Shree Saraswoti Primary School Restoration Project
There has been said enough by greatest scholars about the inevitability of education for quality living of an individual anywhere in the world. There is no surprise that education has been added as a basic human need besides food, cloth and shelter.
However, we believe, it may not be just to generalize the notion of education for people all around the world. Observing the vast diversity of people and their living conditions prevalent in our nation alone, it seems that the process of educating should be based on ‘equity’ rather than ‘equality’. In other words, there has to be carefully planned measures to close in the gap between schooling in urban and rural areas aiming for world-class education.
On the contrary, there are areas in Nepal where people still cannot prioritize education as one of the basic needs even for the children. This unfortunate tendency was apparent in the aftermath of the recent devastation our nation had to face as severely affected schools were left untouched for a long time after normal living of people was significantly restored.
One of such cases encountered directly by Istambha Nepal team members was of a school in Lapsi VDC, Sindhupalchowk District. Although very close to the capital, Sidhupalchowk seemed to have been stunned by the natural disaster as it was the district which took the greatest toll.
Shree Saraswoti Primary School is the only government school in Lapsi VDC, since 2046 B.S. (1989 A.D.). When our team discovered it during one of our earthquake relief programs in the area, there was, in fact, the debris of what remained of the school. It had been catering for the basic schooling to 155 students of local and surrounding communities. As promoting quality education in rural commutes is one of our major mottos, we immediately envisioned an ambitious, for us, yet a necessary project of rebuilding the school. With the acute optimism of our team, we decided to turn the unfortunate condition into an opportunity to not only expand the primary school into a full-fledged Higher Secondary school but also to introduce the modern teaching learning practice in the traditionally run school.
We, immediately, gathered up as much educational, Early Childhood Development (ECD) and recreational materials as we could, thanks to the immediate support from two of our friends, Ms. Lyndy Lambert & Friends (USA) and Ms. Christin Schwarz (Germany), and then, two of our active members, Rabin Tuladhar and Dibya Karmacharya, went for a 4 days camp right at the school premises. There, we talked to and encouraged the locals who were concerned about the school to help us clean the debris and build a toilet. Our endeavor was well supported by the locals thanks to direct involvement from the president of school committee, Mr. Norbu Tamang and the principal, Mr. Dinesh Kumar Singh. We allocated areas for regular classes and for the ECD classes as well as for games and activities.
We left the school ready for functioning as the locals were hopeful to resume classes soon. But before we left, we had determined to form a project to not only restore the school also to upgrade it. This determination worked well as the final push for the establishment of Istambha Nepal. And, we have been working, tirelessly, to materialize the ambitious vision we had for the school on the successful completion of the project of cleaning up the school area.