About Michael Casey


Developing A Made-In-Nepal Source for Teaching Aids

Montessori equipment has been carefully designed to have children follow a straightforward task to completion while having fun doing so. The children learn pattern recognition and matching, sorting by shapes, sizes and colours, solving puzzles – all skills that will last a lifetime and prepare them for higher learning.

Unfortunately, since this equipment is made in Europe, the price per product is very high and essentially unreachable for the kinds of centres we are promoting. Hence the need for a made-in-Nepal source which uses local labour, uses local materials and runs at low overhead. Continue reading

Humin, Palpa District Community Child Care Centre

Now that the Madi Project is near completion we initiated another pilot project in another district to see if the same start-up conditions apply. Our goal with these projects is not so much to create a network of Community Child Care Centres across Nepal – that would be well beyond the scope any NGO could accomplish. Rather we are looking for a formula, a model of how a small village, given a small amount of assistance from outside could create and run their own sustainable child care centre.

This time we came with the knowledge gained in Madi. Consequently we went in looking for an existing building which needed simple upgrades only, not a new building. We also are advising the Humin Board of Directors with more guidance on the advantage of choosing candidate teachers who were firstly, good with children and secondly, reasonably well educated. We also suggested offering employment for a trial period and having the candidate teachers assessed at arms length by an expert child care worker over a trial period. This project is expected to run until 2016. Continue reading

CFFN Co-Hosts Early Childhood Education Seminar in Pokhara

Early Childhood Development and the Montessori Method are two complimentary approaches to early childhood education.

Early Childhood Development promotes the value of Learn Through Play (LTP) and Role Play, educational ideas now well accepted in many countries as the ideal way to educate children in their early years. The concept of mixing school with “play” however does not meet with much acceptance in Nepal where a more traditional approach is the accepted norm. Educating the parents on the inherent value of LTP might take some time.

The concept of Montessori education has established a beach-head in Nepal. In fact appending the name “Montessori” to a school name in Nepal is code for a high quality child care establishment – whether or not it has Montessori equipment or teachers schooled in the Montessori method. Nevertheless the Montessori approach is seen as novel and parents express pride in sending their child to “Montessori”. Continue reading