A recent Dashain Festival day brought special joy and celebration to dozens of students of the Jhakrapuri Prarthamik Vidyalaya School in Nepal’s rural Gorkha region. The students’ excitement centered about much-needed school supplies contributed by two representatives of the newly-established Corsa Rural Education Fund (CREF).
On 17 October 2010 school principal Mr. Baburam Panta accepted dozens of notepads, various pencils and erasers, numerous books and other essentials to help supplement the limited supplies of his modest, 6-room, 5-grade school high in the mountains amongst tiny, rural villages, closest to Dhiska. The supplies were delivered by CREF founder Mr. Nakul Devkota, accompanied by American Mr. Robert Sladewski.
See the school and happy students in this slideshow
Principal Baburam Panta stated “We are so happy to receive these supplies and provide them to our students to help them advance their studies. Our provisions are limited, so we are very grateful for this generous assistance from Mr. Nakul Devkota and his contributors.”
Nakul Devkota is the proprietor of Corsa Nepal Adventures in Kathmandu. He is a former student of Jhakrapuri Prarthamik Vidyalaya school, and childhood resident of nearby Muchchok VDC, ward no.2, where his parents still reside today. Mr. Devkota represents his newly-established Corsa Rural Education Fund (CREF), making the first of what he plans to be annual visits and contributions to the school.
“I am very grateful that thanks to the generous contributions from friends here and abroad – especially Malaysia, the USA and England – the Corsa Rural Education Fund can help make a difference in the lives and futures of these eager-to-learn students. As a former student of Jhakrapuri Prarthamik Vidyalaya I understand the daunting limits and challenges of rural education, and hope that through continued support from partners CREF can further help provide the best possible education – and future – to the students.”
See a slideshow of the students singing and dancing in celebration
And based upon the students’ reaction, they too recognize the value in their educational opportunities. The youngsters enthusiastically greeted Mr. Devkota and his American companion with applause and numerous flower malas. The boys and girls then proudly lined up in precision and proceeded one-by-one to exchange Namaskars with the donators while accepting their new supplies. Many then eagerly returned to show their gifts to classmates. Following supply distributions the students treated guests and parents to celebratory dancing and singing.
But more somberly, both Principal Baburam Panta and Mr. Devkota recognize the on-going nature of the special educational challenges facing rural families. A 2010 UNESCO report indicated only a 43% literacy rate in rural Nepal verses 73% in urban areas, underscoring the importance of schools like Jhakrapuri Prarthamik Vidyalaya.
“My dream,” Mr. Devkota stated “is for CREF to make annual donations to help these intelligent students. The school is blessed with wonderful teachers and staff. Providing them the tools they need is critical.”
In fact, Mr. Devkota already has plans for his 2011, 2nd annual CREF visit. If his dreams prevail, that visit would include further funding, additional school supplies, recreational items for physical activity and, hopefully, even technological equipment. This would surely bring another day of celebration to this rural mountain-top school.
SOURCE: UNESCO Education: UNESCO aims to boost literacy and empower Nepal’s marginalized