As we entered the Kalika Devi school gate, we could see a group of students planning for something. Benches and chairs were arranged on the playground and the sound system was being set up. Farther ahead, another group of students were playing volleyball.
A Teej programme (a Nepalese festival celebrated by women) had been organized for the day. Students were preparing to sing and dance in the programme.
After the school buildings were destroyed in Nepal Earthquake 2015, World Vision International Nepal with support from The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and local partner NGOs constructed a school building and retrofitted an existing one. Before the construction, the classes were conducted in Temporary Learning Centres.
“Since the school buildings were reconstructed, it has been a better and secure learning environment for all of us. Earlier, the sound of rain would create noise on the roof, due to which we could not hear the teacher in the class. In the new school buildings, we can hear our teachers clearly. Many students also used to run away early from school. But now, everyone loves school and stays back. World Vision also provided stationery to the students. It was good for all of us, especially the poor students,” says Manoj Tamang who is studying in Grade 10.
Around a year after the handover of the school, the buildings painted in yellow and white looked new and well maintained. Kalika Devi School Principal Dipendra Prasad Bhatta said, “Our school is in a very good condition. We have been maintaining the school environment very well. We have two computer labs, a science lab and a library. We really want to become an exemplary school in the whole district.”
“Our Volleyball ground is also being utilised. We recently held a ward-level volleyball competition. A district-level competition is being organised in October and we are also planning to do a province-level competition in the future,” shared the school Chair Raghu Singh Tamang, “We are working to maintain the education quality as good as our school buildings.”
“My school has all the facilities so I would definitely recommend others to join,” says Samjhana Shrestha, a 9th grade student.
To ensure the regular attendance of the students, the school also provides food inside its premises. They charge the secondary level students NPR 1,500 (USD 15) per month for tuition and food. The school is also starting a vegetable farm with the assistance from NAST, Central Level Agriculture Department. “Apart from the kitchen garden plan, the school currently buys home grown vegetables from the students’ houses. This helps the students’ families financially,” said Kamal Sapkota, the school Coordinator, “Following the earthquake, when World Vision arrived here, it was like orphans finding their guardians. Now that the school has been handed over, we feel like we’ve lost our guardian. We hope World Vision continues to help us in the future too.”