Section Menu

CAIRN Early Years

The Need

With 80% of the human brain being formed in the first 18 months of a child's life, the first few years are instrumental in determining a child's full potential. However, in a developing country like Nepal, where over 47% of children suffer from malnutrition and thousands lack psycho-social stimulation in early childhood, the damage caused to the brain can often be long lasting and not easily reversible.

In rural Nepal, the youngest accompany their parents, especially their mothers, as they work on the fields. Strapped to their back, they often fall asleep patiently waiting under the blazing sun.

Many young children grow up under the care of older siblings, who consequently also miss out on an education, often, making a silent transition into child labour as they are deemed too old to start school.

While there has been rapid growth of kindergartens, nursery schools and pre-school centres in urban Nepal, such facilities are still a rarity in rural Nepal. The few that do exist are extremely basic with little or limited resources and facilities.

Teachers in pre-primary often receive little to no training and are vastly underpaid; resulting in de-motivated, ill prepared and under supported teaching staff.

In rural areas, teachers continue to deliver lessons using traditional techniques and pupils learn by rote and repetition.

Education is such a luxurious commodity in rural communities that most will never dream of starting their children's educational journey at such an early stage.

What is The CAIRN Trust doing?

Our Aims

  • To provide children with safe, stimulating and resourced environment in which to start their 
    educational journeys.
  • To train teachers to effectively guide the development of young children’s physical, social, emotional 
    and cognitive skills.
  • To empower school management teams to best manage and support the needs of their pupils and staff.
  • To educate parents and communities on the importance of early years education.

Our Approach

  • We select pre-primary and primary level Government schools to commit to our three year project by evaluating the mind-set of schools and current teaching styles as well as base-lining teachers’ capabilities
  • We work in clusters of up to five schools in order to maximise impact and share best practises.
  • Inside, we renovate classrooms to create clean, stimulating and age appropriate learning environment with brightly coloured and informative walls.
  • We meet children's simple, but often overlooked learning needs by providing soft carpeted floors for them to sit and work on, low colourful tables and shelving with rounded edges and wipe clean surfaces.
  • We train the teachers on some of the basic lessons of early child hood development so that they can deliver their roles effectively.
  • We create a culture where children can play as well as start their development by providing an inventory of local toys and learning resources including a tape recorder and musical instruments.
  • We provide an inventory of learning resources, games and puzzles to promote a culture of engaging lessons and creative play.
  • We train teachers to deliver interactive, well planned lessons that respond to the needs of individual pupils.
  • We develop knowledge, skill and confidence in pre-primary and primarily level teachers through week long residential courses and with the support of a fulltime trainer, living in the village.
  • We take health and hygiene into consideration through teacher workshops, parenting education and the provision of basic medicines and first aid kits.
  • We increase parents’ active participation in their children’s health and educational development through termly workshops.
  • We strengthen School Management Teams by working with them to form and action their school improvement plans.

Our Results

  • Launched our Early Years programme in 19 Schools
  • Delivered training and professional development to 140 teachers and head teachers
  • Renovated and equipped 108 classrooms
  • Improved learning for 1,844 children