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Cornish teacher to brave earthquake-stricken Nepal

Published: March 15, 2017

Cornwall College St Austell 16-18

Despite being “slightly apprehensive”, a Cornish teacher is helping to raise education standards in one of the world’s most volatile earthquake zones.

Lecturer Karl Owen from Cornwall College St Austell has secured a place to go on a volunteer teaching placement in the earthquake-prone Nepal this August.

The trip is run by the LRTT (Limited Resource Teacher Training) which is an organisation that works all over the world in regions affected by war or natural disasters.

Karl said he chose Nepal for a number of reasons, “the first being that the girls are not educated as well as the boys because of their culture”.

“The girls don’t get as many choices in life, and are not seen as equals when it comes to education and development,”

“The second reason was because of the Earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, which destroyed a vast amount of villages and towns. Because of the way the recovery money was spent, the small villages didn’t have any help as the money went mainly to sort out the tourist areas and this resulted in a need to get children back into a sustainable education system.”

The LRTT approach the challenge of poor-quality education and growing shortage of teachers by connecting qualified educators to develop their own teaching practice to inspire and empower communities of teachers around the world.

There were only 20 volunteer positions available for this trip and around 400 applicants, so Karl said he was delighted when he was told he would be teaching ceramics alongside a team of 19 other talented teachers from around the world.

Head of St Austell Campus, Chris Taylor said; “We’re really pleased that Karl has been given this opportunity to go to an area in desperate need, impart knowledge to the teaching communities and make a real difference. We hope that the chance to form partnerships with some of the schools out there might arise so that we can help with more resources in the future.”

Karl has never done anything like this before and Nepal is still a country on alert due to earthquakes still happening, he is slightly apprehensive about that but so passionate about teaching that he is keen to go and make a difference to the teachers and children who need that support.

Karl added “I would also like to get basic art supplies together to donate to the various schools I’ll be working in. This will be flown out to Kathmandu for me ahead of my journey, which I will distribute when I get there in August.”

Karl has never done anything like this before

This is a voluntary placement and Karl needs to raise £1500 by April 30 – If you would like to support Karl with a donation or donate some school supplies such as pens, pencils, chalk and paints please get in contact with Karl on 01726 226726 Ext 2409 or you can donate via his GoFundMe page;


For more information on the range of Art & Design courses available across The Cornwall College Group call 0845 22 32 567.

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