Outside the classroom, BCF teachers champion school development projects that support the unique needs of their school community. Each year, BCF provides financial support to projects that improve the lives of Bhutanese students, and the surrounding community.
In 2011, the pilot year of the School Development Program, four teachers championed projects to great success. Each year since, BCF has been thrilled to see expanded programs within our teachers’ local communities. We are excited to share with you some of their innovative ideas!
The School Development Programs are currently funded by the EuroCan Foundation, which focuses on conservation issues, particularly as they relate to renewable energies, climate change and sustainability.
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School Development Projects
Shauna West & Julian Richards
The project aimed to fill the gap in required reading materials for students at the Bartsham Middle and Primary Secondary School. At the time, students and teachers lacked the required resources to effectively deliver effective lessons and curriculum. The project was successful in acquiring donations to fill the school library and classrooms with enough resources to improve the quality of education for the students and staff!
The primary goal of the project was to establish a Photography Club as an extracurricular activity for students to learn the basics of photography, printing and editing! The project acted as a way for students contribute to the school community and develop leadership skills. Through the acknowledgement of the student achievements, both in academics and co-curricular activities, the project helped to boost self esteem. This was a result from public displays and publication of the students work as photographers, which also made the school a “child friendly environment” as well as building the confidence and self esteem of the school population as a whole.
The project goal was to turn a storage room into a resource room for the 76 Special Education Need students at Mongar LSS. As Mongar LSS is one of the six SEN pilot schools in Bhutan, it assisted children with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. With success, the storage room has been transformed into a wonderful new classroom, small library, and office. More Mongar LSS teachers have now been trained in special needs awareness, differentiation, accommodations, and screening tools to find students who are struggling academically.
Launched by our eager teacher in the field, Lisa Phu, the printing and distribution of the student newspaper was implemented to both encourage and enlighten students to absorb English in different ways. The students are inspired as they read articles written by their own peers, leading them to feel they could accomplish the same as well! The newspaper has been a great success. It has allowed students to become more exposed to English outside of the classroom. The KPS Observer brings English into the school in a new and fun way.
The main objective is to create a litter-free campus where waste is disposed of in an Earth-friendly way. Two of the steps that were taken to meet this objective were banning packaged junk food and educating students about the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse. The project implemented a system for segregating and disposing of the various kinds of waste usuing segregation containers. The project successfully and sustainably targeted waste management system and raised the environmental awareness of the wider community to inspire similar waste segregation plans in local homes and businesses.
BCF teacher Aurelia worked very hard with her students to make the drab school library, a more welcoming and vibrant space to be for the students. Of her experience, Aurelia says: “It makes me proud to know I have created something constructive, new and will leave something important behind. We are all so grateful for having been granted this special opportunity through the Bhutan Canada Foundation.”
This “clean and green school campus” project involved beautifying the school campus and creating a system of waste management. A small supply of paint, brushes and trash can combined with many hours of toil from BCF teacher Becky, her colleagues and eager students changed the look of the school.
This project, originally started by BCF teacher Lisa, was carried into its second year by BCF teacher Ashley. The grant pays for the publication of a quarterly newspaper, which is produced by the newspaper club. Through participation in the club students are engaged in writing, editing and reporting. The newspaper is distributed throughout the school.
The aim of the music program project was to provide the school with the resources to facilitate an extracurricular music club, pave the way for a music department and enrich the school curriculum by developing cultural strands and offering access to musical instruments. The micro-grant from BCF was used to purchase musical instruments. By year end thirty students were actively participating in the club and even wrote their own school anthem.
Waste receptacles were purchased for the school in an effort to promote the habit of proper waste disposal amongst students.
The project has worked to improve the restrooms at the school to make them look more inviting for the students. The project is aiming to reduce the spread of disease and incorporate healthy habits amongst the students and staff at KPS by creating a clean and sanitary environment. This will help students learn lifelong habits concerning personal hygiene and sanitation to maintain healthy, happy, and disease free lives!
