History to the Present State
Time does not wait for any man. It's always running. Society is progressive and keeps changing. The world is competitive. We cannot ignore change; it comes gradually in social, economic, religious, educational, cultural and moral aspects. Its impact may be positive or negative.
Development in rich Western countries has led to high rates of employment, whereas Nepal is in the list of poorest countries according to the 1990 Human Development Index of UNDP (Nepal's rating was 0.474). The aims of the ninth and tenth five-yearplan, to eradicate poverty and promote the poor and disadvantaged peoples of remote areas, by agricultural, educational, health and communication development, this has not been achieved. Recently, Oxford University conducted a study regarding the progress of living standards in Nepal. They found that 65% of Nepal is below the poverty line. The study reveals the fact that the poverty alleviation plan of the past five years has failed. Education is directly concerned in solving the real problem of corruption, and in narrowing the gap between rich and poor. It is in this spirit that we wish to establish this school up through secondary level, thus taking one more step toward the sustainable development of our country.
I always remember NakpuDorjee Lama and Dorjee Lama, the leading villagers, who used to say, "We were promised many times and requested many places and people, but no one listened to us. Our wish for the establishment of a school will never be met." I am always compelled to remember the date of 2041 Mangsir 25th (1985 December). I always remember Mr. Phinjo Lama, Pardhanpancha (head of VDC Helambu) during that period, and Deepak Raj Giri, teacher of Tarkeghyang School, who said, "Mr. Purna, please run a school in Melamchighyang. We will help you by providing books and other essential help."
On the morning of Mangsir 26th (December) there was a clear and beautiful view of Melamchighyang. It was the morning that the people of this village won my heart, and compelled me into their service. Nature, beauty and love have more power than humans. My engineering study and recent government service were not enough to take me away from this village. On 19th Chaitra (March), at the house of the head person of the village, together with the villagers, 29 friends (and students) of mine, we inaugurated the fledgling school by singing the National Anthem (ShreemanGhambhira) and distributing registers and books. I started class in the baranda (corridors) of private houses and in the courtyard of the Gumba (monastery). I began by painting one wall of the monastery with black clay in the evening after school, and in morning, after the clay dried, by using this wall as a blackboard and teaching the alphabet. Difficulties due to language were on one hand, but in the other were the love and help of the community, and their mutual support. On 5th Bhadra 2045 (1988 September) we inaugurated our official government school, and in the same year built our first five classrooms, a building that stands today as a symbol of achievement for the village.
At the time, I did not know the local Hyolmo language, nor did the children I wished to teach know Nepali. The language barrier posed many difficulties and eventually compelled us to use English and Hyolmoto communicate. The problems of the community—the low living standard, the dependency on India—really touched me and compelled me to think over how I could best serve the people here. I began going door-to-door, picking up the children at 8 o'clock in the morning and bringing them to school. And in the evening I would catch their hands and take them home again. This became my regular duty, and in this way I made sure each student came to school each day. Even so, there emerged an ocean of dissatisfaction; the world was heading toward modernization and privatization, the global economy became capitalized, and the upper class wished for the brightness of their own children's futures.
We started teaching completely in the English medium in 2053 BS (1996) because it was now our common language, and a basic requirement for most employment. I watched as the young people from a nearby village, Tarkeghyang, started leaving for Kathmandu to acquire an English education. Mostly trekkers were sponsoring them. The village primary school was left with no students. The village had become empty, dead, and unknown to the outside world. I watched all too clearly as this happened, though I wanted nothing more than to keep them all in their home village, to keep continuity in their religious practices and traditions for future generations. The only way was to provide opportunity for development. An English medium school will keep these people here, will keep their village alive, I thought. This is what I had to do, and so I did. Now, the truth has proved itself apparent.
Now that our whole community is working together, we have begun to achieve our goals. In the past four years, SLC (School Leaving Certificate) examination results have shown a positive trend. With our 100% first division and distinction this year, we have proven to have a faculty of satisfactory teachers and become the first model public school in this District. To achieve these goals, many contributors' hands have come together. We are thankful to all our donors, whether individuals, organizations or official sources, who have made significant contributions to our success.
While we have faced thedisasterous earthquake of 2015 April 25th and are now slowly recovering the lost physical structures through the support of different organization. We did not allow the disaster to affect much our daily learning and teaching activities and worked very hard to keep our status of being in first position within the district among the public schools and as a recognized model school. We have proved that we are resilient. We have more students enrolling each and every year. This year we have 318 students in the academic year 2018/19. Many hands have worked together to make this possible. Some of them are as following-
Our Donors Are:
- Evelien Muller-Germany
- Community Action Nepal (CAN), its operation director CBE Doug Scott and his friends.
- KetaKeti Belgium, Hilde Kuypers and her friends
- The Nepalese Children's Trust, registered UK charity no. 1119767, GwendaCulkin and her friends.
- YolmoConnect , UK- Corin Hardcastle and friends.
- Nepal government.
- Our many volunteers from various countries.
Our achievements would also not have been possible without the help of my colleagues. I am thankful to our founder guardians, NakpuDorjee Lama, Dorjee Lama and Kami Lama, for their active participation in physical construction and vital contributions to our increased quality of education; and to Mrs. IviKarmu and Mrs. SiliGhale for their contributions to educational as well as physical work, and to motivation work through women's enrichment and consciousness amongst all the villagers, as they are constructors and patrons of our school. From last two decade MrPasang Temba Lama is giving his knowledgeable support as being Chairperson of School management committee. Other members and PTA members are playing the dynamic role in this school. I am hopeful that all these friends will continue with their help and contribution to the school. My morals do not allow me to express my sadness concerning the government officials because of exploitation, suppression, etc. The current social structure allows corruption to be their weapon. A bureaucracy that has grown in such a structure cannot adequately meet the needs of the people. I accept that the social tradition of accusing others will not get any of us very far. We can only expect the result of our own labor, otherwise it will be worthless. If I want to go to the Sumeru (Everest), I might think I cannot because it is too far away from Melamchighyang. Though we started with only two teachers, we have never turned off the light of expectation.
The problems we face are many. Teachers receive low salaries compared to soaring market prices. They work in difficult conditions created by our politicians. And in the traditional family structure, they are required to meet the needs of their households. The combined effect is that many qualified individuals are unable to manage the demands of teaching. In addition, students who pass the SEE are expected to enter the labor market. Indeed, their families are counting on their prospective incomes. But the labor market has been flooded with skilled workers as the number of schools has rapidly increased, and the job demand has not caught up. Feeling the “hello effect" from top to bottom, many teachers worry for the security of their jobs. A poor sense of responsibility and devotion leave some lacking confidence in their teaching abilities.Recently we have got own local government and a federal system has been set up on the basis of a decentralization local governance system. We are on the way to implementing this. We have considerable hope that all teacherswillreceivethe skills they need and will fell secure in their joband confident when entering the class rooms.But in the context of our school, we are proud to know we have done our best formally and informally for the school, from eight to five every day.
I would like to thank my committed teacher colleagues for all that they contribute. Their school, family and community will always remember and respect them for their great contributions. Though we teachers are salary based, we expect that the community will respect and value our service-oriented work.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude toward the inhabitants of Melamchighyang and all the self-motivated teachers who are always willing to help the school when needed. Thanks to every parent and student for your trust in to us.
Purna Bahadur Gautam