Extraordinary school

Published On: April 27, 2017 05:00 AM NPT By: Daman Rai

KHOTANG, 25 April: Tekbahadur Khati was polishing an wooden table last week. The boy of Likhu - 2 was doing it so passionately at Shubham Foundation. The sixth grader at Jan Jagriti School, a residential school run by the foundation was brought here five years ago. “This school is different. We have to work here,” said Khati. 

It was through the connection of famous agriculture expert Madan Rai and his teacher Gambahadur Budha Khati was admitted here.  

Nirajan Shahi, 9, is another student with the foundation. His uncle had got him here last year. Now he is at second grade at Jagriti School. The local of Khotang is doing pretty good. “I love it. We work in field. We do a lot of works,” said Shahi.

Indi Bimal Oli, 11, from Salayn district is no less excited about the school. Comuter classes, agricultural classes and other kinds of studies engage him. “We stay in school only. We have hostel. It's great here,” Oli said. Oli had come here last year. 

The school has adopted 'Kuto to Computer' theory. Kuto means a handy tool to dig earth for purpose of plantation. Students have hailed here from the eastern to eastern region. According to the school administration, there are 150 residential students with the foundation so far. The motto of the foundation is to make each one of students technically skilled as well as competent in other spheres. No wonder, huge number of students are seeking admission that the foundation's current capacity. Since the schools under the foundation gives priority to students' interest and passion, both guardians and children are quite impressed by it. “We study the child's abitlity and interest first and then decide what to do with him next,” said Baburam Karki, teacher with the foundation. 

Students from Jhapa, Morang, Siraha, Sarlahi, Udaypur, Solukhumbu, Mahottari, Dhading, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Kaski, Humla, Kalikot, Bajura, Rukum, Rolpa, Jumla, Salyan, Surkhet, Banke and Baidai, among other districts are enrolled in the foundation. Junior students are in Jana Jagriti and for those over lower secondary level there is Saraswati Secondary School in Diktel. The schools which were in existence since long was undertanken by foundation. Practical classes have attracted huge size of students, Karki said. 

“The way of learning is like, they attend classes in school like any other child. But the burden is less. They are equally engaged in practical agricultural, computer and other classes,” he stated. 

According to Karki, the practical classes are related with farming, gardening, library management, workshops, furntirure works, tailoring and so on. He elaborated that the courses have been designed to make students learn more at short time. 

“We are focused on effectiveness of learning process. Pracical and theory classes go hand in hand as to make them able to handle things on their own,” he said. Karki added that the students are also active in several creative fields. 

“Some students might be good at music, dance, art, caricature. They might have special talent. We take notice also of that. Our students are good also at sports,” Karki said. 
From morning to evening, the students are heavily engaged. Before sleeping, they keep notes of the day. “This helps them remember things and make them more responsible. Our students keep record in diary everyday,” said Karki. 

“Other schools also teach, what we do is teaching as well. But the difference is, they teach inside classroom, and we do both. We are focused more on teaching outside of classroom. We teach not by telling them to read books but by letting them do things practically,” Karki stated.

According to executive director of the foundation Surya Bahadur Rai, it is the kind of school that is most needed in a country like Nepal. Practical education has to be made wider, he said. “In fact, in the beginning we reached out to schools and told them to adapt practical teaching. But nobody cared. Then we intervened in two schools, provided residential service, and started classes as we envisioned,” Surya Bahadur said. “Saying is not enough, they came to understand when we ourself landed in the field,” he added.

The foundation which is also known as Subhadra - Madan foundation was established in 2011. Agriculture expert Madan Rai is the man behind it. Rai who has attracted plently of media attention for his different view on life, lifestyle and 'where human beings have missed out' had founded the foundation to further his dream. According to Surya Bahadur, the students enrolled with the foundation would live 'natural life' and be messagener of harmony in the society. 

The two schools approached by the foundation and worked in collaboration were in poor condition earlier. Both were on verge of closure due to lack of students, Surya Bahadur said. “After the vision and practice of the foundation adopted, the popularity of the schoosl has soared. It is famous among people of east to west,” he claimed. 

Meanwhile, District Education Officer Gyan Mani Nepal termed the initiatives of the foundation as 'excellent '. He stated that other schools should follow the same in order produce skilled and content new generation. “We must do away with parrot learning. Such practical learning is what is needed,” he said. 

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