Book: Why School? by Will Richardson

World War I was an important point in the world’s history, and certainly one for Canada, both as a nation and as a nation of the world — so much so that The Great War was a major unit in the grade 10 Canadian history curriculum. Just like every other unit, there was a test at the end, to evaluate what we students had learned. To prepare I frantically poured over the class textbook and my notes, collecting important dates, places, people and events, and using them to draw out timelines.

I didn’t do well on that test; however, I ultimately cleared the class with an 83%. I credit part of this eventual success to an assignment, ironically tied to World War I. That assignment had us write a paper blog (I mean diary) of a soldier caught up in the war. Presented on tea-stained, oven-burnt paper, bound inside dirt-covered, paper-machéd cardboard covers, my diary was simply titled, “La Guerre Mondiale” (thankfully I caught a grammar mistake at the last second and added that last ‘e’ before submitting it). It detailed the desire to go home, the awful state of the trenches, loss of friends, and an impromptu sports game with both sides on Christmas Day.

In the days when Google was just getting started, well before things like Wikipedia and Call of Duty, I was researching and trying to envision what it would have been like to be in the front lines. I took the most complete picture I could piece together, peppered on WWI details and threw in my views on war and how I would feel losing my friends to gunfire. I wrote it all out. I did well.

This experience falls directly into Will Richardson’s premise in his short-length book Why School?: How Education Must Change When Information and Learning Are Everywhere (SEE: Book at In his mind, the age of Memorize and Mumble is over. Knowledge and the ability to connect with others is no longer scarce. “If we have an Internet connection,” says Richardson, “we have fingertip, on-demand access to an amazing library that holds close to the sum of human knowledge and, equally important, to more than two billion people with whom we can potentially learn.” Why would we limit our youth’s studies to a handful of books and facts that likely leave very little long-term impression?

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Yuba Sanchar: Youth Oral Presentation – Swagat Ghimire

 *This show is in Nepali Language*

In this presentation, Swagat Ghimire talks about many Nepali children’s preference to visit developed countries over Nepal for reasons like having to meet relatives, eat rice often, etc.

Swagat makes the case that visiting different developed countries don’t give wholly different experiences. A ride at an amusement park is the same regardless of where the ride is. But Nepal is a world by itself. For example, the experiences one can attain in Pokhara, Kathmandu and Lumbini all have their unique features worth seeing. Despite this, Swagat isn’t blind to the problems either. Frequent street protests pose difficulties for tourists. Nepali politicians take note! And to other children: when you do go to Nepal, try to get out a little – there is a lot to see!

२०६९ सालको नेपाल गणतन्त्र दिवसको उपलक्ष्यमा नेपाली राजदुतावास अटवा
क्यानाडा र अंतरराष्ट्रीय नेपाली साहित्य समाज अटवाको संयुक्त आयोजनामा
क्यानाडाको राजधानी अटवामा गरिएको वक्तृत्वकला प्रतियोगितामा श्री स्वागत
घिमिरेले  राखेका भनाईलाइ युवा संचार रेडियो कार्यक्रमको यो बिशेष


Yuba Sanchar : Youth Oral Presentation - Swagat Ghimire


Yuba Sanchar: Youth Oral Presentation – Kusum Sharma

 *This show is in Nepali Language*

In this Yuba Sanchar special presentation, Kusum Sharma recites the presentation she delivered at an oral presentation competition held by the International Nepali Literacy Society (INLS). She speaks about famous Nepali poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota and his dedication to Nepali literature. Kusum recites a passage from one poem about people becoming big by their hearts, not their castes, connecting the importance of this message to modern day Nepal.

२०६९ सालको नेपाल गणतन्त्र दिवसको उपलक्ष्यमा नेपाली राजदुतावास अटवा
क्यानाडा र अंतरराष्ट्रीय नेपाली साहित्य समाज अटवाको संयुक्त आयोजनामा
क्यानाडाको राजधानी अटवामा गरिएको वक्तृत्वकला प्रतियोगितामा सुश्री
कुसुम शर्माले राखेका भनाईलाइ युवा संचार रेडियो कार्यक्रमको यो बिशेष


video link:

Yuba Sanchar : Youth Oral Presentation - Kusum Sharma


Yuba Sanchar: Youth Oral Presentation – Reshma Dahal

 *This show is in Nepali Language*

In this Yuba Sanchar special presentation, Reshma Dahal recites the presentation she delivered at an oral presentation competition held by the International Nepali Literacy Society (INLS). She speaks about bringing a bright future to Nepal by uniting its people of varied cultural, linguistic, geographic and economic backgrounds.

२०६९ सालको नेपाल गणतन्त्र दिवसको उपलक्ष्यमा नेपाली राजदूतावास अटवा क्यानाडा र अंतरराष्ट्रीय नेपाली साहित्य समाज अटवाको संयुक्त आयोजनामा क्यानाडाको राजधानी अटवामा गरिएको वक्तृत्वकला प्रतियोगितामा सुश्री रेश्मा दाहालले राखेका भनाईलाइ युवा संचार रेडियो कार्यक्रमको यो बिशेष प्रस्तुतीमा प्रस्तुत गरिएका छन्  . उनी भन्छिन, विभिन्न सामाजिक आर्थिक भौगोलिक तथा सांस्कृतिक पहिचान भएका नेपालीहरु साचो अर्थमा एक नभए सम्म नेपालको भबिष्य उज्ज्वल बनाउन सम्भब छैन .


