A dream comes true for a village school
A dream comes true for a village school

When we think of a classroom, we picture students ardently writing in their notebooks, a teacher motioning towards a black or white board, books, pens and all that comes with study.

Now! Imagine a classroom, bare of furniture but a sprinkling of pieces of wood nailed together used for benches, students crouched on a cement floor, one close to the other, intently listening to the teacher because the section of the wall painted black, intended for use as a blackboard, is hardly visible.

Yes! This is Mahakali Higher Secondary School, one of a few schools in Mugu District where the literacy rate is one of the lowest in Nepal.

Faced with likely health complications resulting from sitting on a cold cement floor for a gruelling 3-4 hours, the school was in dire need of furniture.

This led to the establishment of a school committee which explored ways of raising money to address the school’s furniture problem and also to push the related local government offices to give money. Following successful lobbying, the District and Village Development Committees made a contribution of about 2,950 dollars. Mahakali HSS contributed 360 dollars and an additional 1,470 dollars, through UMN support, was donated to Mahakali by the King Edward VI School, Morpeth, in UK.

“We have learnt that working through partners in a capacity building approach is only possible if the partners have the basic resources they need to begin implementing their programmes” says Carrie Mitchell and Yagya Raj Panta, Education personnel in Mugu.

“In such a deprived and remote area as Mugu the recipients of training often have difficulty putting the training into practice if they have no basic resources at all. Our learning has been that linking with appropriate donors is a necessary part of our capacity building role” they add.

UMN Mugu cluster will be actively involved in monitoring the use of funds and will continue to provide technical support to the school through teacher training as well as training in proposal writing, to help them access funds from donors to address other needs.

“The real success of this story is that one local school in Mugu has been able to proactively search for resources for themselves, only requesting UMN’s support for additional funding” adds Avril Howe, UMN’s Education Advisor.

Additional Facts about Mugu

  • Mugu is ranked as the least developed of 75 districts in Nepal
  • Mugu’s female literacy rate is 9%
  • Mahakali Higher Secondary School (MHSS) has a total of 856 students — 288 girls, 568 boys, 73 dalits (low caste) 54 Janajati (indigenous) and 6 disabled students.
  • MHSS has been a partner of UMN Mugu Cluster since March 2006

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