SOS Schools in Nepal
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School opened in 2003 and has the capacity to give education to up to 660 pupils. The aim of the school is to develop so that English is the teaching medium.
Update from 2008:
The SOS Higher Secondary School Bharatpur was established in the year 2004. At present the school has a total of 493 students from Nursery to Class XI of which 287 are boys and 206 are girls. 79 boys and 60 girls come from SOS Children’s Village Bharatpur while 208 boys and 146 girls come from the community.
There is a total of 35 teaching and administrative staff including the part time grade XI teachers and 9 ancillary staff that totals the number of staff to 44.
SLC Result 2008
In its 4th year of establishment it was basically engaged in preparing its first batch students for the SLC Examination 2008. Regular tests, home visits by the teachers, counseling, and additional classes were conducted as per the plan to boost up children’s performance. And on the result day, the SOS School Bharatpur created history not only in the Chitwan district but also among all SOS Schools in the nation. Out of a total of 34 students of the first batch, 20 passed with distinction marks while the rest passed out in the first division. Prabal Poudel became the District Boys Topper securing 90.75 % marks. Similarly, Sulav Adhikari and Lushan Ghimire passed out excellently securing above 90 % of marks. The school also received the Best School award by the District Education Office (DEO) and the PABSON, Chitwan.
District’s Level Examination Result 2008
Earlier this year, Shiwani Sapkota, an eighth grader secured the District Girls Topper securing 92.5 % marks while Prasamsha Poudel of the same class became second among the girls. We would like to thank through this report all the teacher friends for the wonderful job done and the parents for the support they have rendered towards the school management over the years. The students also deserve to be thanked for their discipline and hard work.
SOS School Bharatpur is a higher secondary school in the Science Stream. A batch of 34 students makes the first batch in Class XI. Seven new teachers have been appointed for the higher secondary classes in Class 11.
We take the pleasure to thank Mr. Shree Shankar Pradhanaga the National Director, SOS Children Nepal and Mr. Shankar Poudel, headmaster, SOS Higher Secondary School Sanothimi for their support to the young school as ours. The library facility and the Science labs have been upgraded to suit the changing face of the school.
The school conducted two major inter school events in the year 2008. The first was the District Level Inter High School Running Shield Quiz Contest and the other was the Inter School District Level Folk Dance Competition was organised. Altogether 35 teams participated in the Quiz contest and around 18 teams participated the folk dance competition. Besides this many other Extra and Co- Curricular events were conducted successfully. Such programmes are conducted every Friday at School Auditorium Hall.
Students Tour 2008: The students of standard Nine went to Nainital in India and other parts of western Nepal for a five day tour during October 2008. The team was accompanied by a team of five teachers and they also visited the SOS Children’s Village Surkhet. At this instant We would also like to mention that Chitwan is still in shock and is mourning the demise of so many lives including students and children of Hill Bird English School in the tragic bus accident. The entire SOS School and Children’s Village Bharatpur Family collected a sum of Rs. 25,000.00 to support the accident victims.
Teachers Exposure Visit 2008: The teachers’ exposure visit organised in the year 2008 was the first of its kind in the history of the school. A team of 32 teachers were on a school visit to Notre Dame School Bandipur. The visit helped in building better team spirit and it grew in friends a better ‘one-family’ feeling.
President of SOS Children visit : We had a wonderful visit during September, 2008. He was accompanied by the General Managers of SOS Austria and Germany as well as the National Director, SOS Children Nepal. It was a ‘back to Bharatpur’ feeling for the President. Thanks to his attachment with SOS Children’s Village Bharatpur. The children too welcomed him with great love and honor with a magnificent cultural show.
National Poet Madhav Prasad Ghimire’s Visit to the school: National Poet Madhav Prasad Ghimire visited the school during January, 2008. The children were very much delighted to see the coveted poet whose poems they read in the text in school. It was equally a delighting experience for the teachers too. The National Director and the Deputy National Director of SOS Children Nepal were also present in the school during Mr. Ghimire’s visit.
Construction Work: The construction of the much awaited school cycle stand was the remarkable construction work undertaken and completed in the year 2008.
Annual School Day cum Parents’ Day: For the first time in the school we are going to celebrate the Annual School Day Cum Parents’ Day on January 10th, 2009. The school is currently engaged in the preparation for the programme. Children are engaged in preparing for the Science Exhibition, Poster Exhibition, Handicraft Exhibition, Handwriting Exhibition, Food Festival, Computer Show, and Tricky Mathematics Games for the Parents as well as in Dance, Fancy Dress Show, Drama and Music.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School at Gandaki opened in 1982 as two schools on two separate sites. In 2001 a primary school was built on the site of the secondary school. Today there are over 650 pupils taught in 12 classes, 200 in primary and 460 in secondary. The school works with the British Council in Nepal in order to develop the teaching of English as a foreign language.
The education system of the country is rather poor. A large percentage of the population is illiterate. Children from the local community are provided with school uniforms and books by SOS Children.
Update from 2008:
We are towards the end of the year 2008. For us the year remained eventful in many regards and this Annual Report gives a glimpse of the various activities, both academic as well as non-academic, carried out by the school during this period.
