Case Study: Government School
Interview with Principal Ambika Man Manandhar from Shree Changdu Naraya Secondary School, Duwakot
Why was this school set up? This is a government school providing free education to children in the surrounding area. Most of the children that attend this school live no more than 5 miles from the village of Duwakot, in the foothills surrounding Kathmandu. The school was founded 34 years ago but has expanded considerably since then.
How many children are there? There are currently 430 students at the school. There are usually about 50 per class.
How old are the children? The children are 4 – 16 years old in classes from kindergarten to Class 10.
What subjects do they learn? Our timetable consists of Nepali grammar, English language (speaking, reading and writing), social (humanities) and science.
Why have the parents chosen to send their children here? Education is free at this school and so parents with no income to spare will send their children here.
Who runs this school? I am the principal and am in charge of the day to day running of the school. The district education authority for this area encompasses 13 schools and is in control of any funding matters.
Where does the majority of the schools funding come from? The schools funding comes from the government and consequently is very low. We are seriously lacking basic resources. To raise funds and improve the quality of our school we sometimes ask for donations from the public. VSN has been donating items and money to the school for the last few years. Their fundraising has enabled us to build a toilet for the school, provide enough desks for all the students and build one new classroom.
What does the school need/ spend its funds on? We are currently looking into a large scale building project for the school. The government has agreed to provide 1.1 million rupees towards this much needed expansion project. However we are still short by 800,000 rupees ($11,000) and so are going to approach the public about this.
We would also like to get personnel support from international volunteers for maths, science and English language teaching. We feel it is important for our students to get the same opportunities available in the private schools in the area. Our teachers are also always very pleased to get teacher training. If an appropriate volunteer came to work with us we might approach the local education authority and they could organize teacher training for 12 schools at once. This would be very welcome since teacher training is very poor in Nepal.