With great thanks to Angela’s local primary school in Adelaide, Australia – Highgate Primary School – which has been a long term supporter of the Aandhimul school. The children from year 4 have just raised $300AUD – approximately 22,000NRp. It has decided that this money will go towards improving the Khaja (school lunch) for the ever increasing student numbers, and also to help towards new stationary and classroom equipment.
After the celebrations of Deshain and Tihar daily life has returned to the community. Though that did not stop the community to continue to enjoy the festive period. From November 11 to 17 school staffs, students and villagers played Bhailo (a kind of culture played in Tihar) to collect fund to build Nursery building. They had organised khaja (lunch) program for those people who took part in Bhailo program. Before the khaja Bikram, our project manager, held a meeting amongst the teachers and School Management Committee (SMC). They had collected a good sum of money. They also decided to use this money towards the new nursery building. They are now able to contribute 30 percent of the cost.
From the new academic session 2072, which means from 14 April 2015, Bikram has developed a separate attendance sheet for our project staff. They do their attendance on our project attendance sheet and the school attendance register too. The teachers are regular on their duty. If they need leave they inform Bikram one day in advance unless suddenly ill or other emergency. And, except public holiday, they get one day leave in a month. Bikram mentions that he finds them regular in attendance and punctual.
To measure students learning achievement, Bikram uses two types of assessment that are:
a) Pre and post reading assessment (Early grade reading assessment)
b) Early grade Maths assessment.
These two assessments are prepared by World Education, an INGO, which is used throughout the schools of Nepal. Bikram received those assessment models from Chij Kumak Shrestha who on occasion comes to train in Bandipur, our project teachers always joining.
Bikram applied for those assessments in beginning of then new academic session and discussed with the teachers during the Kathmandu tour, in the presence of 5 school teachers and trainer Ela Piya. Our students achievement is good. According to DEO calender we have conducted first quarterly exam. In this exam their achievement is good. Participating in teacher training, Bikram reports he has found an important change in the teachers’ teaching skills. Firstly they learn to make job chart which make student participatory in learning activities. Secondly making materials and thirdly teaching through play and singing.
Whenever Bikram visits the school he listens to the teachers and headteacher discuss about school life. Sometimes he gives them written assignments too to refresh on what they have learnt in previous teacher training.
Bikram have given the responsibility of preparing khaja to Kamala, and she is doing her duty honestly. The children a getting khaja regularly. Though, due to the Indian blockade there is no cooking gas, so they need to cook the khaja with firewood.
The Litter Officer, Ran Bahadur Bhujel, is doing his duty well. Sometimes he does his work in Bikram’s presence too. The village is cleaner than past. Sanitation in some areas is still poor. The main route to school is clean.
As mentioned in the previous post, the teachers had a 3 day educational tour planned in Kathmandu. So on 21 July our 4 teachers Pampha, Kamala, sarita and Gita, plus 13 teachers of another project visited Kathmandu on a teacher educational tour. They visited Kaasthamandap Vidhalaya of Ela Piya, a teacher trainer, one public school and one Montessori school run by Dr. Bina Gurung. They spent 3 days and 2 nights in Kathmandu. It was a very fruitful trip for the teachers. All the expenses were covered by the Rotary clubs involved. Thank you!
Back to the Aandhimul school, it reopened from 26 July after the summer holidays. On that day all the teachers were present but due to the first day after the holidays there were only 50 percent students present. Bikram has paid for the school to have one daily newspaper for one year and one monthly magazine named TEACHER.
Bikram, along with Kumar, the caretaker, took the new furniture to the school ready for the new term.
Except Lalimaya Bhujel, other people have finished the rebuilding work on their houses
It is maize/corn dry harvesting season and the villagers, children included, were very busy taking off the dried kernels ready to be ground into flour or feed for their animals.
One village family enjoying running their family business of breeding and selling chickens.
First a quick update on the rebuilding of the earthquake damaged homes. We have now sent across 150,000 Nepali Rupees (RS), 25,000RS per house. The image above shows the owners of these houses in a meeting with our project manager Bikram about a plan of action. It was decided the first house would start to be dismantled on this coming Sunday. We will keep you updated as the demolishing and rebuilding take place.
Above, some village children on their return from buying some vegetables from a local shop further down the valley. Food supplies after the earthquake are running okay in and around the Aandhimul village. Though support from Kathmandu has been offered to the Bandipur VDC.
A meeting was held on 15 May to elect parents to form a new School Management Committee (SMC) for this school year – however they could not choose the SMC and PTA due to the following reasons :
a) There were not enough actual school attending children’s parents present in the meeting. According to the Nepalese Education Act, at least two thirds of parents should be present to choose the SMC and PTA.
b) The school sent a letter home to parents only 2 days prior to the meeting. Not giving the parents enough warning.
The plan to resolve this issue is as follows :
a) To send letter a week before to all the parents requesting for their compulsory attendance in the parent meeting.
b) To call only the parents of attending school children, to prevent long debates.
c) To invite school supervisor and resource person in the meeting to facilitate as suggested in the education act.
The new SMC and PTA is set to be chosen by the second Nepali month of Jestha, meaning by 15 June.
As there are now more students attending the school than the previous years, it is necessary to purchase more desks for Class 1 and desk benches for Class 4. The project will cover the cost of buying these.
Above is an image of Urmila, a Class 8 student being supported by Angela in Australia, buying some new shoes and a bag for school.