Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An excellent school in a remote Himalayan village

School: Sharda Secondary School
Address: Sailung, Dolakha
Exams results: 100% in SLC

The school building is yet to be completed. The windows and doors aren’t fixed in. The roof leaks when it rains. The students’ desks and benches are not very comfortable, either. In short, the physical infrastructure isn’t very good.

But the school operates everyday. Its teachers are hard working and provide proper encouragement to the students. The villagers also praise the school and its teachers.

Dolakha’s Sailung village is popularly known as a tourist village. Though the village is remote, tourists keep coming there. Some 127 kilometers from Kathmandu to the east, the village is mostly populated by Tamang and Newar communities. They would not place much importance on sending their children to school. Only a few students got the opportunity of sitting for the SLC examinations.

Students of Sharda Secondary School in Sailung, Dolakha attending classes while other students of the same school look through the windows.

However, there have been changes in this regard for sometime now. The reason behind this is Sharda Secondary School.

The school has participated in the SLC examinations thrice till now and 100% of the students have passed in the first two boards. The previous year, around 90% of the students got through the exams. At present, there are 350 students studying in the school.

Sharda Secondary School is the first secondary school of the Village Development Committee. Before the school started, the village’s children had to attend a school in a different village. They were forced to walk 4 to 5 hours everyday just to reach the school. After the school’s establishment in their own village, this problem has lessened to a great degree, informs the school’s teacher, Dhan Bahadur Tamang.

Probably due to the long walk to the school in the next village, hardly any of the Sailung village’s students reached class five.
“It was very difficult for students to make it to class five,” says Tamang. “They either had to rent a room in the other village or they had to walk five hours everyday.”

This problem has reduced since the school opened. The level of education is also good. The SLC results achieved by Sharda School have made it the talk of the district. After producing results like those of expensive private schools, people have been praising the teachers of the school.

Kumar Tamang, member of the school’s managing committee, believes that it is due to the hard work of the teachers and the students that such good results have materialized.

“Our students were participating in SLC examinations for the first time. We were very apprehensive of the results. But the outcome was surprising,” says Kumar. 12 students sat for the examinations in the first year. The result was 100%.

“Many people couldn’t believe that a school such as ours, which was lacking in good physical infrastructure, had produced such results,” says Kumar.

The next year, 22 students gave the examinations and the result was still 100%. This year, 90% of the students passed the examinations. Teachers say that the result this year wasn’t what they had expected.

Sharda Secondary School is now counted as one of the best schools in the district. Students are happy that their school is good. 7th grader Ritu Magar feels happy that her school is so popular. “I have many friends at school now. Our teachers teach us daily. They even take extra classes. Now everything is good,” says Ritu.

Since the village has a good school now, there is no need for students to walk to another village. Till a few years ago, it was difficult to meet a villager who had passed his SLC examinations. These days all the students in the village attend school.

Schoolteacher Tamang says, “Just some time ago, it was the village’s dream to have education up to the 10th class. Now with such good SLC results, we’ve started gaining a name in the district. This is good news.”