Shreedhar Pandey

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Published On: October 5, 2017 08:16 AM NPT By: Shreedhar Pandey

Partnership in Education

Partnership in Education

KATHMANDU, Oct 5: As Nelson Mandela had once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world,” Partnership in Education (PiE) is committed to providing free education along with developing the overall personality of students.

PiE is an additional program of St Xavier’s College, Maitigharthat began in 2004 with an objective to provide free education to the children living in the Thapathali slum area. Though initially, only 30 students were associated with PiE, today as many as 130 students from the slum areas of Kupondole, Sanepa, Tripureswor, Kalimati and Babermahal are enrolled for the program. 

Mohan Banjade, coordinator of PiE and a BSW student at St Xavier’s informed, “PiE students belong to feeble financial background and almost all parents of these students are uneducated. Hence, the parents are unable to help their children in their studies. So, PiE helps the students with their homeworks and assists them to learn from their textbooks along with other extra curricular activities.”  

PiE is operated by the students studying in Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW), A Level and +2 level at St Xavier’s College as trainees and volunteers where the college looks after PiE’s administrative aspect. Students from Grade I to X are taught in five classrooms at the College. Every class has more than three trainees and volunteers so that each student is dealt individually.

According to 21-year-old Mohan, he first started to work at PiE as a trainee in 2015 when he was a second year BSW student and became coordinator in 2016. Since then, he has been working relentlessly to ensure that the classes run smoothly every day. 

Janak Giri, a student at Grade VII at Pragati Higher Secondary School, had joined PiE three years ago. He said, “My perspective toward life and education has completely changed after I joined PiE. I love how the teachers here are so generous and humble. PiE has helped me to develop my overall personality and I’ve also become more disciplined. I want to be a doctor when I grow up, but more than that I want to be a good person. These are the values I’ve learnt from PiE."

PiE conducts its classes six days a week from 6 am to 7:45 am. On Saturdays, extracurricular activities like basketball, table tennis, dancing and singing are conducted from 10 am to 12 pm. 
Moreover, a sharing session is held every day after the end of the classes. Trainees and volunteers share how the classes went, how they felt teaching the kids, discuss about the problems faced by the students and collectively find the solution. “We do not just teach the students to study, but we teach them how to study. The students learn essential values through the environment we setup for them. They show respect to the selfless work we’re doing and that moves us forward to make PiE even better,” Mohan said. 

However, PiE has had its fair share of difficulties due to the irregularity of students. To overcome the situation, PiE came up with a solution starting this year where parents of each student were called for free admission of their children and talked about how their kids are getting better in their academics as well as extracurricular activities. 

About this Mohan added, “After the kids were officially admitted and the parents observed the environment at PiE, the parents were deeply moved and they have started to seriously think about their children’s future.”

Rahul Shah, a student of Grade VI at VS Niketan School, who joined PiE six years ago, said, "I’m very proud and happy to be a student of PiE. I’ve learned lots of things from PiE but the best thing is the value of respect in our lives. That has made be a better person everywhere I go. PiE has taught me to dream big and dream strong. I want to be a national cricket player when I grow up because that’s what I love.”

PiE has also organized various events such as quiz competition, sports meet and cultural programs since last year. PiE also recently organized a clothes donation program where the students received a track suit as a present for Dashain. The program also published its first edition of PiE magazine that comprised the students’ articles, experiences and drawings.

Expressing her experience and changes after joining PiE, Manisha Sharma studying in Grade X at VS Niketan, who joined PiE five years ago, said, "Along with improving in my studies, I’ve also learnt to speak with confidence after. The teachers here understand us and are willing to listen to the problems in our lives. The outings and events are fun and refreshing. I want to study plus two level at St Xavier’s College and make everyone proud."

“The recreational activities, donation programs and this year’s picnic as well as zoo visit have added excitement to the students’ lives. PiE has not only changed the students’ lives but also the lives their parents, the trainees and volunteers. I’ve understood what life, struggle and real happiness is after joining PiE. Seeing the faces of these students every day brings joy in my life,” said Mohan. 

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