Karkhana: Banking on Creativity

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Karkhana: Banking on Creativity


Karkhana

Three years ago, a group of out-of-the-box thinkers founded the educational initiative Karkhana, hoping to fill the gaps in our education system that were obstructing originality, creativity, and innovation in students. The team--comprising Sakar Pudasaini, Dipeshwor Man Shrestha, Sunoj Shrestha, Pavitra Gautam and Suresh Ghimire--wanted to create an environment where students would be able to reap the benefits of 'The Four C's'--critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. And thus was born Karkhana Innovators' Club, an afterschool project-based programme for middle-schoolers. In order to reach a wider audience, Karkhana started partnering with schools and forked into a new educational programme called BeeCreative. BeeCreative, one of Karkhanaís two core initiatives, is a holistic co-curricular programme that makes use of hands-on learning to impart education to Nepali students.

There is no better substitute for learning than classes that require students to use not just their minds, but also their hands. Extracurricular activities allow students to pursue interests outside of academics, but oftentimes, these programmes depart so radically from the curriculum that they no longer contribute to the studentís academic growth. Most schools focus on developing an intensive extracurricular profile, but in their pursuit to provide the best extracurricular activities, co-curricular activities are neglected. This is where BeeCreative comes in. Rather than focusing on the usual add-on extracurricular activities, they focus on activities that can be integrated into the curriculum itself.



BeeCreative launched its prototype in 2014, when it collaborated with Triyog School to teach middle-schoolers simple concepts in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths) through tactile learning. When the team received encouraging feedback from teachers and students alike, they officially launched BeeCreative and started partnering with schools across the Valley. In three years, BeeCreative has matured from partnering with a single school to teaching thousands of students in 22 schools. BeeCreative does not replace the school's already-set curriculum; instead, they seek to come up with hands-on activities that will help students understand what they have learned already in the curriculum. The BeeCreative Educators visit schools once a week and introduce students to different materials that help them understand a wide range of concepts from how colours work to Newton's Law of Motion. They make use of everything from cars powered by balloons to innovative storytelling exercises to communicate ideas--essentially, a BeeCreative classroom is open to a whole host of teaching and learning ideas.For almost four years now, Karkhana has been the frontrunner in reimagining education in Nepal, and with initiatives like BeeCreative, it is making a huge difference for young learners. Hands-on learning and the emphasis on 'The Four C's' represents a notable departure from our traditional rote-learning methodology. The BeeCreative team understands that grades alone are not indicative of a well-rounded education. Near-perfect scores are not going to prepare us for jobs that are yet to exist and technology that is yet to be developed. The BeeCreative team believes that the ideal way to prepare students for the future is to turn them into creative individuals armed with skills that can be transferred to the real world.


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