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2013-01 All Twinned Schools ~ Twinning & Profile Updates ~ September to December 2012

posted 13 Jan 2013, 02:36 by Manisha Child Welfare Foundation Nepal ‎(UK)‎   [ updated 12 Sep 2014, 01:36 by Manisha UK ]
Our twinned school coordinator, Johnny Halls, has now visited all twinned schools in Palpa district twice and Gurkha district once. 

Although the extraordinary amount of public and national holidays enjoyed in Nepal mean that he has had to reduce his visit programme for the remainder of his stay, he should still get at least one more visit to each school before end of year exams and school holidays at the end of March.

At all twinned schools he has held the first two education sessions with the teachers regarding their responsibilities in a twinned schools relationship and explaining the potential benefits to the pupils, teachers and community that might arise from the relationship once properly established and regularly contributed to. 

All UK schools should now have received (or know that they are on their way) the first set of twining communications from the schools, some may now be on their second. Thank you to the teachers and pupils of the UK twin schools that have been so patient in waiting for the programme to really get started, we really underestimated the amount of training and cultural differences that were barriers to achieving our initial aims.

Clearly, some of the UK schools have been very busy over the past two years raising funds and, where two way twinning relationships and a suitable bank account existed, the funds have been welcomed and used wisely, However, for other schools it is only now that the Nepal twinned schools realise why they might need a bank account. We are very pleased that, with Johnny's help, we have been successful in encouraging them all to initiate a joint school and community bank account, usually jointly managed by the head teacher and the community group leader. By mid-February, all funds raised by UK schools will be with their intended Nepalese twin school and we will have news on how those funds will be used.

In case you didn't know, Manisha UK passes 100% of all the funds raised by UK schools direct to the bank account of the school intended. We are only sorry that it has taken so long to establish bank accounts at these schools but we are sure that you will appreciate that in a society that has so little, we have a duty of care to ensure the funds reach their intended community fully intact, even if that means a little delay. The transfer is managed securely via our HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank relationships. We do not make cash transactions since these leave no audit trail. Manisha UK pays all currency exchange, facility charges and transaction charges on behalf of the UK schools. Did you know that we could increase the amount raised by donations by 25% if you follow the gift aid rules, more details on our donations page.

Below you will see the school profile updates that Johnny has sent through for each of our twinned schools. These are yet to be incorporated into the individual school profile pages.

For now, please read through the updates, which will help you appreciate the similarity (and differences) of the situations at each school and some of the challenges they face.

As ever, all the latest pictures from these schools can be found on the school's profile page and Johnny's latest experiences can be seen on his blog.

Mahachap Update - 26/09/12

The twinning programme has started with year 5 and the twinning co-ordinator is Dan Bahadur Palli, he is the English and social studies teacher. 

Out of the 5 teachers, 3 are male and 2 female.
The pupil profile now stands at
Boys 65
Girls 59
Total 124
Pre-school 14
Year 1 12
Year 2 24
Year 3 24
Year 4 27
Year 5 23

The school also holds a music/dancing event every night, where the children and teachers and local villagers come to the school from around 8-11 each night and sing, play music and dance.
 
The school has a basic first aid kit, with some things used but the majority intact.

There is a mothers/women’s group which has a very strong presence in the school/village. The entire village is involved in the schools development. 

I’m not sure if you want me to grade the school, in relation to the school infrastructure profile, e.g. poor, acceptable, good. Let me know if you want me to do it and I will.

I have spoken to the school about setting up a bank account a local bank such that funding can be delivered direct to the community.

Laharepipal Update - 26/09/12

The twinning programme has started with year 4 and 5 and the twinning co-ordinator is the head teacher, Bijaya Sharma.

Building work: As can be seen in the photos the library is almost finished it just needs painting and furnishing, which should be in around a month’s time, so ready for my next visit. The Library will also be used for afternoon childcare.

