Saras Pathashala

Vision

The vision for ‘Saras Pathashala’ is twofold. Firstly, to provide a high quality education for children from financially disadvantaged families irrespective of their race, caste, creed, sex or religion. Secondly, to serve as an example for other schools as how can we provide modern education needed for life? Besides, the school aims to provide vulnerable children access to modern education for life so that they may secure good jobs and become independent financially and also to educate them with respect for their social, cultural and moral values of the country.

The current education system in Nepal struggles to provide the most basic level of knowledge. Instruction and examination are strictly by rote and little emphasis is placed on comprehension or using the knowledge in daily life.

The aim is not to replace other schools or to compete with them; we feel that what are needed are new ideas and an expanded vision of what education can give to the children of Nepal. On the other hand, we want to share our sense of love and care with the students for their learning such as ‘Learning by Playing Method’. We want to make the students feel totally comfortable to regularly come to school and meet their guiding teachers and mates that play a key role in molding out their habits and character that determine their life.

Values

  • Internal democracy : Children shall be made to actively participate in important school decisions, as well as in every day classes.
  • Not a one-way teaching and so as a part of the program, children will be made participate in their learning opportunity so that it gets internalize in their life.
  • Children should have the opportunity to create something to use and develop their creativity.
  • Children should have projects to realize, both to apply what they have learned (or as a learning method) and to see their realization, to see something being shaped by their hand and mind.
  • Make them able to learn by themselves.
  • Civic courses, such as concepts of freedom, society, and state is introduced.
  • No difference will be made between gender, caste and religion. We want each class to be a united group, with a class spirit. The school will use school uniforms so that the learners cannot show their social status through the quality of clothing.
  • The school will find means to give equal rights to all.

Life

Every morning at 10:00 AM, our students (between 5 and 14 years) start their day with an assembly outside the school. Together they sing the national anthem of Nepal and the school prayer and listen to a poem of one of their classmates. Then, students go to their classes, where they are taught English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Nepali or General Knowledge. Each period lasts for 40 minutes and is followed by a 5 minutes break.

For one hour per week, every class is also having a hands-on- experience in recycling, agriculture, pottery, paperwork, and chess playing (see below). At 1:00 PM, students meet in the dining hall to enjoy their lunch together and relax from studies. After three more periods the school ends with a final assembly at 4:00 PM and students leave to spend the rest of the day with their favorite’s activities.

For a cause

The main reason is to create awareness about the importance of education among the children of poverty stricken families. Since 2000, TOIT has strived to allow 300 children to go to different schools and colleges in and around Bhaktapur. Now, it wants to go one-step further by making efforts to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The school wants to create a different with more than teaching the children. It wants to help them develop their personality and self confidence. The main philosophy of the school is to support the poor and intelligent children by giving them a second chance to live a better life. It wants the destitute citizen of today to actively participate in the development work of our nation as well as to raise voice of the poor for equitable distribution of the available resources.

The school wants to plant a seed in our children’s minds, the seed that will lead them hopefully to have their own personality in a land of tradition as Nepal. For these reasons, we want our school to be accessible for the destitute children so as to decrease the illiteracy rate among the underprivileged families. Our ambition at the school is to be a source of inspiration to all so that there is an international solidarity among all. What’s been going on lately? Have a look at the most recent activities at News and Events.

School activites

As earlier stated, we want to students not only to read and write but also develop their capability that enhance them to be independent in life and enjoy every moment of life. For the overall development of the student’s career, we have the following activities that make a positive impact in their career advancement.

Food

The roman proverb “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body) is crucial to our students who are partly suffering from hunger at home. Therefore we provide all of them with a warm, healthy and typical Nepali lunch at school. By this means students are able to fully concentrate on their studies and their families are disburdened.

Current status: Food during lunch time is provided regularly.

Computer room

In order to teach our students general office applications that have become essential in our modern society, we would like to realize a sufficiently equipped computer room. Currently, we have 15 computers in the room available for the students. We have been offering introductory and other general courses for our students.

Current status : We have 15 computers and we are looking for some more.

Solar panel

For two reasons we have installed a solar panel in our school. Firstly, this will cover at least part of our energy consumption and provide light when electricity supply is interrupted (which happens to be the case of up to 17 h a day!). Secondly, we want our students to know about alternative energy resources, since Nepal is experiencing severe electricity problems. Therefore, the panel serves as a valuable teaching device and an inspiration for self-help. A solar panel is already been installed in the school that helped the students to learn about the possibility of converting free solar energy in to electric energy.

Current status : We are using the energy for cooking food and lights in the school.

Library

A library is not only a place full of books. To the students it is a chance to inspire their creativity, improve their skills in reading and develop ability for self-help. Therefore, the extension of our existing library is of fundamental interest to us. Currently, there are around 1000 books of different subjects available. We want to have few sets of furniture and books of literature that helps the students to develop their habit of learning and skill of writing.

Current status : All 1000 books from TOIT office and other available sources were brought to school.

Agriculture

Where does my rice come from? How do I plant different kinds of vegetables? And in which season should I start? These are everyday questions which are highly essential to our students. To know how you can grow your own food means to be self-sufficient in times of shortage.

Therefore, once in a week students visit the schools own field to plant rice, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, reddish, onions, garlic, or cucumber. They work the ground, observe the different stages of a plant or harvest grown vegetables to contribute their self-obtained products to the schools kitchen. The objective of the project is to give knowledge about farming to be able to put their future on solid ground !

Current status: Cauliflower, spinach, garlic, potatoes, onions have been planted.

Recycling

Over the last years, Nepal’s waste problem has increased dramatically. A public recycling system is too expensive to afford. As a consequence plastic bags, paper and other recyclable goods are literally dropped wherever you go. This does not only lead to heavy pollution of cities and environment, it also neglects a valuable resource for new products.

Since we want our students to think economically and ecologically, every class participates in producing goods from old resources. The products can be for use in school, for student’s families or sold on the local market depending on the possibilities to act. The objective of the project is to teach the students as how the wastage materials can be used to produce such useful items that can help to add the family’s income as well as school’s income and demonstrate to our students that recycling makes a great sense. Presently, we are working on two different recycling projects.

  • Briquette Making : Old paper, hay and powdered wood are pressed into briquettes used as fuel for cooking food.
  • Paper Bags : Old paper is recycled and used to prepare new paper bags.

Current status: Senior students as well as parents are involved on making briquettes and paper bags that helped them to knowledge and income at the same time. Knowledge gaining with the case of students and income for the families. Additionally, we want to extend this project for income generating to the parents as well as to the school to in broadening of service provided to the children.

Chess

Chess is not only very popular in Nepal, it also offers excellent training of strategic thinking and fair, mental competition. In our school the chess project serves two objectives. Firstly, students are taught by a chess master once in a week to promote their mental capabilities and improve their game play. Secondly, in handicraft lessons students learn how to make chess boards (from textiles) and figures (from clay) by themselves. By this means, they are able to improve their mechanical skills and gain self-confidence from their own piece of work. On top of it, chess helps the students to feel and act as of equal status with other of sound economic status. This further helps the students to be fully concentrated on their everyday learning.

Current status: An experienced chess teacher is giving chess classes to the senior students so that they become capable enough to develop their self spirit.