Certainly you haven’t missed the invasion of Nepal in our school! During last weekend the students Noor, Santoshi, Umung and their teacher Khil all arrived at Arlanda where the Nepal committee was anxiously waiting. Since then they have experienced all that the school can offer and payed a few visits to the city as well. But now it was time for Tegazine to investigate these guests even more.
Since 2011, TEG and SOS Childrens Villages in Kavre, Nepal, have been collaborating, to exchange educational and cultural experiences, and for TEG to support SOS with resources. For the first time, three nepalese students are now in Sweden with english teacher and vice principal Khil Thapa.
This is Tegazines exclusive interview with Mr. Thapa. Nepalese students Noor, Santoshi and Umung will write their own articles about Nepal for Tegazine! Stay tuned!
– I teach english in the mornings in a private college and get home about 8.15. Then I eat lunch around 9, because in our country you eat a bigger meal in the morning.
The school itself starts at 9.50 with an assembly in the courtyard where you apparently begin by singing the national anthem and continues with information and on fridays say prayer. Comparable to TEG singing Du gamla, Du fria on the lawn every morning.
The day proceeds with some quality time each class has with their tutors.
– Basically the tutor’s responsibility is to know about the student’s activities – what they have been doing, if they are facing any problems at school or at home. Many students find it very easy to approach these tutors if they have any kind of issue. Sometimes it could be a disagreement with friends or even a problem at home and they try to help the students to solve it.
I guess this is what we would call our ‘handledare’ and is amazing to know that many more schools practice this kind of exchange between students and teachers. Though, when asked about the main differences between the school systems there and in Sweden, Khil answered that after taking part of Lars’ and Karl’s classes among others he had realised that the pedagogy here is more student-centered, whilst in Nepal he describes it as more teacher-centered.
– I think students learn more through student-centered activities. Actually we have been doing our best to reduce the teacher’s time in the classroom. Traditionally it was much worse than that, students hardly would have any time to express what they had learned. Memorising was the basic thing that they had to do, and if they were able to memorise everything they would be rewarded as the best students. But things are changing nowadays and we are improving in these ways.
Well it seems that the school has already gotten very far when it comes to student concern and attention.
What differ Nepal from Sweden?
Other differences that Khil had noticed we discussed quite a lot. He spoke about his family, his 21-year-old son who’s studying in the university (which you by the way pay quite a lot for without a scholarship) and his wife who, like many women, doesn’t work but only stays home and takes care of the family. Also the traffic – the roads are narrow and the drivers are reckless. This can make it dangerous for the students to take the walk home since the drivers apparently don’t take priority to pedestrians. Some catch the local bus because owning your own car is a luxurious commodity in Nepal, Khil says, just like the AC in our classrooms is a necessity here in Sweden whilst it’s also a kind of luxury for them.
How traveling gives you new perspectives
– Is there anything in Stockholm you would like to see before you leave? I asked in the end, expecting an answer like gamla stan, the castle or city hall. Though the response I got from Khil left me surprised and quite enlightened.
– One thing I’d like to see us do is to extend this relationship more. And if it is possible we would like to have some classes live broadcasted to our classrooms in Nepal, so that the students in our school also will be able to see what happens and what goes on in the classroom here, since we are not able to bring all of the students to sweden. And if the students here wish to see what goes on in Nepal we might be able to have some connection, that’s one thing, another thing is…
Now this is where our conversation took an unexpected turn towards the words of wisdom I hadn’t heard anyone speak about so truthfully in a long time.
– Swedish students live a more modern life, and it appears that living a more modern life is equal to a more fulfilled and more happy life. But I don’t think so. Modernisation can have many negative aspects that bring some kind of harm and depression. If people would be able to visit countries like ours, societies like ours and people like ours, they’ll have a better understanding towards life. People desire to have money but I don’t think people can be happy with money.
This is actually what he wanted to see by this trip. I was astound.
– Traveling gives new perspectives, so by visiting countries like ours people can actually understand and live their life.
– And is there any place you would like to visit in Stockholm?
– Yes, we’ve come to know that there is an office for the organisation SOS Barnbyar, the charity who helps for example children who’ve lost their parental care. They have an office here with workers and volunteers and we are meaning to visit that place also and it will be quite enlightening for us.
In other words, the primary attraction for him to visit would be SOS Barnbyar, because of its connection both to the school and to the country.
The last thing he tells me before we have to finish is…
– And I would also like to say congratulations to qualifying for the European football championship!
Khil, you are my idol.
Skribent: Cecilia Enquist
Foto: CC BY SA Täby Enskilda Gymnasium