The drains are, to my mind, none existent. However, there is the start of a trench and they will be the next job after the completion of the library.

There is also a plan to build two new toilets in the space between the year 5 classroom and the entrance wall, there is a photo of the space attached. 

A photograph shows the new location of the kitchen, I don’t know what the other one was like, but this seems rather poor it is a very small and dirty place, with no lighting.
 
Mahendra is also planning to train a further 3 teachers by next year, but he says that is hopeful because funding may not stretch. I think he may have been hinting to me asking you for more funding for teacher training. However, he did say that this could be the sight of the teaching university, so surely that would Mean the teachers didn’t need to be sent for training. He didn’t reply to that when I mentioned it. 

The bricks filling classroom 1 /2 are broken and due to be removed soon; however, it looks like they have already been there for a long time. I’ll check again on my next visit. 

The pupil profile now stands at
Boys 20
Girls 20
Total 40
 
Year 1 6
Year 2 5
Year 3 7
Year 4 13
Year 5 9

There are 4 classrooms at the moment with 1+2 being combined, that is until the building work has finished. 

There is a mothers group which meets in a monthly basis.

I hope that by my next visit that I can secure some backboard paint, as the blackboards are in a dire condition. They are a struggle to write on and even when you do, there are so many permanent white marks that I feel it hinders the children’s view of what is written. 

The school has a fully stocked first aid kit.

There are also two toilets now.

I have spoken to the school about setting up a bank account a local bank such that funding can be delivered direct to the community.

Bagnas Update - 26/09/12

The twinning programme has started with year 4 and 5 and the twinning co-ordinator has yet to be decided, they were meant to ring Mahendra last night and let him know, but they didn’t. I’ll get him to ring later today, as he is at Shiva all day today. 

The sports equipment, the short term aid, is non-existent. They do seem to be well stocked with stationery though. 
The new toilet is still due to be connected to the water supply.
 
I have concerns here that the teaching is going much too fast for the children and that they are just fed answers, as the material I spotted on the blackboards was much more advanced that what the children knew. The teachers also gave them the answers to the questions I asked when I wasn't looking but I asked them to stop and they did. I will try to watch an English lesson next time I visit. 

There are now 7 teachers Archana Shrestha has now left. 

The pupil profile now stands at
Boys 29
Girls 23
Total 52
Pre-school 10
UKG 7 (which I couldn’t understand what this class is, can you fill me in)
Year 1 8
Year 2 6
Year 3 7
Year 4 7
Year 5 7
 
I have spoken to the school about setting up a bank account a local bank such that funding can be delivered direct to the community. 

Pipaldanda Update – 30/10/12

The building work appears to be progressing very well. Two rooms have been completed, they only require tidying, painting and furniture, all of which was due to be done the week after Dasian festival but before Tihar. I imagine the rooms which are in use are still in the same condition when the school was last visited apart from the Y4 room, which has a giant pile of bricks and rubble at the back. Some of the children appeared to be almost sat in it. At first they wouldn’t let me take a photo but I have done anyway, so you can see.  

There are still no toilets or anything even resembling a start of work on them, I was told they will be the last thing to be completed, as the area of scrub land at the top of the hill is working well as a natural toilet. There is a large mound of rubble in the playground area that acts as a short-cut to the toilets up the hill. But it is very susceptible to small landslides when the children run down it. I asked why it was still there, due to it having no purpose but I was told that they are waiting to knock down the remainder of the old building before they clean it up.
 
I was told there were concerns for the money running out but that was not for building work, but for supplies for the rooms, primarily books. All building work is meant to be completed by December, but I do not know if that includes painting and furniture. 

The teachers here are clearly doing a good job I feel and are very pro-active. However, school does seem to start at 10:30/11:00 instead of 10:00. 

The twinning programme is underway with Year 4 and 5. The co-ordinator is Dhan Bhadur the English teacher. All teachers were very interested in it too, so I have high hopes for it. 

