Kutumsa Village School Project

Background

Kutumsa is a Western Nepal village of 171 households and 1078 people, located 50km South of Pokhara in the district of Syangja. It is situated at the base of the Annapurna Sanctuary in a sub tropical area at an altitude of 1088m.  There is a rough four wheel drive track into the area. For the majority of the Village people access is limited to single walking tracks through the jungle. The nearest settlement is 2 hours walk from Kutumsa.

The village does not have a health care center, a sanitation system, safe drinking water or electricity.  There is one school in the village providing primary and junior secondary classes for 191 students (106 boys and 85 girls).

The school Headmaster has requested financial support for:

  • - 2 class rooms which are approximately 50% complete
  • - Toilet facilities for the school – currently there are no toilet facilities
  • - Library books for the 180 students

Currently 20 students are unable to attend Kutumsa School due to the unfinished classrooms. To attend school in a neighbouring village, these children complete a 2 hour walk to school and a 2 hour walk home through the jungle. During the journey they cross the river two times. During the monsoon season  the river may become impassable and they cannot attend school. The children are wet when they arrive at school. Classes start at 7am so they get up at 4am to be at school on time. Many of these children find these pressures too great and they drop out of school and the education system forever.

Issues in the wider Kutumsa community include the lack of a sanitary system, unsafe drinking water and no medical facilities. “Social change through education” is how the school Headmaster described his strategy for resolving these wider community issues.

Asia Pacific Partners In Education will coordinate this community development project with the support of specialist aid agencies. The project is made up 6 sub projects which can be completed concurrently or independently as funding permits

Finance

Your investment in this project will continue to serve this community for years. Over a 50 year period time more than 1000 students will benefit at a cost of $20.00NZD per student per year. The work will take place over the October 2012 – April 2013 period subject to funding. This is the driest period of the year when temperatures are moderate. Labour for the school project will be provided by local people and experienced specialist contractors assisted by a volunteer construction manager from New Zealand.

The budget for the Asia Pacific Partners in Education contribution is $20,000 NZ

The funds cover:
All materials and labour to complete the school building work
Fit out costs for classroom furniture and books

Supporting Information From the Local Community

Sources:
School Headmaster – Bharat Thapa
Community Worker – Jagan Biswakarma

A classroom in Kutumsa

Nepal is situated in South Asia, a land-locked country located between India and China. It has lots of glories like the top of the World Mount Everest Himalayan Country. Birth place of Lord Buddha, Place of Gorkha’s bravest shoulder. A place where guests are respected as a God. Her natural beauty, virginity, scenic Mountain view, landscape, lakes and rivers offer peaceful life to its people and visitors. Nepal is famous for its delightful panoramic views of landscapes, adventure sports and the Himalayan ranges which are truly beautiful. In this heavenly gifted country, people are happy even though in many places their life-style is still like at stone age .So much to be done. Beyond this beauty on the other hand there is also miseries based on religion, tradition, cultural and caste based discrimination these mal-practices must be eliminated through education and offering opportunity to its people. Being a virgin-land it has plenty of opportunity to develop socio- economic development that might help to reduce poverty in our country. In Nepal 20% of the population are city dwellers and 80% of people live in rural region.

Among them my village called Kutumsa is located in Syangja district, kyakmi VDC Ward -6. It does not have road access, a health care center, safe drinking water or electricity.

Kutumsa village consists of 171 household with 1078 population. It has a primary school. This primary school could not fulfill the demand of growing children wanting further study so the local people and community leaders took permission to expand the primary school up to lower secondary school (grade eight) from district education office. The community built a building for class 6,7,8 and left incomplete because of not having enough financial support. The children have to go to a neighboring village in the Tanahu district. If they willing to go to lower secondary level they have to walk 4 hours per day. They go to school and come back through jungle and cross the river. Often children dropout from school. Local children do not continue further study after 18 years. Rather they go to work in India and in Gulf. Consequently young people don’t stay in local villages in Nepal .If we could succeed in this school building project it will help its young generation to continue further study which will help to develop community, country and the world in long-term.

In this village no single house has toilet. They do open toilet. This is an environment sanitation problem which has direct and indirect impact on people health. This issue needs to be addressed through health promotion among community people. Once we build a building we also can organize a mass health awareness and non-formal education.

Often limited words cannot encompass all the desired expression of village. I hope you will add more words to our voice of keen interest to social change through education. People of our village are willing to provide free labor to build school but we have to hire some expert manpower.

Progress Report

On 3 April 2013, the official opening of the 2 classrooms was attended by Alan Palmer, his son Nick Palmer, Jagan Biswakarma, Rajesh Pariyar, government officials , the Community Development committee and the school community who provided time and energy for the project. In his opening speech Alan Palmer commented on the things he had learned from the project:

  1. I have learned that is important to have a vision of where we want to go. Your headmaster and village elders had a vision and along with many others I was attracted to this vision.
  2. I have learned that a little bit of effort every day by many people can make a difference to our lives. I saw the photos of the work in progress and I was impressed by how everyone came to give a hand and help with the work
  3. I have learned that strong communities and families with pure hearts provide the best start in life for children. No one cares for your children like your own family and community
  4. I have learned that childhood dreams can come true. Being with you here today is one of my dreams come true.

Further projects under discussion for the school include:

  1. Reading, reference and text books – in progress
  2. Laptop computers and solar power source
  3. Khan Academy online teaching materials
  4. Teacher professional development
  5. Volunteer teacher support
  6. Sanitation

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