By Binata Gurung
on 5 March 2018

United World Schools Nepal has become a seed of hope for the community of Majhuwa. I am absolutely delighted to work with some of the most understanding teachers, concerned parents and a helpful community.

I have seen this school grow from ground zero to today’s thriving state. On my arrival, the newly constructed school only looked like brick and mortar, classrooms were dull, the walls were empty, there was no access to water, students came with untidy uniform and community members rarely attended meetings. Everything was chaotic, and I found beauty in unpacking the chaos. It took some time to understand the problems, but as I mingled with the surrounding there was a lot to learn.

To decrease chaos in the school, we organized weekly teachers meeting and monthly parents meeting. We came up with monthly and yearly plans for the school and started its implementation. Community members started coming to the school. With the help of my education officer and in collaboration with the government teachers at the school, we changed the school operation pattern, including but not limited to school timing and school assembly. We even started conducting extracurricular Friday.

As weekes became months, our change procedure continued and the changes starting showing fruits. One of the changes we implemented focused on student safety within the school premise. We came up with the idea to start bamboo fencing utilizing local resources. We held parents meeting and asked every parent to bring a bamboo with them. The fencing of the school was completed in a week time. Today the bamboo fencing idea has been adopted by all of our UWS schools in Sankhuwasabha.

Some months on, after the bamboo fencing was done, my Education Officer, fellow colleague Rijesh and I painted the ECD class using different colours in each class. After completion of ECD class, we started decorating the class to make it child friendly. For the safety of children, we placed carpets on the floor instead of benches. We placed a shoe rack outside the ECD classroom. With the help of community members, we painted the walls of the schools and then started decoration all the classrooms.

The teachers set a routine to clean the toilets. We utilized the paint bucket in toilets to store water and also made a tap for children so they develop a habit of washing their hands. Besides the bucket tap, we put soaps so that the children could wash their hands thoroughly. I even started sweeping the classrooms and the school grounds to teach everyone to do so.

We set our school playground with seesaw made of locally available wood and swings made of rope and woods. A monkey climb was also made which the the children love playing.

I have lived a journey here in Majhua, a journey that has been filled with unpacking chaos and preventing further chaos. I have started creating sustainable solutions for the advancement of this wonderful UWS Majhua School.

In short, in my one year as a UWS Nepal Teaching Fellow, I have worked as a bell girl, cleaner, porter, carpenter and painter. I have been involved in every profession I can find around me. I have taught children how to brush their teeth and clean their hands. I have counselled the children about their aims in life. I have sewed their clothes. I have cleaned their nose. I have guided them, suggested them, scolded them. I have been harsh to them for which I feel sorry but only because i love them dearly. I have seen them happy and sad. I have been like a mother to them. I feel proud when they achieve something. They share their lunch with me and I feel happy whenever I hear them say, “I want to be a teacher like you”. I feel as if I have succeeded, although there is a lot more to do.