Shree Satkanyamati Secondary School has total of 324 students and 14 teachers – two supported from government, two from Mondo/HELP including ECD teacher, three 'Teach for Nepal' teachers (fellows) and the remaining seven managed through the local community.
The school offers education from grade one through to grade ten, as well as ECD training, with students aged from 3 to 15 years. The classroom sizes are relatively large but decrease in higher classes and are adequately furnished with enough desks and benches and whiteboards.
You will be expected to teach from 10 AM to 4 PM with an hour lunch break and each subject period lasts 45 minutes.
Chair Person- School Management Committee
NOTE: Following the devastating earthquakes in April and May in 2015, several of our partner schools including Gunsa suffered major damage, which destroyed much of its infrastructure including classrooms, toilets and the playground, as well vital educational resources such as whiteboards, desks and benches. As quickly as possible after the quakes, we helped to build over 225 temporary classrooms across 45 schools of which Gunsa is one of them. The children are still studying inside TLC. We have recently completed rebuilding 6 new classrooms and as of 25 November 2016 working on retroffiting 7 old rooms and the works are fast progressing. Thankfully, the toilet building we had built for the school in 2014 did not collapse, so the children are using them.
Gunsa is one of the 15 schools HELP has signed an MoU with Department of Education and HELP is currently working on fundraisings to help build permanent classroom building for the school.
All the textbooks except English are in Nepali and the medium of instruction is also mostly Nepali.
Mathematics- arithmetic, algebra and geometry more significantly divided as you go to higher grades.
Science- basic ideas like living and non-living things, plants, etc. in junior classes while textbooks in senior classes have physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy lessons.
English- stories, poems, biography and similar texts and grammar.
Social Studies- society-its issues and proposed solutions, geography, history, organizations
Symphony/Moral Science- stories with meaningful themes/lessons for the children
Nepali- stories, poems, biographies, Nepali grammar and similar texts
Optional Maths- Math that mostly includes graphs and theoretical part of the mathematics
Environment (E), Population (P) and Health (H) education- about the basics and the inter-relation between E, P and H.
Satkanyamati has a few desktop computers as well as laptops and a computer room, and we encourage volunteers at this school to spend some time after school training teachers in some basic computer skills so that they can pass this on to students. We also encourage you to take some computer classes with children.
The level of education of the children is good but not at the required level for the children their age. The same class may have children of varying ages and abilities, so teaching effectively can be a little challenging. The children begin learning English directly with the alphabets and don't learn the phonetics so the children in the smaller classes might find difficulties in understanding volunteers' English.
Most students in grades 4 and 5 can write simple sentences in good structure but mostly memorized ones and often without understanding the meaning. But the children are very keen to learn which the past volunteers have found to be really encouraging. The greatest contribution volunteers can make is through organizing classes in the form of conversations to encourage them to speak and introducing creative writing like poems (rather than just copying as normally happens) and in the smaller classes to carry out classes in the form of rhymes and active exercises. The children in the school, assisted by their teachers, have done a lot of artistic works, so working with them on that heading can encourage the students more and the value of their creativity.
Teacher’s level of English: Two of the teachers speak good English and all the teachers can fairly communicate. The teachers like communicating with the volunteers and correcting their English during conversation can be really helpful to build up their confidence in speaking in English.
Exams: Teachers construct questions and exercises from the textbooks. They have simple monthly tests and more important exams every 4 months.
All classrooms have whiteboards.
A library with variety of books appropriate for the students in all the classes.
Volunteers are recommended to train the teachers to use the computers.
Resources for extra- curricular activities: Most of the time the school only has a single set of equipment for simple games like skipping, badminton, etc. so need constant addition. The children enjoy engaging in sports like football, volleyball, etc. Badminton, rings and skipping are popular among the girls.
The students enjoy drawing and colouring but most of the time, the school has limited stock of drawing papers and colours and so needs constant addition/replacing.
All classrooms have whiteboards.