It is indeed a matter of great pleasure that SOS School Gandaki now stands as a full-fledged Higher Secondary School of national reputation for its excellent academic performance in the national academic scenario.
Despite the different challenges and hindrances that the educational organisations had to face in the past years, the continuous striving, devotion and struggle of the school management, hardworking and dedicated teachers, students and the constructive suggestions of the parents has matured the school from a small elementary school and it has been a quest of academic excellence in the region. For the last 26 years, the school has been catering the needs of both children from SOS Children's village Gandaki and the students from the neighboring areas. It has maintained and proven the record of its standard by achieving the excellent performance from its students in the national level exams and the various co-curricular activities organised in and outside the school. For the students from the poor social and economic background, the scholarship scheme, which includes full or part fee exemption and free stationery, has been a great relief and a blessing to them. They would have no access to education without it.
So far as the uninterrupted running of school is concerned, it has been found satisfactory this year despite few unavoidable situations. There is a changed political situation and the government’s educational policy has not reached to the final and factual conclusion, however, it can be hoped that the situation will be much better and we shall have more conducive academic environment in the days to come. The school has been keeping up the tradition of excellence in the national level exams for example, SLC, Grade XI and Grade XII Board exams. Without the collective efforts of the school authority, teachers, staff and the students it would not have been possible. Moreover, the school has been regularly organising various co-curricular activities to explore their hidden talents and abilities. Their enthusiastic participation and outstanding performances in both inside and outside programmes shows that they are good at academic and co-curricular activities as well.
According to our school record, there are 819 students in our school now. The table below shows the composition of the scholarship, fee-paying, staff children and the students from SOS Children's Village Gandaki.
Selection tests and the beginning of the new academic session
We started the current academic year from 27th April, 2008. As usual entrance exams were conducted for admission in Grade I and VI. Due to the delayed publication of the SLC results, we conducted the entrance tests for Grade XI lately. The selection process consisted of various steps of tests from written exam, oral interview and the final selection was made on the basis of accumulated marks on these tests. Besides this, a small number of students were taken to fulfill the vacant seats in other grades, too. The table below shows the exact profile of the new admissions in different grades this year.
Periodic Activities in the year 2008
Annual School Sports Meet, 2007 Annual Sports Meet has been a tradition of our school and the last year's Sports Meet was celebrated for 4 days starting from January 2, 2008 in which the students from 4 houses (Machhapuchre, Gaurishankar, Dhawalagiri and Annapurna) took part in the various track and field events with full enthusiasm. On the final day, the students displayed March Past, Gymnastics, Mass Physical Exercise, Ushu and dance items.
Tutorial Classes To SOS Children's Village Gandaki Students Like last year, this year also, we offered special tuition classes to all the SOS Children's Village Gandaki students about 2 months before their Annual exam in March, 2007. The classes were conducted in the evening in which the students were helped with their difficult subject mainly Science, Maths and English. The enhanced performance of the village students in the final exam indicated that these classes were very helpful and we have planned to run similar classes this year, too.
Farewell Programme To Grade X And XII Students As usual, after the send up exams Grade IX and XI organised the farewell programmes for their senior Grades that is Grade X and XII respectively. They celebrated the event by organising cultural shows and picnics. The school also organised the farewell for these both grades but in a very simple manner.
SOS Day Celebration On the 23rd of June, 2008 the school observed the International SOS Day by organising and taking part in different programmes. As usual, we organised an on-the-spot drawing competition among the students of various private and government schools in the valley. Mr. Tirtha Shrestha, a famous poet graced the occasion as its chief guest. Among a big number of participants, the students from Motherland Higher Secondary School got the 1st, the SOS School Gandaki the 2nd, Motherland Higher Secondary School the 3rd & Tops Higher Secondary Boarding School & SOS School Gandaki consolation prizes.
SLC/Grade XII Board Exam Result-2064 The SLC result-2064 has been outstanding for us. In all 77 students appeared in the exam, 36 students secured Distinction marks and the remaining passed in the lst division. The happiest thing for us is that one of our students, Miss Sheelu Aryal, topped the district among girls securing 90.88% marks in aggregate. Similarly, the recently published Grade XII result is also equally encouraging, though one of the students failed out of 42 students, in the national level, the result is considered very well. Obviously, these results have motivated us greatly to work harder and to enhance the learning outcomes of our students in the future.
Talent Show -2065 The "Talent show" has been one of the grand functions in our school that provides a plat-form to the students to exhibit their hidden talents. Students are found more interested and enthusiastic to participate in the show. Altogether 37 solo and group participants from junior, intermediate and senior level were selected through the pre-selection round and they participated in the grand finale on September 29 which included different musical items, dance in Nepalese folk songs, film songs and Hindi re-mix numbers, newari dance, "lakhe naach", drama, caricature and so on.
As it was organised on the eve of Vijaya Dashami-2065, the school family exchanged the Dashain Greetings.
