Day 5 of our annual Nepal visit

Today we visited Neel Barahi School, our largest, with around 1,200 pupils. When I came last year the school was undergoing “retrofitting” to make it more earthquake resilient. It was good to see that these works had been finished and the building now looks really good. The other good news was that the two temporary zinc classrooms which were operating across a busy road were also not now in use.

The principal, Dr Januka Nepal, took us on a tour of the classrooms. Every class we went into was full to almost bursting with pupils, in one case the door could almost not be opened in order to fit in more desks. Dr Januka explained that they had dropped the overall numbers at the school to around 1,000 because of the accommodation problems. There really is no more room for the school to expand as it sits between numerous residential and commercial properties. We also handed out two sponsor letters to Prajita and Kamala, who were invited into the principal’s office to receive them. Kamala, who is in year 12 told us that she has ambitions to become a lawyer. It is so.good to hear that.

We then had a chat with one of the English teachers, Manda Pokharel, who teaches the year 11 and 12 students, telling us about some of the course content and doing some drama.

Inevitably, the discussion then turned to the school’s proposal. It was explained to us by the English teacher. Their intentions are to expand upwards by building extra space on the top floor of the current building. A detailed printed version is being given to us before we leave next week. We explained that our resources are limited and very much dependent on whether we receive any grant funding this year.