This project is supplying fruit to support a healthy diet for the students at Phongmey Primary School to create a healthier campus and community! At the start of the project, apple, pear, peach, and persimmon saplings were ordered from a nearby village. With compost and nutrient rich soil from the forest, every sapling was carefully planted in its new home at the school with improved equipment that now assists with proper care of all the new and existing trees.
The project purpose was to promote awareness of dark sky astronomical conditions that are present in Pakshikha, the importance of minimizing pollution and promoting environmentally friendly practices to preserve the good seeing conditions for conducting space science while also improving resources for learning for the astronomy and space club at the school! The project has taught students about astronomy through practical observations with the purchase of a 6-inch telescope. Students developed an understanding of light pollution and its impact on dark sky conditions in the surrounding area.
The project’s main objective was to reduce the amount of waste scattered around the school yard by installing trash bins that could be used by the school and local community. The project has designed and installed 5 trash bins for use by the more than 500 school children and the local community which are emptied regularly by the local Dzong. This project has made a sustainable contribution to environmental and waste management in the community!
The project continues to provide a site for waste disposal for the students and the greater community! The project developed a pit for disposal of waste with a capacity for storage for approximately 3 years and an area for recyclable items. This project is currently acting as a source of education and knowledge to teach habits of proper waste disposal and sustainability among students!
The project aim was to encourage and facilitate proper waste management skills amongst students and the community to reduce pollution and improve sanitation. The project successfully supplied painted oil tins around the campus and in the village in conjunction with digging trash pits and supplying the hostels with proper plastic dust bins. The project is maintained by the members of Social Service Club on a weekly basis, engaging students and campus leaders to lead their own march towards improving the environment!
Improvements were made to water sources to ensure a steady flow of clean water to the school was maintained. This included the creation of an aqueduct to connect the main water source to a holding tank, the creation of a reservoir at the secondary water source, and the replacement of some of damaged piping at both of the water sources for the school. This project is working to improve water sustainability for more than 600 students, staff members, and family of staff residing at the Tashidingkha Middle Secondary School!
Sharon Gan Chi Ching
The project aims to provide a garden and pond for students to act as a resource for learning. This garden will be an area where students can learn about different plant life and species, complimenting what they learn in the classroom and in textbooks.
The project aims to implement awareness raising and education campaigns surrounding waste management practices. Waste bins, and information on recyclying will be used to teach students and the community about the importance of keeping the environment clean and how recycling and reusing materials can be sustainable and beneficial for future generations.
This project aims to promote environmental conservation through developing sustainable waste management practices among the students and community through the integration of visiual art. Art will be incorporated by creating garbage bins with bright colours, environmental proverbs, slogans and visual images to attract students to use these bins to safely dispose of waste. The project aims to develop personal interest and responsibility in students towards nature conservation while also developing sustainable practices for waste management.
The project aims to cultivate fruits and vegetables through the provision of a greenhouse in which students can learn, grow, and contribute to the well-being of the school and surrounding community. The greenhouse will serve as an interactive classroom in which alternative cultivation and harvest methods can be taught and reinforced. The fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse will be used to supplement student’s diets, and can be brought to local markets, providing a valuable source of income for the school.
The project aims to develop a deer rehabilitation park for the injured wildlife in the nearby area. Multiple deer have already been rescued and the current enclosure is insufficient to properly rehabilitate the injured animals. The park would provide a safe place for the deer to recover, while also encouraging students to take initiative in caring for the environment.
The project aims to minimize the occurrence of water-borne diseases from unsanitary drinking water by implementing a water filtration system. Currently, students do not have access to a sustainable clean water source and therefore rely on boiled water supplied from the school kitchen. This water source is minimal and does not sufficiently supply enough water for all of the students and teaching staff, leading students to use contaminated water from alternative sources.