnt. Principal Govinda is also using activities from the Living Values Activity book for children aged 8 to 14 in his school and has been enthused by the response.
In April 2013, all teachers of the schools headed by Govinda Panthy and Pitam Tamang will undergo an LVE Training and then focus on becoming model LVE schools. In November, we plan to showcase these two schools at a nationwide conference on values-based education for key people in the education sector in Nepal.
All the participants have decided to be part of a team to promote LVE in Nepal and Dhruba has agreed to serve as the Focal Point for LVE in Nepal. The team will look into translating all the LVE books into Nepali. We are a group bursting with enthusiasm and commitment.”
Kana Gopal, LVE Singapore