Community Voice

Aug 12, 2017

Tanisha Rayamajhi

Education  Field

On my recent trip to the Sewalung Diyalo School I had the opportunity to speak with a number of community members. I asked each member I interviewed four questions: how did you find today’s Parent Education session? What are your thoughts on Sewalung School so far? How does your relative find school? And what would you like to see in the future of the school.

The responses were so encouraging and shed light on how our work is affecting the lives of our partner community in Sewalung. See them below.

Name: Ek Kumari Limbu

Parent of: Sudip Limbu

How did you find today’s Parent Education session?

I really enjoyed it. I really like what was said about positive encouragement and giving praise to your children, even on small accomplishments, instead of just pointing out their wrongs.

What are your thoughts on Sewalung School so far?

I am really happy with the education this school is providing my son and the community. I’ve heard that students from Sewalung Primary School tend to do better and perform at a higher level when they join the secondary boarding (private) school in the village than students who’ve started in that private school itself. That makes me really happy. I also really appreciate the teachers here.

How does your son find school?

He loves it. He is so eager to come everyday and gets angry if anyone suggest he stay home to help with fieldwork during harvest season. He really loves his teachers, especially Bedmaya Miss and Kedar Sir.

What would you like to see in the future of the school?

Higher classes, so our children don’t need to move elsewhere after Grade 5. That would be really nice. And a steady source of drinking water, maybe even a provision for school lunch or snacks one day.

Name: Diwas Rai

Uncle of: Karan Rai

What did you take out of today’s Parent Education session?

I liked a lot of suggestions that were discussed today. Like when we were told to make sure to spend time with our children, even if it’s just asking them to accompany you while you’re in the field, doing housework or cooking, and talking to them while you’re together. I think many parents forget, without realizing, to do things with and talk to their children.

Thoughts about Sewalung School?

I live in the house closest to the school, so I have really seen it right from its establishment, and then its re-establishment as a Diyalo school. For me, and for the whole village, the school is really a treasure; our community’s most valuable possession. It makes me, and all of us here, so happy to know that there is a group of people out there that want so much good for us, and are working hard to give our children and community what we couldn’t have by ourselves.

What is your nephew’s opinion of his school?

He loves his friends here, and enjoys school a lot. He doesn’t like these holidays because he thinks school closes for too long. Sometimes he comes during holidays because he misses it.

What would you like to see in Diyalo and Sewalung School’s future?

I would really like to see Sewalung reach a point where it can stand as a model for rural schools across Nepal. It would be a matter of great pride for our community. Oh and, replacing the old crumbling building soon, hopefully.

Name: Rabina Rai

Parent Of: Sharmila Rai and Juna Rai

How did you find today’s Parent Education session?

I liked that this effort that brought together parents and taught us ways we can encourage our children’s education and development. It made me feel involved with the school, and with my child through it. I think it was very important, especially because most mothers of students here, like myself, never went to school so we don’t know what kind of support a school-going child needs. It was funny to hear what different parents’ do and deal with their children too. 

Thoughts about Sewalung School?

I am grateful for all the extra effort put in by the foundation in things such as this parent education session, the teacher trainings, the new classroom libraries, it is all adding so much. When I was young, I was not allowed to go to school. One day, when my parents were out in the field, I snuck into school and sat in a class. When I went home, my dad hit me badly. Seeing all that is going into the education of my two daughters makes me so happy and so grateful.

How do your daughters find their school?

They love English! They want English books, more teaching and conversation in English! They will be so delighted to see these libraries on Sunday.

What would you like to see in the future of Sewalung School?

Drinking water and levelled grounds, so we don’t have to be scared our younger children will fall down this slope. And, flowers. Studying would be even nicer in a pretty place. Lots of flowers.

Name: Buddhi Narayan Limbu

Grandparent Of: Binita Limbu

What did you think about today’s Parent Education session?

I like that the foundation cares enough beyond just children and their schooling. Educating the community on supporting children, and training our teachers over the last week has made the involvement feel very wholesome.

Thoughts about Sewalung School?

Its incredible, the effect this has had on children here. Kids who didn’t want to go to school now want to. They see it as a fun thing to do, a fun place to be. Children from nearby come to see the school. This makes my heart happy. ECD especially, was a shining gift to the village.

What would you like to see in the future the school?

Plants and a garden, so our kids have food to eat and flowers to see. I would like for the school to strengthen in resources and for it to stand as proof that we don’t need private boarding schools with fees in order for our children to receive a good education. We can provide that right here in a free community school.

What do you think could be done better from Diyalo’s part?

Involving the parent community more, even on small things, would be good. With the tree plantation, for example, asking the community beforehand where we would like the trees would’ve felt even nicer than seeing tree saplings here as a surprise. And perhaps interested people would be able to plan to meet and talk with members of Diyalo foundation. It would also help by giving a feeling of engagement, even if it’s not through critical decisions.

Name: Asmati Rai

Parent Of: Supriya Rai

How did you find today’s Parent Education session?

I think we learned and discussed important things. I will make sure to pack some food for my daughter everyday, and take some time out of my day to spend with her. I think these are both things that we will all do as parents from now on.

Does your daughter enjoy school? What does she like about it?

Her teachers, the school bag and stationery she got last year, the fact that people come in from elsewhere sometimes to visit or help or teach in the school. I think she likes their being here because they speak English to her. My daughter likes English, she wants to be good at it.

What would you like to see in the future of Sewalung School?

A toilet with running water, a new building to replace the old one cracked by the earthquake, and higher classes so my daughter can stay on at Sewalung. She wants to, and I want her to too. I want her to be able to speak English well, and its better here than anywhere else nearby.

Name: Phulmaya Rai

Grandmother Of: Sharmila Rai, Sangita Rai and Juna Rai

How did you find today’s Parent Education session?

Fun, it was really fun. ‘Education at home’ is not something I, or we, tend to properly think about. I found it really interesting, and I hope we all put into practise what we learnt today.

What would you like to see in the future of Sewalung School?

More resources for the students, like books and notebooks. Things to keep them stimulated so they don’t come home and ask to play with their fathers’ phone or go to the house next door to watch TV.