Video Link: 

Yuba Sanchar : Youth Oral Presentation - Reshma Dahal


Online and USHA – CFFN 2012 Annual General Meeting Update

Online Updates

New CFFN Site

New CFFN Site Website

Recently, CFFN has launched a new website. This site is designed to be much easier to  find new updates, articles and other content and be easier to search for older archived material. The Radio initiative has been fully integrated into this new site, making all new radio updates part of CFFN’s updates.

Visitors can also comment on and be part of discussions about articles and other topics.  If they so desire, it is possible to share our content with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+  directly from the article.

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CFFN Sponsors Toronto Nepali Film Festival

Canada Foundation for Nepal has joined the Toronto Nepali Film Festival as a non-profit sponsor. The Festival, being held on March 17, 2012 from 1:30PM – 10:15 PM in Toronto, will showcase nine extraordinary Nepali films from Canada, Nepal and the US. The annual festival is organized with the goal of promoting Nepal’s rapidly emerging and vibrant independent filmmaking industry and adding a distinctive voice to Toronto’s cultural landscape. For more details, visit the TNFF website. Continue reading

CFFN Concern Nepal Year 6, Issue 1

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Year 6, No 1, Issue 8 - October 2011

Click here to download this edition as a .pdf file.

Canada Foundation for Nepal has released its eighth issue of Concern Nepal. This issue is prefaced by CFFN’s new Executive Director, who reaffirms the organization’s commitment to several education-specific initiatives, namely Open University of Nepal, Community Child Care Centres. The AGM report discusses the key changes in CFFN’s executives, as well as the addition of new positions within the organization. This issue contains featured articles written by each executive member on a range of matters important to the various CFFN initiatives, as well as research papers discussing development opportunities in Nepal. We invite you to enjoy the reading of our publication and get involved and contribute to Concern Nepal by sending news, views, op-ed writings and research articles.

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Video Lessons for Nepali Math Curricula

By Prashanta Dhakal

Distance education is an effective way of teaching in this modern era. Video lessons for high school will be CFFN’s pilot program to help Nepali students in both urban and rural areas.  To this end, I found Khan Academy Video Lessons as the most effective way of educating people through distance education. I appreciate and admire Khan Academy’s bold initiative in online tutorials. As mentioned in the previous article, Khan Academy is a collection of online tutorials, in various fields of math and other subjects, that has demonstrated itself to be an excellent format for lesson delivery. Each video focuses on one particular concept and can be viewed in isolation from other videos. CFFN is proposing to make similar videos that are tied to the Nepali curriculum. Not only are the videos useful in isolation, they are also treated as a piece of the bigger puzzle.

For someone versed in some level of basic math, it doesn’t take long to spot slight errors in many of the textbooks used in Nepal. For example, in a Grade 10 math book I glanced through, there was a subtle mistake in the third sentence of the first chapter itself. The following was written regarding cardinality of sets: “The number of distinct elements in a set A is called cardinal number of the set.” Here, the subtlety of the language could really mislead the student. The wording suggests that a set could be composed of non-distinct elements, and that the number of distinct elements is the cardinal number of the set. It would be a grave mistake if a student understood that sets could contain non-distinct elements.

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USHA: Diaspora Youth in Academic Bridging Programmes

By Benjamin Wood

Salman Khan did something amazing. What started as a simple idea to help tutor family members has turned into a large, non-profit organization. Around the time that CFFN was starting, so was the Khan Academy, an educational foundation driven to create a “free, virtual school where anyone can learn anything.”

In the past five years, Khan Academy has created and distributed 2,500 10-minute videos of pre-university topics that are presented in a simple way that’s like having a personal tutor or teacher right beside you. The videos are presented like a virtual chalkboard designed to be the simplest, easiest way for someone to follow along, focusing on problems and the methods to solve them. While math was the original focus, Khan Academy has branched off to include physics, chemistry, computer science, critical thinking, history and finance. Ultimately, the organization wishes to have videos on all scholastic topics.

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Video: Math Tutorial Through Video Learning Demonstration

This is a short video demonstration of how it would be possible to create video tutorials that follow Nepalese maths curricula for grade 9 and 10. The demo, presented by Ben Wood at the 2011 CFFN AGM and by Prashanta Dhakal at the 4th National Conference of Nepalese in Canada, borrows from the Khan Academy style of knowledge distribution through low-bandwidth video.

Innovation in Education: A Story

Innovation in Education: Bill Gates’ favorite teacher

By David A. Kaplan, contributorAugust 24, 2010: 5:53 AM ET
(An article adopted from CNN)

FORTUNE — Sal Khan, you can count Bill Gates as your newest fan. Gates is a voracious consumer of online education. This past spring a colleague at his small think tank, bgC3, e-mailed him about the nonprofit, a vast digital trove of free mini-lectures Continue reading