Educational Excursions We believe that for useful learning, pupils require experiences with raw materials of life-providing first hand information and experiences and educational visits play crucial role to attain these objectives. Therefore, we have been giving emphasis on organising such visits at least once a year for most of the grades to the places of historical, geographical, cultural and educational significance both inside and outside Pokhara Valley. This year remained suitable because of improved security situation however, we couldn't organise the excursion to the Terai areas because of frequent 'bandh' . The motive of learning by observation gets fulfilled as the senior grade students are encouraged to prepare the project work of their visits.
Other Highlights of the Year
SOS Children President Visit To The School: During September 2008, the President visited and he was escorted by our National Director, Mr. Shree Shankar Pradhananga and was highly impressed by our keeping of the school. The students and the teachers welcomed him and his team with great respect. In the evening, our students from grade IX and X presented some Nepalese folk dance items as a part of the programme organised by SOS Children's Village Gandaki. The school family is highly grateful to the President for his encouraging and motivating speech in regard to our academic performance and the mutual relationship with SOS Children's Village Gandaki.
Grade XI Board Exam Result- 2065 Grade XI Board exam results has been encouraging this year also. The result shows that out of 42 students 40 passed with good scores. Out of them 16 students have passed with distinction marks 23 stood in the first division and 1passed in the second division. Unfortunately, two of our students failed the exam. This result has obviously motivated us to work harder and enhance the learning of our students in the coming days. Our student, Mr. Aashish Acharya has scored the highest percentage (i.e. 85.2%) in the district. The result once again has become a matter of encouragement and challenges both.
Horlicks Genius, 2009 (Quiz Contest) The school organised the preliminary round of Horlicks Genius Quiz, 2008 in our school in the month of September. This programme was observed last year too. Altogether, there were 23 teams from the different private and government schools from Kaski and its neighboring districts in the region. Among them 4 teams were screened through the written round and New Model Academy from the valley got selected through the on stage round to take part in the semi-final round to be held in Kathmandu.
Cultural Programme By The Students From The USA A group of thirty-five American students from Royal Servants Int. Minnesota presented eight different cultural items on August 5. It was a part of cultural exchange programme. They learnt the Nepalese cultures and traditions from our students and vice-versa. It was their fifth visit to our school.
Inter School Math Quiz Contest On September 23, Inter school Math quiz contest was organised to mark the national educational day & International Literary Day. Altogether 25 teams from the different private and government schools of Kaski district participated in the contest. The students Sanja Sunar & Anup Pokharel from our school stood second in the contest.
Participation In 'National Convention For SQC 2008' A team of 10 students from Grade 8-10 participated in the 4th NCSQC 2008 held in Kathmandu from November 1-3, 2008. The students presented a case study entitled “Awkwardness in Learning" in the convention and received the certificate of participation and medals. One of our students took part in the panel discussion and expressed her views on "Co-ordination, Co-operation and Collaboration in class learning".
66 schools from the different parts of the country had participated in the various events organised in the convention. The convention was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Puspa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda".
Publication Of Code Of Conduct For The Students The school has published "Code of Conduct for the Students" in a booklet form. This booklet, on code of conduct for the students, aims at having the students know the rules and regulations of the school, which will ultimately foster a conducive environment of learning and teaching. It includes the national anthem, school introduction, general routine, school prayer, SOS Children's Villages prayer, Saraswoti prayer and a letter of commitment along with the code of conduct for the students. The letter of commitment is to be signed by the students and guardians to confirm their acceptance to follow it.
Publication Of Wall Magazines With a view to publishing a school magazine, the school started the publication of different bilingual wall magazines namely "The Kopila", "The Aankura", "The Suseli", "The Zenith" and so on in co-ordination with the Language and Co-curricular Department. Each magazine consists of an editorial committee. The best committee and the best two articles are awarded for the encouragement. It has helped our students explore their literary talents.
Some Notable Achievements In Outside School Performances Our students have shown equal interest and enthusiasm to take part in various extra-curricular activities organised by the different organisations outside the school. Our student, Mr. Bipin Subedi from Grade XI stood second in the Higher Secondary Level Speech Competition organised by Pokhara Jaycees on August 22. Miss Sambidha Sen from Grade X stood first in the Inter School Essay Writing Competition organised by Naulo Ghumti Nepal on August 20. Mr. Bidur Pariyar from grade VIII stood second in the Inter School Drawing Competition. The team of Mr. Santosh Giri and Mr. Biwash Banstola from Grade XI stood first in the District Level Inter College IT Quiz organised by Infomax College on December 12. Moreover, the members of JRC Executive Committee have taken part in the various leadership trainings organised by District Red-Cross Society, Kaski. This has enabled our students to take part in the various co-curricular activities.
Despite few school closures due to strike in the year 2008, the school has been running well. The school has organised all scheduled activities which fell within the previous as well as current academic session. For example, Annual Sports meet, fare-well programmes for Grade X and XII students; Annual Prize Distribution Day; Inter-school Drawing Competition; Teacher Professional Development Programmes; Selection Tests for Grade I, VI & XI intakes and the curricular activities mentioned in the operation calendar, were conducted successfully. And hope that our school will run uninterrupted in the remaining part of the year 2009 and enable us to meet our objectives of preparing our students for the national level as well in-school tests. Certainly, 2064 batch SLC results has encouraged us a lot to work harder and at the same time it has posed a great challenge in us to keep up the quality of our school.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School at Itahari opened in 1993. There are nearly 500 pupils from nursery to Grade 10, 300 in primary and 200 in secondary.
