A relaxing Sunday – 22nd November

Assembly at 'Ideal School' - singing the national anthemn

It has been great to have a day in which to relax and catch up with all the marking! Three classes of fifty plus, all writing essays is not so good, especially when you are trying to correct their English so that it is ‘modern English parlance’  and not ‘colonial speak’, which is what their texts books are full of! 

This morning we had the opportunity to visit another school – the one that Nima, of Social Tours son attends. Mary and I felt that we needed something to compare Samata with as, until today it is our only experience of Nepalese schooling.  The Ideal Secondary High School (which takes children from 3- 18) is a private fee-paying school, for which read high achieving state school, as all children pay, but som

'Ideal School' - classes are half the size of Samata

e much more than others.  It was absolutely fascinating for us, and the Head – who is inspirational –  allowed us to visit all the classes and talk to children and some of the staff as well as himself.  I could – and maybe I will – write a book!  In many ways the schools are very similar.  The layout of the buildings around a square is similar and the size of the classrooms is as well.  However, there are roughly 30 – 35 in a class, rather than 50 to 60; they have desks not unlike the double wooden desks that we had when I was at school and in the younger children’s classrooms there are pictures and posters on the wall and they do have toys in the classroom that they can play with at certain times.  The playground is concreted and there is a swimming pool (very basic, but functional and in the summer they have a lesson once a week there.)  There is also a horse on which they ride and it lives in a shed next to the kitchen!!

The biggest difference however – for me  – was that the head teacher is an educationalist who knows what he wants his children to achieve, has a staff around him who are qualified, keen and committed and who tend to stay.  I imagine they are paid much better

The kindergarten class at Ideal school (3/4 year olds)

 than the Samata staff because the children pay far higher fees to go there.  In my opinion, the thing that would most surely enable Samata to change and develop would be to appoint a head teacher/principal with an education background, plus one or two senior staff who are paid more and who would commit to the school for three – five years.  If the funding could be found to enable this – and it would be relative peanuts in our terms  – I believe it would make a huge difference.  Something to think about …..

This afternoon I decided that I needed peaceful surroundings in which to mark the essays and so i took myself to The Garden of Dreams, which previous volunteers has told us was well worth visiting.  They were right.  It was a warm and sunny afternoon and I really enjoyed sitting in the sun and quietly getting on with it.  I rewarded myself with a walk around the gardens and a piece of cake and a latte in the Kaiser restaurant afterwards.  All very civilised and a lovely way to spend a Sundat afternoon.  I now feel well prepared for next week – in so far as it is possible to be prepared for whatever Samata throws at you – and Mary and I are talking about doing a small concert on the last day with the little ones.

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One Response to “A relaxing Sunday – 22nd November”

  1. Nick Says:

    Hi Mum! Good to speak to you this evening…glad to hear everything’s going well! Shame you left your laptop back at the school while you’re off on your excursion. I guess that means we’ll have to wait a couple of days for the next update!! Have a good time, and look forward to reading an extra long ‘blog’ when you get back to base! xx Nick

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