A Village Kindergarten

The Kindergarten at the Rosehips Center for Creative Learning in Marpha provides an accessible and child-centric early learning program for 20 young learners each year. As a community initiated project, it represents a successful model for collaboration between families from different castes and socioeconomic statuses, and creates a precedent for hands-on and minds-on learning in rural Nepal.

Marpha’s government school nursery program wasn’t meeting the needs of Marpha’s youngest students and parents. As a result, more affluent families sent their children out of the village for school, and challenges in local education became the exclusive problem of the marginalized and poor. This created an unofficial segregation in education along socioeconomic and caste lines.  But attitudes are changing; a new generation of parents is working to improve education from the ground up at the Rosehips Center for Creative Learning.

 In March 2016, after an 18-month collaboration with mothers across castes, the Rosehips Center opened the first all-day Kindergarten in Marpha. The kindergarten has an emergent curriculum that responds to the interests and specific needs of learners ages two to five. Class activities integrate art, storytelling, games and mindfulness to develop school readiness skills like literacy, numeracy, group work and inquiry. A flexible fee structure ensures accessibility, fosters family investment, and contributes to a sustainable income strategy.

Opening the kindergarten also created three full-time positions for local women. Their training synthesizes philosophies from Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and Montessori approaches. The kindergarten also created one dedicated fellowship position for talented early childhood educators from around the world.