Update from 2008:
It is over 15 years since SOS Higher Secondary School was established with an aim of imparting quality education to the children. The school was registered as a primary school in the beginning of the year 1993 and became a fully-fledged higher secondary school in the year 2007.
During these years the school has been one of the well - maintained schools in the eastern region. Despite the numerous challenges and weaknesses in the education system in Nepal, there has always been a positive concern among the staff and pupils for the improvement and standards in education. The school community still feels there is much to do- there always will be. However, we can look across the past and present, too, and see encouraging signs of progress.
The staff at school has always succeeded in creating a strong school ethos and good working relationship with each other and parents, too. However, there is still need of promoting staff morale and motivation for the effectiveness of school. It should be noted that low staff morale threatens teaching standards and the overall quality of education. The challenge is, therefore to identify those factors which are seen to lead to low teachers morale with a view to tackling them and promote motivation.
The total number of pupils at school is 550. Out of which 317 (57.63%) are boys and 233 (42.37 %) are girls. The total no of children attending school from the SOS Children’s Village Itahari is 134 and the community is 416. The largest class in terms of students' number is class III with 45 students and the smallest class is Grade Twelve with 25 students. In average there are 40 students in each class. There have been some drop- outs/ transfers of students this year, too. Although the general attendance of pupils at school seems satisfactory, there is often unreported absenteeism from school.
Curriculum and Professional Development
The teaching at SOS Higher Secondary School Itahari has been always based on the National Curriculum. Besides, computer education has been introduced from class IV onward. To improve methods of teaching and learning and to raise the academic achievement of our students the focus has been the classroom this year. There has been rigorous planning both at the school level and by individual teachers for the effective delivery of the curriculum.
There has been some professional development programme of teachers for the effective teaching and to develop their subject expertise. Some of these PDP were based in Mothers' Training Center Kavre while some were school based (INHOUSE PROGRAMME). Teachers' Professional Development is key factor in having a positive effect in raising the quality of teaching and pupils' standards of achievement. Although these trainings have always been very helpful for teachers professionally, the need identification of our professional development programme is generally weak and personal development targets are often not set.
Despite many interruptions, the school results have been fantastic. The School Leaving Exam (SLC) results have improved dramatically with 14 distinctions, 24 first divisions and 2 second divisions-100% pass. The first batch of class 11 came out with flying success with 3 distinctions, 11 first divisions and 9 second divisions-92 % pass. The improvement in outcomes along with the positive vibe within the school is no accident. This success would have been impossible without harnessing of the expertise of our fellow teacher colleagues and their confident “creative space” in their subject teaching.
The school conducted two terminal and an annual (final) examinations for all the classes in the school in the year 2008. However, class VIII sat for the District Level Examination beside the school exam were externally assessed. In general, the performance of the students in the school examinations were more or less same as in previous years.
Standards of education are directly linked with the quality of teaching in the school. Although the overall quality of teaching is seen to be satisfactory in the school in the year 2008, there is need of improvement in some areas of unsatisfactory teaching. The management should undertake monitoring and evaluation aspects more effectively as these steps help us improve teaching at the school.
It also concerns us that some of our students (i.e. with learning difficulties) are promoted to higher classes without the required level of 'academic' performance. These students are immediately disadvantaged when they faced the challenges of secondary curriculum (9 & 10 texts). Because of this increasing academic difference between the pupils and their peers, teachers are faced with the challenge of providing the equal opportunities for successful learning for all students. Pupils learn well when their subject teachers are well informed about each pupil's needs through individual education plans, when an appropriate range of teaching methods is used, it is therefore important to make certain school strategy and programme to overcome this problem if school standard is to be achieved.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School at Kavre opened in 1999. There are nearly 500 pupils in 12 classes, 280 in primary and 190 in secondary. Many of the children receive scholarships to cover aschool fees and uniforms as part of SOS Children's Family Strengthening Programme.
Update for 2008:
Year 2008 remained a moment of challenges and accomplishments for the school family at SOS School Kavre. It remained a year of challenges because the rapidly changing socio-economic and political context affected the mindset of pupils and everyone else. A trend among students was noticed that they expected to excel in their studies without working hard. This required teachers to put more efforts to motivate the general majority of students and to keep them within the expected norms relating to behavioral dimensions.
Contrary to these challenges, 2008 was the year of accomplishments because the team never lost its focus on the children and youths entrusted to the school’s care. As such our students did show very good results not only in the SLC or Higher Secondary Level Board Exams, they also made relative progress in the internal assessments, exams and social skills. This is due to the individualized support and care from the teachers to the students, especially to the ones with learning difficulties and behavioral problems. Another point of accomplishment is that the school is now a fully fledged secondary school with two more new classrooms, a hall and a staff room for the teachers of the higher secondary level.
