Today we visited Saraswoti School in an area just a little outside the main city known as Thecho. We were met with our usual welcoming committee of the head, the school children, teachers and members of the school board presenting us with flowers and greetings of ‘Namaste’ as we entered the gates (see the first photo below). The head then gave Janet and I a complete tour of all of the classes in the school, ranging from the nursery, kindergarten and upper kindergarten for preschool age children right through from class 1 to class 12. We were also shown the two computer rooms, a meditation class for older children, the kitchen where two cooks were preparing tiffin for the younger children (see one of the photos below) and then the staff room. We then had a chance to talk to the head about the school and ask any questions.
The school now has around 480 pupils across all the age ranges with 24 current teachers. He told us that there are more girls than boys in the school as boys are often sent to non state schools by their parents. Attendance is generally good but due to the employment status of some of the parents pupils sometimes have to move away with their parents. The catchment area of the school is around 4 kilometres or 1 hours walk to the school each way. The head, Mr Mahendra Bista, has only been at the school for two months but he has plans to continue expanding the school and improving it year on year. As well as KIKN providing assistance to the school the local Rotary Club provides scholarships for 10 pupils each year. The impression I got of the school was that it was well run. The children seemed happy and very well behaved, even in a class that had no teacher present. As break time came we then saw the distribution of tiffin in the class rooms to the infant children while the older children then queued up to receive theirs in the dining room. We left to the sounds of football being played in the yard and children enjoying their break time.