Stepping into the Professional World
Before, I started working in English Access Microscholarship Program, I knew very little about NELTA. I just knew it is an association of English teachers from Nepal. Its objectives and functions were beyond my knowledge. On the day of the teacher selection for Access center Butwal, Mr. Hemanta Raj Dahal, the president of NELTA, threw a light on the working modality of NELTA and Access program. Yet I just achieved partially. As a Chinese proverb states:
Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand
Hence, this quotation has some sort of relation my academic as well as professional life. My curiosity about NELTA, Access program, US Embassy answered my query when I attended 17th International NELTA Conference in St. Xavier’s school in Kathmandu. I was amazed to see the huge gathering of ELT professionals from home and abroad in that conference. I can recall the experience of first participation on that conference till now. So many scholars, at one place; Wow!, it was really an exciting moment. All of those people were either hurried to share their knowledge or to get it. I cannot forget how much impatient I was to enter into the program hall to see the formal opening of the program followed by the key speaker’s speech but I had to be busy in registration process. Thank god, in the meantime, Access coordinator, Mr. Shyam Pandey came to the desk and told us to stop the registration process and get into the program hall so I didn’t need to miss the program much.
I have been attending NELTA International Conference since 2012. Altogether, I attended this grand event thrice in my life. Each time, I was shouldered distinct responsibilities. In the first conference, I accumulated the experience of registering the participants’ names. I had the chance to interact with many scholars. I was overwhelmed by their interest in participating in the event. I also got familiarized with NELTA executives and other members and even with Access teachers from different centers. Moreover, I got all of my queries about NELTA answered by the formal ceremony in which many dignitaries highlighted on the objectives, motto and the actions NELTA had been doing throughout the country. I came to know that NELTA is a non-political and voluntary professional organization initiated with the mission of producing skilled academician particularly in the field of English language teaching in Nepal. It has been supported by the US Embassy and British Council for completing its mission. NELTA has been organizing teacher trainings for English language teachers of different levels in different parts of the country. While doing so, it produces the trainers amongst NELTIANS. Not only that, it conducts other programs to educate underprivileged children. English Access Microscholarship program is one of the examples. It has successfully launched this program in different districts of Nepal namely Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Rupandehi, Gorkha, Kanchanpur, Kaski, Morang, Sunsari and Birgunj. Also, being involved in different concurrent sessions was a fabulous experience for me. I got an insight into an academic environment and equipped myself with various teaching learning ideas.
The second conference i.e.,18th International Conference was a milestone in my life because I was given a unique responsibility of being a rapporteur that time. Frankly speaking, this term was quite peculiar to me so I was worried whether or not I would be able to carry out my role efficiently. Regardless of my fear, I fulfilled my duty conveniently so far. It was completely a learning experience because I was supposed to report whatever session was there in the room I was assigned to. I found myself much more active and concentrated on the sessions which helped me to broaden my knowledge and be more resourceful.
NELTA has been organizing International Conference every year and providing the storehouse of knowledge related to teaching learning to many English language teachers of Nepal. This has not only created learning opportunity for the teachers but also the sharing opportunity for the experts. This helps them to refine themselves and carry out their researches. I personally think that NELTA has been doing a tremendous job by organizing such a great event. It has become an example in our country contributing a lot in the field of education. It should be appreciated and honored for such an exemplary task. I believe the government of Nepal has already realized its significance, and support further for its mission to achieve quality education in Nepal.
(Keshari Rana is an Access teacher in English Access Microscholarship Program, Butwal Center, Nepal.)