Pupils & Teachers
This year 564 students attended school with an average of 38 (to be exact 37.6) pupils in a standard (grade). At the beginning of the session 2008/09, we worked out not to have more than 34 children in the nursery school and up to the third standard; and 36 students from fourth to the eighth standard. But we could not stick to this decision because many new children were admitted in SOS Kavre after the session started, and naturally, the school had to take heed of their educational needs.
Because of the financial and management support we receive from SOS Children Nepal, the school is able to offer quality education at an affordable cost to many children and youths. It also offers scholarships to many deserving children/youths. A good number of them receive scholarship assistance, namely girls and children from the financially and socially deprived families. In 2008 about 100 children received scholarship in the school.
With regard to school personnel, three teachers were recruited this year in order to meet the requirement of additional human resources because of school's upgrading to standard twelve. All these teachers were appointed in July 2008 making the number of academic staff 35.
The concept of middle managers has been well integrated in the school system which has been instrumental in the smooth running of the school and in developing ownership among colleagues.
Academic, Pastoral Care and Co curricular Activities
With the advent of standard twelve, the school is now a fully-fledged higher secondary school. Although management stream was accepted with a lukewarm welcome by senior students and the local communities during the inception of the higher secondary level, we feel lucky to have sufficient number of students applying for admission in standard eleven. Number of requests for admission in other grades has also remained constant contrary to the fact that many new schools are emerging around in the neighboring communities.
Although the board exams results are quite encouraging, we must admit that our pupils have remained just above average in all dimensions (i.e. physical, intellectual, social and emotional) in the session 2007/2008. For example, all 38 students of the fourth batch got through the SLC Examinations 2064 and 39 out of 42 youths became successful in the 11th standard Higher Secondary Education Board Exams and we are happy about that. Yet, we expected that our students must have done better if we assessed the input the school has made upon them.
With regard to day to management, we saw fewer Nepal Bands and/or Local Strikes in 2008 unlike in the previous year. As such operational management of the school was less difficult. However we needed to suspend some of the co-curricular and sports activities because of the construction work taking place for the higher secondary block. Since our attention remained in the academic improvement of students in 2008, we sent fewer students to the district and/or national level competitions. Still, students’ achievement in table tennis, badminton, quizzes and volleyball was praiseworthy.
Initiated by the Junior Red Cross Circle and the Prefect Council, senior students initiated some appreciable activities this year which include fund raising and cloth collection for the Koshi Flood Victims, collection of books to setup a library for a public school in Dhung Kharka, Kavre and offering scholarship assistance to some children for their primary level education.
Similarly, all colleagues have become aware of the Child Protection Policy and it has been well adhered in the day to day management of the school.
Construction and Maintenance - 2008
The school family is grateful to the President of SOS Children International for his initiation in the construction of higher secondary block. It is good to note that this block seems well synchronised to the main school building as someone visiting the school hardly notices the new section.
Similarly we also remain thankful to our National Director Mr. Shree Shankar Pradhananga for his regular visit and instructions he imparted with a view to maintaining quality of the construction and upkeep of the school standard in all areas.
Major Challenges and Priorities For 2009
As stated in the School Development Plan 2009, we have many areas requiring continued attention. Key priorities for 2009 (or for session 2009/2010) include:
• Extending better and individualised support to pupils for their development in their academic and behavioral dimensions (one of the issues in this area has been identified is the increase in the involvement of parents to make student learning more effective).
• Improving the physical dimension of the school by upgrading ICT facilities, enhancing the quality of library management and ensuring the proper utilization of the newly constructed Hall.
• Supporting the ‘Local Rooting’ of the organisation by coordinating ‘School Exhibition’ and by working in close cooperation with the local people/agencies to extend scholarship support to more deserving students.
• Organising workshops on ‘Positive Thinking’, ‘Balancing Rights and Responsibilities and ‘Effective Classroom Management’ with a view to bringing overall improvement at school.
The Namgyal Higher Secondary School is the only higher secondary school for Tibetans in Nepal. It opened in 1988 in Gokarna near Kathmandu.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School opened in 1987. There are nearly 500 pupils in 11 classes from nursery to grade 10, 250 in primary and 250 in secondary. The school is used by both the Tibetan refugee community and the local Nepali community.
Update from 2008:
It is our 21st year of school establishment. As always, it gives me immense pleasure to present here a brief annual school report, highlighting the major events for the school community.
2007-2008 Because of the liberal promotion policy, particularly for grades 1-3 and over-aged students, the annual academic result of grades 1-7 was remarkable with 93.3%. We had cent percent results for grades X (SLC) and XII (HSEB) Board Exams; although some had to sit compartments papers in which they did even better scoring percentages above 60.
2008-2009 The new academic session started May 4 and we had two terms of uninterrupted school days with plenty of exciting school activities. The First term ended in July and the Second in November/December. We have just started our third and final term now after a week of term break.
Three of our teachers from the primary section and one from the senior resigned in April and December respectively, citing personal reasons. Of them, the Vice Principal reports:
"Mrs. Namgyal Dolma la, one of the 4 senior most teachers who have been with us since the inception of this school in 1987, has been one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever known. Her resignation has created a void which is almost impossible to fill. The school community has lost a very big asset. Her exemplary service and deep love and compassion for the children will always be remembered."