There are 5 teachers, 4 women and 1 man. 
Lok Paudel has left. 
Basanti ? is Basanti Saru
Sabria Saru is actually Sabitra Saru. 

Boys – 61
Girls  - 57
Total – 118
 
Year 1 – 22
Year 2 – 24
Year 3 – 27
Year 4 – 22
Year 5 – 23

They have a first aid kit but only with plasters and bandages, but the shop (1 min away) supplies anything else they need. 

School meal funding has been withdrawn and they have not yet received any funding for uniforms although they told me, they have been promised some that never turned up. 

The phone signal is very good. 

Amrit Update – 30/10/12

This is well ahead in the level of teaching English to all levels mainly I feel due to it being up to year 11, so the teachers are more trained. The two English teachers are fantastic, both are doing Masters in English and consistently asked me questions to improve their knowledge, which I thought was very good.  They even made time in the evening to come and ask me things.  

There is a karate class that takes place every morning and is run by one of the teachers. A lot of the teachers came to watch me teach to get new ideas to try for themselves, which I was very impressed with. The children were also fantastic, they couldn’t get enough teaching. Year 10 even missed most of their lunch so I could teach them more. 
 
School phone number is 9847177616 or 075690382

There are 18 teachers, 14 men and 4 women.
The new teachers name is Santosh Timil Sina

Boys – 283
Girls  - 134
Total – 417

Pre school – 28
Kindergarten – 28
Year 1 – 24
Year 2 – 22
Year 3 – 20
Year 4 – 32
Year 5 – 20
Year 6 – 29
Year 7 – 54
Year 8 – 50
Year 9 – 42
Year 10 – 50
Year 11 – 25

They have 22 rooms, 13 are classrooms, then a library and two offices and I am not sure what else. There is no canteen.
 
They have one water tap in the school and electricity only in one office. 

There is a first aid cupboard which is full and a doctor that checks the children once a month. 

There are no school meals or uniforms provided but most children buy/bring their own, but not all. 

There is mobile phone cover
 

Jheksang Update – 30/10/12

I really wasn’t too impressed with this school. The teachers were not very co-operative or talkative, I barely saw most of them. They also seemed not to take notice of lesson times, starting late and ending early, by as much as 15 mins. I mentioned this to Mahendra and he has had a meeting with them to discuss it. So, hopefully there will be improvement next time. Also, there seemed to be a lot of resources which had been left by volunteers but had clearly never been used, most were dusty. I’m going to try and involve the teachers in using them next time. 

The children here are great though, the head said I could only teach three classes but as the children were waving me over and had no teacher, I just went in a taught more classes. 

When I spoke about the twinning they told me they knew nothing. However, I found they had received two lots of letters from the UK and even written a letters back but not posted them. This they told me was due to the cost, which was the only question they asked me about the twinning. I’m going to have to make sure I really get onto them about posting the next one. I think they will do as the twinning co-ordinator is a new teacher, who is the most active of the teachers. 


8 teachers: 4 men, 4 women. 
Dal Bhadur Disha is the new teacher, also the twinning and English teacher. 
There is also a cleaner who works every evening. 

Boys – 109
Girls  - 100
Total – 209
 
Year 1 – 20
Year 2 – 22
Year 3 – 19
Year 4 – 34
Year 5 – 25
Year 6 – 29
Year 7 – 39
Year 8 – 21
 
There are no school meals but everyone either brings food or gets it from the shop, which occasionally will let children off paying if they have no money. Any food brought to school has to be home made and the shop will not sell junk food to the children.  I was very impressed with this. 

Okhaldunga Update - 1/12/12

Phone number – 0756090537

Teachers – 16
Women – 3
Men – 13
 
Children – 281
Girls – 134
Boys – 147
Pre-school – 24
Year 1 – 17
Year 2 – 24
Year 3 – 23
Year 4 – 17 
Year 5 – 16
Year 6 – 45
Year 7 – 28
Year 8 – 28
Year 9 – 33
Year 10 – 26
 
The first teacher’s name is Rom Bahadur Lamtari not Ram Bahadur Lamtari
They also have a new teacher called – Bishnu Hiski

They have 15 classrooms, well they will do when they have painted the two new ones, which I am sure has happed now.

