Shree Bhagawati Primary School
20.03.2016 - 25.03.2016 23 °C
The school currently has a little more than 100 students, having been built up under Prakash’s guidance from about 42 students in 2010. At that time it had been in danger of closing or being merged with another school. Now we have students coming from quite a distance (almost from Pokhara city itself) to take advantage of this special school that is well-respected throughout the Kaski region. What sets the school apart is its strong focus on developing English language skills. All subjects are taught in English, other than the Nepali class of course. At least this is the theory.
Another distinction is that the school is not the traditional Class 1-6 structure of other Nepali primary schools. There is a nursery class, a lower kindergarten class, an upper kindergarten class and (from this year) a Class 7 to keep its students close for an extra year before they have to start going to the big high school further down the valley. The school is also working towards having a Class 8 in the future.
Favourite subjects among the Class 6 and 7 students (the ones I interact with the most) are English and Science, which are universally popular, as well as Health, Maths and Nepali.
The school building has been expanded over the years through the support of generous donors. Along the lower level are the classrooms for the younger kids, a kitchen of sorts and the school office. The top level has the classrooms for the older students and a rooftop space that can be used for tasks associated with the school’s coffee plantation. Around the back are two toilet blocks, the old one and a much newer one, and a new double-tap for the children to wash their hands.
We've had builders from Pokhara on-site, adding a new staffroom to the ground level, and they’ve unfortunately had the water diverted so the children haven't been able to access it on demand. This causes two problems; they can’t wash their hands after the bathroom (I use my antiseptic gel, so I’m ok) but they also have to bring drinking water from home. I’m not sure what happens if they forget, or can’t bring any.
The other major construction-type work happening over the next couple of months will be the sealing of the dusty playground. This will help to keep everything a bit more clean and will be better for everyone's health.
Everywhere you look, the school is adorned with plaques and posters acknowledging its donors and other supporters.