I have recently connected on facebook with an educator from a school from Nepal, Govinda Prasad Panthy. He was so kind and agreed to share with me and my blog readers his teaching experiences. Here is what Govinda told me about his school, his life and his teaching.
The Bhaktapur village:
Vision of the SAV School:
Rural students at the SAVSchool will attain an education from caring instructors that will prepare them for life in modern day Nepal while helping them build a personal vision for a positive future for themselves and those around them.
Who is Govinda:
I was brought up in a poor rural farmer’s family but my parents never stopped me going to school. I started going to school when i was 8 and I always came first in all the classes till Grade 10. Having passed Grade 10 we had to leave our village for higher studies. So I moved toKathmanduvalley (capital) with my brother. I had to find a job for living myself since my parents were not at the level of supporting me financially. But i wanted to continue my further studies. I got an opportunity to teach in an English medium private school nearKathmandu; that was in Bhaktapur town. I joined for I.A (Intermediate in Arts) in an evening campus and continued teaching at the school as a primary math teacher. Having finished I.A., I studied B.Ed. to become a teacher. I couldn’t attend my classes in the college as I had to do my teaching job at school for my two ends meet.
When I was in the final year, one of my friends from Bageshwori (village, where I’m now, near Bhaktapur town) requested me to start an English medium school in his village. I surveyed and decided to help villagers as I knew the painful educational situation of village children. People who were really illiterate and poor were willing to help me for starting an English medium school but those who could send their children to the town were not so much positive. I visited and sat on discussion with the village people three times and reached on decision to start an English medium school as the children of the village had to walk more than an hour to reach English medium schools in the town. The paths would be muddy in the rainy season and dusty in the winter and summer. There was no bus service. We do not have regular bus service yet due to the poor and narrow roads. For those reasons, I started Shantideep Adarsh Vidhyasadan (SAV School) with 13 children of the village in 1998. As I was brought up in the remote rural area ofNepal, I’ve experienced and could realize the situation of rural family students. Regarding financial problems I used to recycle papers myself. (eg; I used to write in ink on sheets of paper. I would collect them and when my new sheets of paper finished, I would dip them in soap water (water with castic soda) and dry them up in the sun and would reuse them.) I used to make and sell materials from bamboo for buying pen, books and paper and would pay exam fees. We never had lunch at school. Though I was the school topper at study, I was once kicked out from the exam hall since my parents couldn’t pay nominal exam. fee on time, etc. These bitter events of my childhood experience and the educational status and the willingness of the parents to educate their children/grandchildren in English medium pushed me to decide to start an English medium school.
I hired one of my college friends to teach these innocent 13 students in my absence. Next year the number of students increased. More villagers sent their children to school as they knew our hard work. Gradually the number of students increased and we went on upgrading the school every year. We have 10 classrooms from Nursery to grade 6. We had 127 students last year.
The proud teacher:
Problems the school faces:
New school begins in mid April. Unfortunately a number of students(more than 30) dropped out this year due to lack of school’s funding on hiring good teachers, lack of school supplies other basic infrastrural facilities. School collects $3 to $6 from the parents of the students, and each teacher gets below $50 each month which is really a low pay comparatively to the public school teachers. To hire a moderated/capable reachers we need to play at least $100+ every month. Me (the founder Director of the SAV School) have been working in a public school as a teacher so that I can get better salary there and pay my teachers who teach at the SAV. I really want to spend my time with the SAV students, but it’s a pity, I can’t give them full time due to the financial crisis at the SAV. To solve this problem to some extent, I’m working as a part time English teacher in a nearby public school which is about 40 minutes walk from the SAV School. Indeed the SAV students and guardians want me full time at the SAV School. I’ve come to know the potentiality of the technology. I’d love to expand it and bring it into my real classrooms.
I’ve been trying to collect help for short term and long term projects for School Improvement (Physical development/ Educational betterment) so that the SAV School can open the door for all the school going ages. Any sort of help will be highly appreciated.
SAV School along with the partner or donor agencies aims to reach the following goals:
1. to strenthen Financial position of the school so that teachers and other staffs are well paid.
2. to bring modern technology into the SAV School classroom.
3. to establish well furnished school library (SL) and computer lab with intenet connectivity and Science lab.
4. to bring technology into the classroom to integrate in teaching.
5. to build own school building on its own property.
6. to bring materials of the games and sports .
Here are some pictures from the school life:
The shcool is located in Bageshwori-7, Bhaktapur, Nepal and if you would like to contact Govinda you can find him on facebook here.
Than you so much Govinda!