Nutrition Sensitive Literacy (NSL) is a pilot project that focuses on the development of a nutrition sensitive literacy package to foster the literacy skills of children and provide a platform to increase knowledge of nutrition and health. The project is being piloted in 21 schools in Sindhupalchowk and 9 schools in Bardiya districts in partnership with the World Food Programme, the Ministry of Education (MoE), Nepal and its line agencies including the Department of Education (DoE), the Curriculum Development Center (CDC), and the Food for Education Project (FFEP).
Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal’s work in the project
For the purposes of the pilot, Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal entered into a new partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) Nepal office. The implementation of the NSL project is guided by a Technical Working Committee (TWC) led by the DoE with representation from MoE, CDC, FFEP and other partner organizations such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and local officials from Bardiya and Sindhupalchowk.
The NSL package includes a detailed teacher's guide on various lessons and activities that support nutrition-based literacy; colourful workbooks for children that are aligned with the teacher's guide; flash cards showing diverse food items and their names, chart papers, colouring pencils, and other items for game-based learning activities such as bingo. OLE Nepal has also prepared a three-day training package to prepare teachers on using the materials to enhance lessons to promote nutrition sensitive literacy. Pre- and post-tests will be conducted to assess the impact of the program, and KAP (knowledge, attitude, practice) surveys will be conducted on students, teachers and parents to determine the change in understanding and behaviour in eating habits, hygiene and general cleanliness.
The workbooks and teacher guidelines aim to improve the learning achievement of students, and nutrition through child-centered learning methods. Some of the activities in the NSL package require for children to take the workbooks home and complete the activities with their parents, in this way the knowledge of nutrition and health can become part of family literacy. The entire content is reviewed by experts from CDC, WFP, FAO to ensure that they match the learning levels of the target children’s age group.
In February 2017, the NSL package was tested in 5 primary schools in Sindhpalchowk, starting with teacher training and distribution of workbooks and other materials at the schools. In March, the monitoring team visited the schools to observe classroom delivery by the trained teachers and also provide feedback based on observations.
The team found that the workbooks had become good reference material to revise and practice for upcoming exams. The children were extremely fond of the colourful images and enjoyed completing the learning activities. Also, inspired by the training, teachers were found to be using self-made additional teaching materials, including flash cards, charts and pictures. The field team also collected feedback regarding the NSL test package from the teachers and students.
As part of the pilot, the test schools have organised a Khana Mela (food festival) and a Nutrition awareness rally at the end of the school session.
From May 2017, a total of 30 schools (21 in Sindhupalchowk and 9 in the Bardiya districts) are now participating in the pilot after the successful test phase for suitability and efficacy of teaching and materials.
Funded by the UN World Food programme.