Just Learning Opportunities


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In November of 2014 Just Learning Opportunities spent two weeks evaluating the early literacy skills of over 300 K-3 students in four schools in the Kathmandu area. The purpose of the evaluations was to identify students at risk for reading difficulty, evaluate of the effectiveness of the reading program/curriculum, provide in-depth information about students' skills and instructional needs, and monitor the progress of each student to ensure they are making adequate progress toward achieving grade-level reading outcomes. In addition, our organization has gained valuable information about the efficacy of the adaptive learning program installed earlier that year at one of the schools we prevously evaluated. Preliminary results indicate significant progress in student learning at the school with the adaptive learning program, and areas where the curriculum could be improved at other schools. A thorough evaluation of the results will be completed by the end of this year.

Along with the testing, Just Learning Opportunities installed a computer lab at another school (Bijeswori) in Kathmandu. The computer lab consisted of five classmate PCs, server, LAN (Local Area Network), and Uninterruptible Power Supply. This lab was designed to provide English, math and science adaptive learning program for the students at Bal Kendra. In April or 2014, the lab was expanded to include 15 workstations for the students. We also completed the network and solar setup at a third elementry school.


During late June and Early July Just learning Opportunities once again traveled to Nepal as its founding members, John and his son, visited some schools that they had been in contact with. During this trip Just Learning Opportunities met with the principals of various schools to discuss the needs of the schools and how the earthquake had affected each school and its students. John and his son were truly astonished by the strength and resiliency of the Nepalese people even while facing these hard times. While at these schools, John and his son were able to provide some support in the schools' computer labs through fixing some of the PC's that had broken over the past few months.

While in Nepal, John and his son also donated tents and sleeping bags to various families in need. Since many families lost their homes during the earthquake, there are still a great number of people living in tent cities in large open fields in the city. Many of these shelters were inadequate and did little to protect these families from daily monsoons that rolled in almost every afternoon. The families who we donated tents to homes were destroyed and they either did not have a tent, or were living under a tarp. They were very grateful to have something to protect them from the weather.

While in the Gorka region of Nepal, Just Learning Opportunities met with a women cooperative group. This group focused on providing microloans to its 130 members with a monthly fee of around one US dollar. In return for a monthly membership fee, the women in the co-op are eligible for micro loans to fun projects they otherwise would not be able to afford. These loans are typically around $10 USD which allows them to buy anything from livestock to farming equipment. The interest rate on these loans is around half of what is currently being charged which allows the women to put more of their money towards their projects. This volunteer based cooperative has been running for three years and is currently looking to expand in order to improve its management and financial bookkeeping. After meeting with the women in charge of this program and leaning about their cooperative, Just Learning Opportunities donated $500 to their organization.