Our school renovation projects are starting to attract attention from the government and media in Nepal. When Kali Devi Higher Secondary School celebrated its 50th anniversary with an elaborate ceremony in late February, Finance Minister Barshaman Pun was on hand, along with members of the press, to inaugurate a new four-room classroom built by The Santi School Project.
The new building was necessary to alleviate overcrowding at the school, which has about 360 students. More than just extra space, however, the new classrooms have helped Kali Devi earn a designation as a testing center for the school-leaving certificate (SLC), the most important exam for Nepali students starting on the path to college.
Previously, local students, who live in a remote area of Lalitpur district, had to travel a considerable distance for the exam, which is taken after finishing 10th grade. Now, Kali Devi will offer the SLC exam for students from four surrounding village development committees—administrative areas similar to counties.
Construction, originally funded by the government, stalled last year with just the frame of the structure completed. Santi School stepped in to provide slightly more than half of the total $15,000 budget; the community contributed more than 25 percent.
The inauguration ceremony attracted a big crowd: local governmental officials, representatives from various political parties, teachers from nearby schools, parents and students. Our project coordinator, Sita Devi Neupane, is an alumnus of the school.
A Nepali publication profiled one 10th grade Kali Devi student who can now take his SLC exam at Kali Devi here.
Thank you for helping to make this project possible. For more information on other school renovations and our training program for more than 150 teachers in Lalitpur district, visit our web site and Facebook page. Links are provided below.
This winter we'll be building new classrooms at three different schools, and installing drinking water systems at two of them. Overall, we'll be improving conditions for nearly 700 students in rural Nepal.
One of those schools is Kali Devi Higher Secondary School of Pyutar, Lalitpur. Built in 1962, the school has 20 teachers and staff serving more than 360 students. The school is around 50 kilometers away from Kathmandu.
The government's District Education Office provided funds to construct a four-room building to accomodate overcrowding, but the funds were only sufficient to complete the frame of the building.
We are helping the school complete at least two rooms so that classes can begin in April 2013, the start of the next school year. The school will bear a quarter of the estimated cost of the project.
For more information about the three schools we are renovating, visit our web site, http://santischool.org/category/our-projects/present/
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Teacher training has become a major focus for The Santi School Project following our big win this summer of a $15,000 grant from Better World Books. Working with primary school teachers is yet another way we can improve the quality of the learning experience for our children -- along with renovating schools, providing books and classroom materials, and helping pay teacher salaries.
Training has begun for the first group of 21 teachers from 7 school in the Lalitpur area. Overall, by next spring, we will train 150 teachers at 5 different centers.
How the training works
Early returns are positive
"I have observed some training sessions. Based on the observations that I have made during the training and its implementation in the classroom, I believe the training is effective." -- Satish Kumar Jha, principal of Sisnery Higher Secondary School, Lamatar, Lalitpur.
"I have seen several other training programs conducted by various organizations and agencies. I think this training is better than others. I have also received positive feedback about the training from participating teachers and the principals sending teachers from their schools." -- Him Bahadur Thapa, field level supervisor from the District Education Office, Mahalaxmi Higher Secondary School, Lubhu, Lalitpur.
What's unique about our training
Why teacher training is important
How we will measure results
We're excited to have Rosy Lama as one of the 4 teacher trainers. Rosy is a former principal at Shanti Primary School in Ramche and was instrumental in the early success of the school. She moved back to Kathmandu to complete her masters degree and has been teaching at a private school in the city. She's never really left us, because she's been involved in our other teacher training programs.
Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
After half and hour of winding through the streets of Bagbazaar in Kathmandu, I finally made it to the office of The Santi School Project’s program director, Bijaya. We sat for tea, and I was pleased to hear about one of the few organizations that works to improve Nepali public schools, rather than building private alternatives. Bijaya spoke about how Santi School’s work is two-fold: they do renovations to fix school buildings, and they provide teacher trainings so that the new schools can be filled with quality teachers.
Bijaya explained that Santi School’s trainings go beyond the basic government teaching curriculum. They place an emphasis on clean water and sanitation, as well as covering early childhood development and a new experimental English curriculum. Bijaya said that in the past, they hired outside trainers to give trainings, but in the past year, Santi School has piloted their own training which has proven to be a huge success! In the year to come, they will work to scale up their trainings so they can reach even more teachers.
Even though primary school enrollment is improving nationwide, the government in Nepal simply does not have enough money for education, particularly to renovate schools originally built half a century ago.
Such is the case at Gupteshwor Secondary School, home to 250 students in kindergarten through grade 10, which recently expanded with a two-story four-room building. Government funds were insufficient to complete construction beyond the external walls and the roof. Consequently, the ground floor flooded when it rained and four different classes had been conducted in the corners of a single open room.
Our work was recently completed, and the school held an inauguration ceremony April 23. We've helped the school by:
This the third school that The Santi School Project has helped recently to complete reconstruction projects in which government funds were insufficient, either by providing funds to finish construction or to furnish classrooms with desks and chairs.
The school is located in Laliput District, in the Kathmandu Valley and near Vishwamitra School, where we are conducting our teacher training program as well as helping build new classrooms. The majority of the students at Gupteshwor are members of the indigenous Tamang ethnic minority.
We're grateful for your support to help make this project possible. The total cost of the project was approximately $8,000, with the community contributing 25%.
For photos from the inauguration ceremony for the completed building, follow the link to our Facebook page below.
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