The school committee met on Saturday, 24 November 2018. A total of 13 representatives showed up, including Dawa, the Leader of the committee, 4 Teachers, and Furba Sherpa from Be Human Nepal. Volunteers from Project Happy Feet (PHF) and Make Learning Possible (MLP) were present to facilitate and note-take.
The meeting revisited the Vision of the school that was chartered by the committee in November 2017. They then evaluated the progress made by the school in terms of achieving “World Class School” and “World Class Education”.
The following progress were noted during the meeting:
Accessibility: a road was built with financial support from the local government. The road linked the school to Bandar, which provided access for logistics and people to be transported to and from the school, linking it by road to not just Bandar, the nearest town, but also further to Kathmandu.
It was unfortunate that the monsoon flash floods destroyed some parts of the road in the middle of 2018.
Compound: the stretch of open space next to the school building which functioned as assembly area and playground was extended and leveled, providing more space for the students to run around and play ball games.
The area surrounding the school was also fenced up with barb wire to keep animals away.
The original toilet was also reconstructed as the older one was too open to the elements and the doors were falling apart.
A new gate at the end of the open stretch was also constructed so the school compound could be closed up properly.
The green house of the school saw improvements with the height of the tent raised for easier farming work to be done inside.
Equipment: More study desks and benches were added to Class 5 to accommodate the students and provide a more conducive learning environment for the older students.
Good education: The teachers received training provided by Read Nepal and First Steps Himalaya to provide them with foundation and techniques in Montessori methodology for use in the classroom.
The committee also discussed plans for 2019 and allocated roles to various members to be responsible in overseeing specific aspects of the school’s development. The future plans include:
Plants: planting more bamboos in front of the school facade. The bamboo plants serve to block strong winds that would otherwise have an impact on the school facade.
Safety: The monsoon flash floods of 2018 caused several ditches in the open stretch / playground area of the school. The committee plans to patch up the ditches which pose a safety hazard to the children.
Electricity: The committee discussed that the local government has confirmed plans to lay an electricity main line to the school area by April 2019.
Technology: Once the school has a consistent source of electricity, the committee plans to purchase a computer and a printer. These equipment will help the teachers generate worksheets and exam papers, which they are currently doing by hand and carbon copy now.
Accessibility: The committee discussed the plans of a road construction committee in the village to repair the destroyed road by end 2018. They will monitor the progress of this.
Safety: The committee plans to patch up the ditches caused by monsoon floods. They also plan to build a fence along the latch outside the school to prevent children from falling over the side.
Good education: The committee received good feedback from the teachers on the training courses they attended. The Teachers also gave positive feedback that they were able to apply what they learnt in their lessons, and observed that the students learnt better with the new techniques and classroom activities. The committee plans to send the teachers for more training – and hope to send them for both Read Nepal and Advanced Montessori courses.
Toilets: The committee plans to make further improvements to the toilet, namely to install grills to the glass panels of the windows in the toilet to prevent breakages by kids kicking balls into the windows by accident during play, and also build up the floor, and patch up the wall
Equipment: For the classroom for Class 0, as this is meant to be a nursery where children do more play than studying, the committee plans to remove the hard desks and benches, and place floor mat so that the classroom is more conducive for early childhood education.
The teachers were then asked to share their experience of the last one year. Collectively, the Teachers reported that they benefited from the training they received and that they were able to apply the new techniques and activities to make classroom learning more effective.
At the end of the meeting, everyone in the committee shared their thoughts and feelings about the school and also what they thought about this facilitated meeting. All of them felt very positive about the progress they saw in the school. They thought the kids were doing well, and saw positive impact in terms of their growth and character-building. They felt that the school is performing well. One parent commented that it is only when there is monsoon that parents may fear sending their kids to school because of safety in walking the distance on the uneven and slippery terrain.
The committee expressed gratitude to the teachers for their good work as well as sponsors and donors and volunteers from Singapore and beyond for their gifts, efforts and concern. One committee member said he was very moved by the goodwill of so many people outside the community he will continue to contribute to the school even after his child graduates because he felt that as someone from within the community, he should play a part.
Collectively, they felt the meeting was very meaningful and would like to see more of such meetings in the future to mark progress and chart the future.
Action Item: Som, one of the Teachers was assigned to discuss with the committee a list of items that the school needs (with estimated cost per item) and to seek support for sponsorship of these items through Be Human Nepal. This list would be submitted to Furba in mid December 2018.