Replacements have been made and we are pleased to report that one of them is an ex-student from our very first batch at SOS School Chhorepatan.
The SOS Nursery School Chhorepatan
Because of the very good facility and devoted care-takers (Ayahs) and Staff, all the little ones at the SOS Nursery School have enjoyed good health throughout the year.
Our nursery school teachers use the Montessori methods and are remarkably sensitive to the needs of small children and therefore I happy to appraise that learning process becomes fun, enjoyable and easy for the children at all the three stages. Teachers also spent a lot of time preparing teaching aids in addition the many already in use.
Our nursery school gets a lot of visitors, official as well as non-official. However this year the most cherished visit was that of the President of SOS Children International and the SOS dignitaries in September. Children were extremely excited and happy to receive the colorful balloons from the visitors.
School Activities for the first two Terms.
The nursery school children attended the community gatherings with their parents and guardians. They participated in the opening ceremony the 21st Annual Sports Meet and also took part in a couple of sports events for tiny-tots which were very entertaining.
Activities at the Junior & Senior Schools Inter-House activities like Spelling, Quiz, Reading, Debate, Elocution, Basketball, Badminton, Football, Table Tennis, Athletics & Indoor games require a lot of planning and teamwork. I am thankful to my colleagues at both the sections of the school for their steadfast support and cooperation in managing the activities. We had two very occupying yet enjoyable terms so far.
Co & Extra-Curricular Activities
We strive to make education relevant to our students at the SOS School Pokhara. Students availed.
• Evening extra coaching classes for academically weak children at the junior section.
• Evening extra coaching classes for the students at the hostel throughout the year.
• Extensive use of the Display Boards throughout the year with healthy competitions among the groups at both the junior and seniors sections of the school with the teachers' guidance.
• A lot time towards reading practice during the morning assemblies (June to September) with final Reading Contests in 3 languages at the junior section.
• Class assembly presentations reached a new height at the senior section. Even the President of SOS Children International and his team of visitors enjoyed witnessing one of the shows! Teachers and Students have become more enthusiastic and innovative.
• Many of our students were involved in the preparation of the Annual Children's magazine -2008 and the Annual School Magazine-2008. Both are now ready for release!
• As suggested by our language teachers during our PDP, the use of the library was made extensive throughout the year under the close supervision of teachers.
• The students of grades XI and XII took part in the Inter-mural Contest in Elocution, Indoor and Out-door games and in Essay writing.
The combined SOS Primary and Secondary School at Sanothimi opened in 1973. There are over 700 pupils, 260 in primary and 460 in secondary. The school is ranked as one of the top schools in the country. The school system of the country is rather poor and so a large percentage of the population is illiterate. Some of the external students are provided with school uniforms and books by SOS Children thus making it possible for even the poorest children of the neighbourhood to attend school.
The school is a comprehensive school with students from the age of four to the age of eighteen (two years of nursery school plus twelve years of school). The older students look after the younger ones and help them with their school work. SOS children are taught together with children from the neighbourhood, which helps their integration into society later on. After the tenth form, students take their GCSE exams.. Students who do not pass this exam often opt for vocational training. Others then take their A' levels after the twelfth form and then go on to university. The introduction of computer education has made students acquainted with modern technology. Computer lessons start in the seventh form. The reputation of the SOS Schools in Nepal is so good that they are now used as model schools for the state school system.
Update from 2008:
The Academic Year 2008/09 commenced from 28th April 2008. Compare to the previous few years this year has been comparatively peaceful and smooth. There have been only a few occasions when the school was bound to remain close during the working days. Moreover, some substantial changes and modification in the school’s daily programme has helped run the school smoothly. Academic course, so far, is advanced as planned and expected.
Modification in the school’s daily Programme
Commencing from the new academic year 2008/09 there have been certain modification in the daily routine. They are as follows
o School starts at 910 and closes at 1505 hrs.
o Separate lunch hours i.e. nursery to class 9- as usual after 4th period and X,XI,XII after 5th period
o Extension of one more period i.e. 8 periods in total for class X,XI and XII
o Early start of school has helped to avoid the pick hour traffic hassle of Koteshwor /Jadibuti area
o Additional period for senior classes has helped in the completion of course in time.Hence, curtailed the need of extra classes.
Before the implementation of the above mentioned routine, it was endorsed by the general staff meeting. Initially, the teachers teaching in the senior classes demanded the need of extra working hour for class X, XI and XII and later on it was unanimously agreed. Only flexibility is those who take 1st period will be off after 7th period and the teachers opting to take 8th period may come to school for the 2nd period.
In-house Professional development Programme
As a regular part of the school programme the In-house Professional Development Programme (IPDP) was held in April prior to the beginning of the new session.
Topics dealt during the IPDP were:
o Inclusive Education by an external expert
o Presentation on reflective teaching, Parents – Teachers Relation, Development of Extra Curricular Activities etc. by the prospective Coordinators ( Middle Managers) of the school. Those prospective teachers were, later on, appointed as the Middle Managers as the term of the previous team of coordinators was due until the April 2008.
