Barsha Rani Gurung’s Green Printing the Curriculum project focuses on compiling, developing, and implementing interactive lessons to inspire and ignite environmental stewardship in middle school students through gender- sensitive lens.
How do you define empowerment?
For me the definition of empowerment is comparable to being the commander of your own vessel. To have the freedom to choose the direction you want to sail and having the liberty to choose your own adventure is empowerment for me. Empowerment also means having an enabling environment that will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to navigate past the destructive waves and thunderstorms and to sail towards a purpose/passion that you have hand-picked for yourself.
What would you change about our society so that more women can lead empowered lives?
Education is one of many sectors wherein lies the opportunity to provide empowerment for girls. The traditional teaching method that promotes memorisation and one-way communication has be long observed in the Nepali education system. Along with this one-sided teaching the problem of gender stereotyping also exists within the classroom environment. In this regard, my project Greening the Curriculum aims to provide value-oriented, interactive lessons in a gender sensitive environment. As both my passion and background lies in environmental science, environment-related topics are the targeted subject for teaching. With this project I hope to not just introduce gender sensitivity in the classroom so that all girls and boys can be empowered by their experience with schooling and go on to achieve their full potential through quality education, but also to spark a sense of personal ownership in environmental issues. My project aims to push through with the motto that if you ‘tell a child what to think you make him a slave to knowledge, but if you teach a child how to think you make all knowledge his slave’.