Alumna Reshu Aryal Dhungana founded the Habeli Outdoor Learning Center in Kathmandu, Nepal upon returning from her studies in Singapore, where she had completed her Master of Arts in Leadership and Educational Change—a joint masters programme by NIE, NTU, and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Based on her philosophy that immersion in the natural beauty of Nepal is an excellent environment for learning, the Center focuses on infusing outdoor learning opportunities and hands-on scientific explorations into education in rural public schools in Nepal. In the Global STEM Alliance’s “Imagining Tomorrow: H20 Challenge” project by the New York Academy of Science, Reshu got her students involved because she believes “water is a resource that all Nepali children must understand if they are going to be able to take on the challenges of a future filled with vulnerabilities because of climate change.”
In her role as Chair of the Board of Teach for Nepal, Reshu is working to end educational inequity in Nepal by strengthening the public school system. She also played a key role in setting up Ullens Kindergarten, where its pedagogical approach of scientific exploration is modelled after the Children’s Center at Caltech, USA. The past two years have seen Reshu involved in post-earthquake rehabilitation in Nepal through educational crisis management and by providing training for emotional response to disasters to teachers and schools in the hardest hit districts of the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
For her contributions to transforming education in Nepal, Reshu was invited to be a Mentor member of the New York Academy of Sciences in 2016 and conferred the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award by NTU in 2017. On the joint masters programme, the proud alumna says, “I would recommend the programme to anyone, in Singapore or anywhere else in the world, considering taking up educational leadership roles or interested in understanding what education is for and how they might contribute to creating purposeful learning experiences and educational opportunities for children.”
Another distinguished alumnus of the Master of Arts in Leadership and Educational Change programme, Alan Lim is Vice-Principal of Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary) in Singapore where he is currently working with his school to explore ways to enhance the joy in learning for students.
Guided by the school’s outcomes—wisdom, personhood, commitment to community, and heart of service—and vision of “a vibrant community of active lifelong learners and influential leaders”, Alan and his team of teachers are seeking ways to make learning more experiential and enjoyable in and out of the classroom. Alan is keen to create a thinking culture that nurtures creativity and curiosity, and has been helping his teachers better understand the ideas of formative assessment.
Alan shares that the joint masters programme has helped him develop perspectives in curriculum leadership and understand the complexities in conceptualising and enacting curriculum. He is challenged to think about what really works and the conditions necessary to bring about school improvement. He adds, “Having been made aware of the complexities and dynamics of leading educational change, I am glad to be able to draw from the various ideas about curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, and develop strategies that will work in the local context.”
For more information about the Joint Masters programme, please visit: http://www.nie.edu.sg/higher-degrees/masters-by-coursework/master-of-arts-leadership-and-educational-change-joint-programme