Interaction / Briefing on Child protection Policy and SOS Strategic Planning
All the teachers and staff participated in an Introductory cum interaction session on ‘Child Rights & Child Protection Policy’ which was facilitated by Susma Pokharel, Child development Officer in SOS Children’s Village Nepal.
The same was done with the parents. Starting from the Nursery, it is being carried on to the senior classes. At the first phase, parents of Class Nursery to Class III are oriented with the concept and practice of Child Protection Policy. It has been done along with the report distribution of the second term examination. The guardians are found to be interactive and enthusiastic in knowing about the current trend of SOS Children’s Village Nepal.
Teaching and Administrative staff have been briefed with the Strategic Planning 2009-2016 of SOS International and of SOS Children’s Village Nepal as designed in the National Workshop held in November.
International Scholarship and Exchange
o To continue with the former practice, Pushpanjali Giri (SLC Graduate from our school) has been awarded with the Pestalozzi International Scholarship to study in UK for 2 years. She has been the 6th student from our school to be able to receive the scholarship. Starting from 2003, Pestalozzi has been providing scholarships to one student of our school every year.
o Similarly, the exchange with the Newington College Australia is also continuing. Head Boy (2007/08) Sangam Bhandari is about to complete his 6 months’ gap student programme in Newington this month (December). A team of 21 students and teachers from Newington is visiting us next month.
Achievements in the Co- Curricular Activities
o Runner up (2nd position) in the TVS Tyres Cup Inter school Invitational Football Tournament organised by Madhyapur Youth Association. The prize was cup, certificate and cash prize NRs. 10,000.-
o First in the District level Inter School Gymnastic Competition. It was a team of junior students and they were outstanding different events.
The combined SOS Primary and secondary School opened in 1988. There are over 500 pupils, 300 in primary and 230 in secondary. The school is situated in one of the more remote parts in the west of Nepal and is heavily over-subscribed.
Update from 2008:
After 20 years of its establishment, SOS School Surkhet now stands as a fully fledged higher secondary school. At this moment, we would like to acknowledge the support and well wishes of all our sponsors, friends, co-workers, guardians and teachers which have been always encouraging us to contribute something on the pious mission of educating our children.
We feel pleased in that the dedicated team of teachers and co-workers has made a noticeable progress towards enhancing students' achievement and smooth running of the institution under the leadership of Acting Principal, Mr. Padam Bahadur Hamal in the absence of Principal, who was in UK in the course of further study.
Politically, the year 2008 remained significant for Nepal. We are now the newest republic and the recently held election of constituent assembly is supposed to pave way for the overall development of the country. Although, these happenings have no any direct effect seen so far in the educational sector, it is widespread hope that the educational sector would be able to get appropriate attention so as to prepare the 'builders of new Nepal'.
Students and Teachers
Students’ Enrollment We were able to take in 33 children in our Nursery. Similarly, we admitted 20 students in the second batch of 10+1. Apart from these, we were able to take in 15 students in different classes from nursery school level to year 8. This way, the total new students’ enrollment for the session 2008-09 at our school is 68 out of which the number of boys and girls are 30 and 38 respectively.
Teachers’ Enrollment This year, we faced the ever maximum number of teachers' turnover. Five of the teachers' viz. Mr. Bhim Bhandari, Mr. Belpatra Yogi, Ms Asha Sharma, Ms Beena Thapa and Mr. Baburam Upadhyaya resigned from their positions citing their private reasons. Ms. Komal Shahi passed away in an accident. The positions that remained vacant for the above reasons were fulfilled by Mr. Jageshwor Upadhyaya, Mr. Pradip Panta, Ms Ratna Bhandari, Ms Gunja Basnet, Mr. Nirmal Thapa and Mr. Prabesh Sharma. Among these new appointments, Mr. Thapa and Mr. Sharma have been appointed on one year contract. Mr. Rupesh Khatri has been appointed on a contract basis to teach at higher secondary level. Recently, we have appointed Ms Sushma Rai as a grade teacher on a monthly wage basis to cover the maternity leave of Ms Nirmala Rana. On the whole, we have appointed 7 new full time teachers to teach at different levels at our school this year.
Delegation of Responsibilities The first group of middle managers who were appointed for a period of two years completed their term at the beginning of the session 2008-09. Therefore, 6 new middle managers were appointed for the period of two years beginning April 2008. The newly appointed middle managers Mr. Govinda Thapa, Mr. Hikmat Oli, Mr. Bachchu Lal Shah, Ms. Shanta Basnet and Mr. Mukunda Kumar Giri were delegated the responsibilities of coordinating Higher secondary programme, pre-primary and primary programme, Pastoral Care, Logistics and Co-curricular activities respectively. Mr. Belpatra Nath Yogi who was appointed as the academic coordinator resigned from his post of a teacher of this school so that Mr. Sharad Poudel was delegated the responsibility to co-ordinate the academic activities of the school since June, 2008.