How to teach effectively: The school owns a textbook for each school subject. You can copy a list of topics from the textbooks that you feel you would like to teach using the materials you have brought and/or the techniques you have acquired and teach in a preferred way. This will give the local teachers an idea of how to teach rest of the chapters in the book in an interactive way. You can be an inspiration for the local teachers.
The children love doing homework, so keep giving them some creative assignment every day to make sure the students are revising their lessons. Try making the students take benefit of the environment they have. E.g. herbarium, collection of wild fruits and flowers, etc. You can bring stickers that you can paste to the exercise books of students who do the best homework and class work. This really excites the students and adds enthusiasm to the class environment hence inspiring them to learn properly and also to be disciplined.
Things that could make teaching easier for you: Card games for improving vocabulary and to teach sentence structures, teaching aids to help teach pronunciation (as most of the teachers learnt English pronunciation in a wrong way, the children learn it wrong as well. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to make the children’s basic English up to date). White board markers would also be useful.
Gunsa, previously called and still popular by the name Thangpal, is a village which can be reached after six hour walk from Melamchipul Bazaar. The travel- time to the village via roadway largely depends on the condition of recently constructed dirt roads connecting the village, which varies during different times of the year. The village is situated at roughly 1300m on largely flat land and serves children from around 500 households.
Most of the people from the village come from the Tamang indigenous community, whose history can be traced back to Tibet, who follow Buddhism. Over 95% of the people come from the Tamang community and the remaining population is composed of people from the marginalized Dalit community, who fall in the 'lowest category' in the Hindu caste hierarchy. Although economically very poor, the people have a rich cultural heritage and they love to share their hospitality, which one can experience by attending one of their occasional village festivals or by visiting their homes when invited. Most people practice subsistence farming and mainly grow rice, wheat, maize, millet and barley in their farms.
Volunteers stay with a host family close to the school. There is a communal tap which you can use for washing (not for drinking though) and squat toilet outside the main building of the house and volunteers get a private room on a shared basis with other volunteers who teach together. You will often see some children around, who love to come and join you in the mornings and evenings to play and chat.
Major things to do
Attend local social functions. Though the villagers have more social functions in the winter, they have fewer in the summer, as the people remain busy on their farms throughout the monsoon, which still feels like quite a lot.
Visit Kotgaon, Lekharka, Raithane after school or on weekends and other villages at farther distance on the weekends.
On the weekend, it is possible to take a walk upto Bhotang and be back on the same day- 3 hours walk each way, passing through at least a dozen other villages.
Enjoy boating in the pond by the side of the secondary school in Raithane, adjacent village- 30 minute walk away from the village.
Visit the top of the hill where a telecom tower is placed; offers a great view of the valleys on the other side.
The school has had several volunteers in the past. You can reach them via email at:
Tim Van der Lee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Andrew Briscoe: email@example.com
Ada Humphrey: firstname.lastname@example.org
What/How HELP-Mondo has supported Satkanyamati
HELP started working with Shree Satkanyamati School in 2012 and has had a very positive experience so far. The local community has remained very supportive of the ideas of improving educational quality. We believe that the support and encouragement of the community is vital for the sustainability and long-term development of the school.
So far, HELP/ Mondo has partnered with the school/ community in the following projects:
Construction of four classrooms
Drinking Water supply
Community toilet building
Fencing and playground
Teacher salary funding
Books for setting up a mini library
Sports equipment support including table tennis board on various occasions which enabled the school to secure third position in the primary category of the recent 2nd Himalayan Olympics.
Workshops and teachers training
Playground expansion and fencing
Nursery classroom management
Currently rebuilding permanent classrooms
Emergency supplies such as food, tarps and CGI for all the villagers (Post EQ)
10 TLC rooms after the earthquake.
Teacher Salary support
Science Lab equipment
Contact Details of People in School
Mr. Kalika Gole
Cell: 00977 98510 15503
Mr. Dilip Gole
Cell: 00977 1 6924486