December 1, 2016

Koulu School travels to Nepal

Elina Koivisto and Anssi Laurila are taking Koulu School to Nepal.
Elina Koivisto and Anssi Laurila are taking Koulu School to Nepal.
Aalto University

The peer-learning concept wants to find out if it works in more challenging environments than what it has seen thus far.

Koulu School will be piloted in Kathmandu, Nepal, in co-operation with Finn Church Aid and Demos Helsinki. Recently, the project visited the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, US.

Koulu School was originally developed in 2012 by Demos Helsinki. Its core idea is simple: everyone has something to teach, and a great lesson consists of five essential elements.

During the pilot at Burning Man, more than 100 new teachers were trained to teach others. Next, the concept will be tested in even more extreme conditions.

“The culture and society are very different in Nepal”, says Elina Koivisto. “Furthermore, we do not even have a shared language, so we need to work with an interpreter. Neither do we know how the peer-learning model will be perceived by the locals.”

Participants in the pilot in Nepal include local teachers, students from teacher training, volunteers, students from vocational school and education sector decision makers and officials.

“The idea is to illustrate the fact that everyone has something to teach,” Koivisto points out. “For this reason, it is great that the participants have such diverse backgrounds. Moreover, we are only vaguely familiar with the local educational system, so this is a great opportunity for us to learn.”