As we look forward to receiving a large audience of national and international ELT professionals, we are Surkhet are glad to share something about this NELTA branch, with a quick introduction to Surkhet.
Surkhet, a beautiful district in the middle of Midwestern Nepal, is not only famous for its unique communities and cultures but also for some historically and geographically significant places like ‘Kakrebihar’, ‘Shiva Mandir’, ‘Deutibajai’, the ‘Bulbule’ park, and the amazing ‘Barah Lake’ which the birds keep clean. Birendranagar, the headquarter of Surkhet and an emerging town in Midwestern Region of Nepal, is a business transit point linked to all the districts of Karnali and Bheri zones. People from any part of Nepal can easily arrive here either by bus or airplane. Besides being a business centre, the charm of Surkhet lies in its being a vibrant educational centre. There are already 5 colleges, 26 higher secondary schools, 84 secondary schools, 81 lower secondary school, 389 primary public schools, including 50 private boarding schools in Surkhet. Moreover, with the establishment of a federal republic democratic Nepal, Nepal government has assessed the needs and demands of this region and announced to set up one university here so as to address the educational needs of this region. Hence, it is doubtless Surkhet is poised to become a more advanced educational centre and enhance academic activities in various fields including ELT.
Realizing the need to promote the teaching of English as an international language, and thus a language that is prescribed as a compulsory subject in all levels of formal education of Nepal, English teachers of Surkhet founded the NELTA Surkhet branch in 1996, under the guidance of Dr. Jai Raj Awasti and his colleagues late Khadka Bahadur KC and Nirmal Yogi. The first team was headed by Bishnu Hari Timilsena, and in a matter of few years, many ELT activities were carried out including the establishment of ELT resource centre at Jana Higher S. School. Surkhet is indebted to the British Council for its support in the establishment of the centre with a library and computer facility. British Council also later sponsored a scholarship for Timilsena to attend ELT training in the UK. Under late Uday Bahadur Basnet (1998) and under Lekh Nath Baral (2005), many more trainings, workshops seminars and other professional development activities have been carried out. Two of Surkhet’s scholars got Hornby Scholarship, which added the charm of ELT professionalism among English teachers in the west. Under Bimal Nepali, NELTA added many members and organized trainings like those facilitated by Kate Miller.
NELTA Surkhet is currently chaired by Uttam Gaulee, a charismatic leader who inspires teamwork and collaboration. Apparently, we are professionally thriving more than ever before. Recently, we organized a week long work shop for primary, secondary, tertiary level teachers as well as the principals, which were facilitated by Gretchen Coppedge, an English fellow NELTA/KU from the US and Gita Sitaula, a NELTA central executive committee member. This year, Surkhet also organized a training that provided TESOL certificate to twenty members; the training was facilitated by Hementa Dahal, the general secretary and Kamal Paudel, the secretary of NELTA of behalf of TEFL International. NELTA Surkhet is also conducting a range of professional development activities including publication of a newsletter; meetings and interactions between teachers and the chairperson, members, secretaries, and past chairs of NELTA centre; and we are gradually increasing the involvement of our members in networking with NELTA community across the country and the world.
The most important ELT event that is on the horizon of NELTA Surkhet at this time is the 2010 International Conference of NELTA. We are proud to host and organize the Conference in Surkhet. We eagerly look forward to the conference as another milestone for this branch and towards professional development of English teachers in western Nepal.
Please click on the comment link below and leave a question, comment, or thoughts you would like to share or ask with the great community of ELT professionals who will be meeting in beautiful Surkhet, or who might not be able to attend so would like to learn from this forum. It would be great if we can share about other branches in this forum, now and in the coming months. (If you have any questions about the venue, accommodation, programs, or anything that you would like to write off the list to us, please write to mukunda_teacher_giri ~ yahoo . com.)
– Mukunda Giri