Reading : United Kingdom | Oct 04, 2011 at 12:43 PM PDT
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Stout and Paudyal of EAL

The Bulmershe School in Woodley, Reading marked Nepal Day this week as part of the International European Language day organizing various programmes about Nepal. On the first day, a group of British army including a Gurkha soldier presented a video about Nepal specially focusing on Nepal from where the Gurkha soldiers are recruited in the army. The attraction of Nepal day was wearing traditional Nepali dress like Nepali cap, Sari etc by some teachers and staff.

Quiz about Nepal, video show featuring amazing beauty of Nepal and power point presentation on “ why Nepalese are in the UK” were organised during the morning registration and even during the lessons throughout the week as part of the programme that generated awareness about Nepal and helped to inform students about basic facts about the Himalayan nation.

Joanna Lumley, who vigorously campaigned for the settlement rights of the British Gurkhas, sent a best wishes message wishing for the success of the programme and her signed photographs were presented to the quiz winning teams. Three teams (forms) got the signed photograph of Ms Lumley.

There were Nepali language session during the registration in some classes and Nepali flags could be seen around the school throughout the whole week. Nepali national anthem was played in music lessons, students looked at the triangle shape of Nepal’s flag in maths department while food technology added Nepali recipe to give extra vigor to Nepal Day. Another attraction of the day was the chicken curry, rice and pasta cooked in Nepali style in the school canteen.

Head of the MFL Department, Alison Seabrook Moore, who successfully organised the programme, said: For me, it was a great opportunity to discover and share the rich cultural heritage which our Nepalese students brought with them to school- an opportunity for them to show off their language, culture and amazing country to their classmates.”

“I think our other students were really impressed at the beauty and geography of Nepal and the Gurkha soldier in Year 7 assembly certainly caused a stir!,” she added.

Chairman of Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association Mahesh Gurung said: “ We really appreciate Nepal Day programme at Bulmershe which will help to know more about Nepal and Nepalese community in the UK.” In my opinion, it would be very appropriate to organize such programme involving community so that we could show our culture, tradition and way of living, he added.

Nepalese Highly Skilled Migrant Forum Reading had provided Nepali flags for the occasion.

Nepalese students, who are considered polite, shy, disciplined and friendly as they come from a multi cultural background back home, appreciated the Nepal Day week in the Bulmershe. “ To see teachers and staff wearing our traditional costume, unique triangular flags around the school and discussion and debates about Nepal were a pleasant moment,” said a Nepali student of the sixth form.

Bulmershe School enrolls a large number of students of the ethnic minority including Nepalese and at present over 60 students of Nepalese origin mostly of the ex Gurkhas have been studying here. The number of EAL students is more than 20 percent of the total number of students. The school has improved its GCSE and A level results with “17% improvement in the overall 5+ A*- C percentage in GCSEs (equivalent to SLC) and 6% improvement in the 5 A* - C including English and Mathematics measure, from 2010. These are the largest improvement percentages in the history of the school.”

It is estimated that over 5,000 Nepalese live in Reading area alone out of estimated about 100,000 mostly ex Gurkhas, students and skilled migrants Nepalese in the UK.

Chiranjibi Paudyal

Photo: Bulmershe School

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Nepal Day: Photo Bulmershe School
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reading64 is based in Reading, England, United Kingdom, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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