Overall the building is good, but four of the classrooms in the primary are poor. However, as just mentioned they have a new building of two classrooms (This entire thing, minus foundations, was built in 6 days, it was very impressive compared to other building work I have seen).

I managed to convince them to move the nursery into this classroom and another primary class. This will leave two primary classes in the very dark and very small old classrooms. However, I have suggested that the walls are knocked through to create a bigger space and hopefully more light. I will have to see how this turns out on my next visit. 

The running water is poor, only one tap for the school on a split site, the primary children have to negotiate some awful steps up a hill to the primary school site. It only takes 5 mins but it is dangerous and in the monsoon, impassable I think. There is however, a longer route which is a lot safer but takes 15 mins. 

I would grade the electricity as poor, they have it in the offices but nowhere else, however, the rooms are all well lit (apart from the dark ones I mentioned). 

Toilets are acceptable, I would say, they have two good ones down at the secondary site, but one for the primary children, which isn’t the best, the building is a bit dilapidated. However, they are planning on patching it up. But really they need two for the primary school children. I have no idea how the nursery children use the toilet, no adult could help them. 

School office, as usual, is good.

The medical centre is a box, with what I think was a fully supplied kit and a bit extra. I did have the list to check though, but have since gotten one of Barbara and from what I remember it was all there. I don’t know if you class a first aid kit as a medical centre. So I will leave the grading up to you.

No library or canteen.

I would say the furniture is poor, it is the normal bench affair, but there didn’t seem to be enough in some rooms. Also the nursery and year 1 children have to furniture they just sit on the carpet. This is by no means a concern, I think it is good for their learning and development, it is just the carpet is old and filthy.

No school meals, they either go the shop or bring their own, everyone did seem to eat though, even if it is only crisps. 

No uniform provided, but they all had it one teacher said if the family can’t afford it they scrape the money together but it is not an official school thing, so again I don’t know how that is rated.

No mobile cover, anywhere.

One phone in the secondary office, which is normally always answer, as one teacher is normally there. No internet, but with the phone line they could. So again don’t know how to grade that.

Sustainability – all except funding is good. They have two mothers groups, the community help the school a lot with building work, the school help the community by running clubs for the children and some children stay at school later with the teacher if their parents don’t come home in time. Some even went to a teachers house for a while. 

The children who have left school are allowed to play on the volleyball court when school is in session and after. 

There is no sustainable funding.
 
Like I said they have just constructed two new classrooms, which look very good. Hopefully, they will follow my advice and put the nursery in one.
 
The teachers here are great, they are so friendly and involved in the village life. Even if they live a two hour walk away, they stay after school and play games with the children (volleyball, carom board) and talk to the villagers.

This place is beautiful for trekking, I spent 8/9 hours trekking round and still only covered a little of the area. I have said to Mahendra that this should be an area for eco-tourism but he is focused on doing at a Pipaldanda first. It should really be here though, I couldn’t imagine anywhere better.

My visits here may be limited to only two more, as I missed my first visit due to the monsoon. That is why I did two twinning letters (which is going well and the teacher is keen to do it, but the kids are rather subdued).

The village is small and a lot of children travel from nearby villages. Walking around 1 - 2 hours. A significant proportion travel 3 hours though. Some through woodland, which in the evening I was informed has tigers and poisonous snakes, but only at dusk, so the children are sent in time to get back before then. 

They also have their own hydo-electric power supply, which covers three villages for, I think, 50 ruppees a month. This means they always have power. Sometimes the lights go dim at peak time though. However, I did mention that this may not happen if they didn’t leave the lights on all day, and they did start turning them off when they went out. 

