Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Nepal Adahrsha 41"

My school, my pride!
I’m proud of many things. And today I’m really proud of my school. There is nothing special in my school itself – all schools in the world are as good as mine. What made me proud is that I belong to the group of people who are proud of their schools. Indeed, the beloved school produced them all.
A blissful rendezvous took place yesterday 92007-05-12) at Park Village, who had appeared in SLC ten years ago (…) from Nepal Adarsha Madhyamik Bidhyalaya, (Ganabahal, Kathmandu, Nepal). I really felt nostalgic may be for the first time for my na├»ve, simple and straightforward school days. Those were the days – I murmured.
I felt embarrassed Raj and Suresh told me about this programme two weeks ago. I hardly remembered anybody from my class. I tried to remember some – Gautam, Sanuraja, Ujwal, Rabindra, Bishwa, Aishwayarya and some. I visited at Ujwal’s and asked him to find some more friends. I later failed to collect any as he himself could not participate.
I was wondering what kind of faces I would see when I went to Mahakal temple at 2.00 pm. I saw some familiar faces – I recognized them just because I was told that they would be there.
And the after waiting for some more minutes we took off to the venue. We felt uncomfortable in the luxurious and formal hall – it was like a seminar – always a ‘no-no’ for me. Some refereed to be in the garden and some said the verandah would be okay. But we had to be in the hall.
After a lengthy introduction round – lengthy because hardly anybody would remember you from the crowd just because you tell them your name. It was still interesting to listen to the names you had forgotten long ago.
The discussion turned serious as Ashakaji proposed to help the school as it is in misery. Different ideas sparked all of a sudden and our gathering turned into a serious discussion what most of us did not want. I suggested continuing it two parts –one be an informal gathering and another be a brainstorming to support the school.
We all realized that gathering like it was necessary and should be held frequently. We came to a point of making a website and an e-group. Some added that telephone list would also be necessary as many do not have access to internet.
A refreshing tea break brought us closer and started gossipy comments - who changed how much, who is working where and who has how many children and so on. I could not hear if some were recalling they school day romance - only two of the pairs materialised their dreams. Many among us are living abroad. I have a secret to tell – only one among us was fortunate to remain unmarried – don’t tell others... It was followed by a jolly photo session.
The second part was really serious. First, a proposal came to make a fund by contributing regularly so that it could be used a capital to issue loan for our members. It was a good idea but we preferred to concentrate on making charity for the school.
Then we jumped into the possibility of helping the school. We all were aware that our dear school was in deplorable condition and we felt as if it was asking us for some help. Genius, interesting, and thought-provoking ideas spouted one after another. Let me jot them without giving the credit for each.
=The school is now in deplorable condition. It lack students, the SLC results are discouraging and there is no incentives for parents to enroll their children there.
=We may collect fund by ourselves by paying Rs 50 or 100 per month to contribute the fund to the school. We may later go to industrialists who had studied in our school for bigger fund.
=We may help school in collecting children.
=We may provide sponsorship for some needy students.
=We may also sponsor some brilliant students so that the school’s SLC result will improve.
=We may raise a fund to pay some good teachers for taking extra classes as SLC preparation course for some selected students.
=We may collect some money for the school by organizing a cultural programme.
=We can invite the teachers for a dinner and discuss over the situation of the school and ask them what we can do for them.
And followed some critical comments too:=Money is not the problem for the school.
=It is the internal problem of two factions in the management or the teachers, which should be solved.
=How can the school improve when a teacher is running a private boarding school at his home?=We all love our school but we should not forget the ground reality.
=We should not propose any help to the school that it may not welcome or need.
=Our help would be meaningful only if the school management disapproves=We should understand the cause behind this deterioration.
=Trying to collect student for our school is meaningless if the teachers themselves do not enroll their children in the school they care for.

Let me come to my points now. There is no doubt, I love my school, I honour my teachers and wish all the best I can for the school’s future. Beside this sentiment, I believe that the school does not need our help. We all know that the government schools are harvesting good crops every year. They don’t care if the number of student is going down or they are giving shameful results in SLC (I’m not talking about some newsmakers). Our dear school is also running in sufficiency if not in affluence. Regardless of the bleak image, the teachers are well paid and have much more facilities than they deserve. So much so, some private school teachers recently staged a demonstration, demanding as much of payments as the government school teachers are cashing.
What our school lacked is commitment and transparency. First they must be committed to continue the 55-year old legacy of the school. Then they should make the school suitable for the present students’ demand – glorious history is not enough to run a school in this century. On the top of it, we see the school slowly turning into a business mall – there is a printing press, a motorbike workshop, a grocery and what not. When the teachers are not paying attention to decreasing number of students, they are making money out of the vacant classrooms. If we really love our school and feel a sense of responsibility toward it, we must seek the details of the school’s income and expenditures. This is the intervention we can make and the school really deserves. Are we ready? But of course, there is no doubt that we must feel the pain if the school is suffering and be ready to offer our small helping hands – as much as we could.
Finally, we made a 10-member team to go to the school and talk with the school management. We would rather ask them what help we could offer. And after that we will visit the school in group.
Yes. We made it a decision to make similar gathering once a year and one of the gathering is going to take place in the school itself!
After the hot discussion, we really did not want to go for merry making as we planned. We again wanted to go to the Budhanilkantha temple but, we sat in the bar and waited for the dinner. After the nice dinner, we came back to our present day world, we have to live with.