English access microscholarship gets wider reach

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 6, 2016-

The US Embassy has opened six new English Access Microscholarship Programmes across Nepal, the embassy said on Monday. 

US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz opened the programme in Namgyal Middle Boarding School at Swoyambhu in Kathmandu on Monday. Other programmes are run in Dang, Janakpur, Gulmi, Dhading and Banke districts.

The access programme provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-16 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors, said the embassy. “Through two years of after-school classes and intensive sessions, the access programme gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and 

participate in future exchanges and study in the United States.”

Ambassador Teplitz said: “While the access programme focuses on English language skills and American and Nepali cultures, it also educates students in career development, community service, computer skills, critical thinking and leadership skills, including raising students’ awareness of human rights and gender equality. Every Access class is comprised of ten boys and ten girls, and there is gender balance among the teaching staff as well. It’s a program we’re really proud of.” 

The Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (Nelta) is the primary implementer of the programme in Nepal. Two other programme providers, Himalayan Roots to Fruits and the Himalayan Society for Youth and Women Empowerment, also implement one programme each. Access currently reaches 440 students in Nepal and has produced approximately 600 alumni since it started in Nepal in 2011, said the embassy.

“What I like most about the access programme is the way it can help the students see their own potential to improve their circumstances as well as that of their communities,” the embassy quoted Kunjarmani Gautam, the access programme coordinator at Nelta. “Our teachers use a student-centered, content-based, communicative approach to language teaching that has proven to be quite successful in motivating our Access students. Because of this intensive support, nearly 100 percent of our students pass the SLC.”

Published: 06-12-2016 08:02

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