Batase Update – 30/12/12

Teachers 
Men 17
Women 9
Total 23 (19 are government funded the others are funded by the community and school)
Plus three cleaners (two female/one male) all funded by community and school
 
Children
Total 541
Girls and boys they don’t know (or they couldn’t be bothered looking though the paper work)
Pre-school 12
Y1 15
Y2 15
Y3 22
Y4 18
Y5 21
Y6 52
Y7 66
Y8 92 but split into 8a and 8b (both with 46 chn, split by ability)
Y9 61
Y10 64, again split into 10a and 10b (both with 32 chn, split by ability)
Y11 51
Y12 51
 
Bank account details are being found and the head teacher will phone Mahendra when he finds the full details
They have 15 classrooms plus a canteen, which is only used by the youngest children. However, for that purpose it is very good.
Running water – they have three taps which are very good.
Toilets are also three in number and I would say are very good. 
Classrooms are good, as they are big and have good furniture but some, due to child numbers, are squashed. 

Electricity is in the staffroom and in 5 classrooms, they also plan to get it in more classrooms soon as they get the funding, which may be an idea for the twinning school. Although I am aware they just sent a load of pens, etc. 

No school meals.

Uniform is usually always funded by school but sometimes the children need to wait a while until the money comes available. In this case occasionally the children’s family will pay if they have the money. 

Full first aid kit.

They don’t have a library but they do have four large books shelves that act as a staff library for use in lessons and lesson planning. 
 
Building work
Sorry about this but pictures of the building work that ManishaUK has funded will have to wait as my camera battery went and there was no power in the village. However, there was photographer there and he took photos of the building work for me. They should be being emailed to Mahendra in the next week so I will forward them when I get them. Basically what has happened is that the floors/ceilings have been replaced using new beams. I was told that they were sagging before, but now look excellent. The rooms have also all been re-plastered, except for one wall in one room, which I don’t know what the reason was they just said they hadn’t done it. Possibly as it looked rather good as it was. In the future they are going to re-paint the outside of the building but all the funding that ManishaUK provided has gone now. 

The big newer building is having an extra floor added when they get the funds. The roof, as can be seen in the pictures, is already a floor higher so all that remains is the walls and decorations. 

The rubble building in the pictures has been funded by the government, who provide schools that are doing well extra funds. I was told by the head teacher that this was because they offer +2 (in education and management) and next year are going to start offering the bachelorette. The new building will be four new classrooms, mostly for the new Year 13/14 students taking the bachelorette. The bachelorette is good as many children in towns and cities can’t afford it, but here it will be free. 

As the catchment area is from the surrounding 12 villages some children have to walk over 2 hours and sometime as much as 4 hours for the Yr11/12 students taking +2. This means they have to walk through the dark jungle where there are leopards and aggressive monkeys. It is not often that anything happens to children as they walk in large groups. However, the next thing where they will be spending money is on providing lighting for the jungle pathway. 
 
Wages
I don’t know if you already know what teachers get paid by the government but I thought I would let you know as I found out. Each is in Rupees per month and is for 6 periods a day. 
Primary – 13,650 
Lower secondary – 14,650
Higher secondary – 18,750
+2 (as this takes place each day from 6am -10am (teachers only do 4 periods though), many teachers do it as an add on to their normal wage) - 2,300
To be a government teacher you need to have +2 and do a little teaching practice in a different school than the one you are working in, I am told that it is around 2 months. 

In Gurkha the school/community paid teachers get around 6,000 per month regardless of their position. 

Twinnng: The twinning class is Yr6 and the twinning co-ordinators are Kesab Prasad Dhaka, Ram Bahadur Pandey and
Radhika Shrestha (they wanted three). The letters are written and I will post to Steve when I have collected another set of letter from L’pipal, my next school, to make the posting cost effective.  
 
The school also has a PTA of 11 members. The PTA along with the school and village committees decides what happens in the school.

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