Academic Achievements This year remained remarkable in terms of students' performance in the board examinations. The students appearing SLC examination of the year 2008 have been able to produce 100% result with 10 distinctions, 30 first divisions and 2 second divisions. This is the first ever 100% result for our school. Similarly, the grade eight students that appeared the District Level Examinations were able to secure outstanding result with the best performance in the district.
In the recently published result of Higher Secondary Examination Board (HSEB), our first batch of Grade 11 students showed satisfactory performance. Out of 19 students appearing examination, 18 students were able to get through and one of the students will be sitting for the supplementary examination.
All the students were able to get through to the successive grades from the session that started in April 2008.
Co curricular Activities For the last three years co-curricular activities of the school are being organised in more planned and organised way and are being coordinated by the co-coordinator of the co-curricular activities. While the regular activities conducted at school level on Fridays and on different occasions are being conducted on regular basis, the type of competitions are more diversified and motivating to the students. On the other hand, our students are regularly participating on different competitions/activities at district, regional and national level. Our students have been regularly bringing home awards and medals by their best performance at activities like poetry writing, essay writing, oration at different inter school competitions.
In the year 2008, our school's dance team was able to perform best at regional level and the same team was declared second at the national level. Om Prakash Ghale, a grade ten student, was able to stand first at the regional level painting/art competition organised by Regional Educational Directorate, Surkhet. We have also been able to stand out first at the Regional Level Educational Exhibition.
We purchased 3 desktop computers and furniture so that the number of computers in our IT room has reached to 21 and students can now work in pair each computer in their practical lessons.
Repair and Maintenance
Apart from the regular repair and maintenance works, we created a play corner for pre-primary students. Similarly, repair of furniture and classroom floors were carried out. Paintings of furniture, whitewashing the classrooms have also been done in regular interval.
Happenings and Celebrations
Annual Sports Festival Students of the school divided into four different houses took part in the Annual Sports Festival that took place on January 16-18, 2008. The First/ inaugural day of the event was attended by parents, educationists and local dignitaries. There was also the exhibition of students' activities and creative works i.e. science materials, arts and handicraft, cultural programme etc. on the same day.
Saraswati Pooja Like every year, students, teachers along with SOS Children family were together to mark the Saraswati Pooja in the month of February 2008. Saraswoti, the symbol of learning, was worshipped by students, teachers and mothers as well. Teachers, students and mothers were provided with sweets and light refreshment on the occasion.
This was marked for 3 days organising different programmes at our school. District level open inter school street marathon was organised on 22nd June. Similarly, an oratory competition on the topic "Role of students in the formation of new Nepal" was organised among the students studying at secondary level at different secondary schools in Surkhet. On 23rd June, students, who were able to give outstanding performance in different academic activities in the academic session 2007-08, were distributed prizes amidst a special function.
Besides these, we have been organising different co curricular activities to mark different national days as well as the memorial days of national luminaries and literary personalities.
Middle Managers Plan and Review
After being delegated with the responsibilities to coordinate different aspects of schools programmes and activities, the newly appointed middle managers, in consultation with the school management and the staff, have presented their plans and programmes for the academic sessions. They have also presented the review report of the accomplishments of their planned activities.
The middle managers along with the senior management team sit for a review meeting at the end of each month. Among other things, we have started family visit for the students with poor academic achievement and regular classroom observation and recorded feedback giving system by the middle managers and/or senior management to the subject/grade teachers.
International Link Global Dimension
In the present context of rapid globalisation, it is important to bring some international dimension into our education system, particularly into our curriculum. Considering the same fact, we are trying to create links with international/overseas educational institutions so that we can share each others’ experiences and bring some international elements into our school programme. For the last two years our primary level students (Grade 4 and 5) are linked with the primary level students in Brazil and the UK via snail mail and email exchanges. We have been able to establish contacts with some English medium schools in Europe and efforts are on to develop working partnerships.
As a result of our mutual commitment towards bringing about international dimension into our programme, we have become able to secure a DFID grant for a reciprocal visit to /from a UK (English) School. Mr. Steve Griffiths and Ms Kate Spencer, teachers from St. Andrews Primary School in Brighton, UK visited our school for a week in April, 2008. Similarly, Mr. Padam Bahadur Hamal, the acting Principal, visited St. Andrews School in the UK in June for two weeks. This initial exchange of visits has paved way towards further strengthening of our partnership in the coming years and we are in the process of signing an agreement for a long -term working partnership.
The activities, highlights or achievements mentioned in this report do not but carry details of every work we do here at SOS School Surkhet. While regular planning, participation in different professional development activities (trainings/workshops), monitoring, supervision and feedback on the performance and event organised in the school are taking place on a regular basis, we feel that we have to develop a systematic and a more friendly mechanism so as to incorporate the technological/management advancements as well as to make our programmes more child centered. With the continued support from the National Office, receptiveness from the teachers and staff team and the concerns by our guardians/parents, we hope we will be making remarkable progress towards providing a children friendly academic environment in our school in the future and also that our students will keep on excelling in any academic and co curricular activities.
We would acknowledge the concern of the President of SOS Children International. Similarly, we thank our National Director for his regular visit to our school and his valuable guidance.
Finally, we would wish all the SOS family in Nepal and abroad a wonderful new year 2009.