Education plays a key role in safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Experiences have shown that teaching core subjects such as mathematics, science or literature by using students’ ICH backgrounds can make the learning process more relevant, as it creates better connections between what is taught in classrooms and the children’s everyday life.
On 8 January 2021, UNESCO launched the pilot project “Teaching with Intangible Cultural Heritage in Schools in Asia and the Pacific” virtually in Nepal. The 65 participants included the mayors and officials from Budhanilkantha and Kirtipur municipalities; teachers and principals of pilot schools and community resource persons from the two municipalities; officials representing the Centre of Education and Human Resource Development and Curriculum Development Centre under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal National Commission for UNESCO, and experts in education and culture. The event was followed by a preparatory session.
The main goal of the project is to strengthen the use of ICH in formal education, and in particular to promote it in various school-subjects through testing and validation of multiple teaching methods, materials, and lesson plans using ICH.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the two culturally rich municipalities of Budhanilkantha and Kirtipur. The implementing partner, Srijanalaya, will prepare the team from four selected schools—Janasewa and Mangal from Kirtipur and Ganesh and Naulin from Budhanilkantha for the pilot project. Each school team consists of one person from the School Management Committee, three different subject teachers, and one community resource person.
Uddhab Prasad Kharel, Mayor of Budhanilkantha Municipality, stated, “The beautiful aspect of this project is to engage students which will help them practice and learn from their own living heritage,” while the Mayor of Kirtipur Municipality said, “Our livin