Rastriya Higher Secondary School in Dattu, Darchula District is situated on the Nepal-India border and was established in 1960 AD. At present, the School runs classes from 1-12 for 279 girls and boys. As the quality of education is perceived to be better on the other side of the border in India, parents prefer to send their children to private English-medium schools there. The school changed the medium of instruction in grade one and two into English last year, as a counter-measure.
Since 2013 AD. Good Neighbors International (GNI) Nepal is supporting the School in improving the quality of education through library support, boundary-wall maintenance, early childhood development kits, child club strengthening and mobilization and other educational supports. Around 45% (124) of the students of the school are currently sponsored by GNI Nepal. These poor marginalized, and vulnerable students receive support for continuing their education.
The School started to teach the computer science subject to students above grade six three years ago. For a subject that requires more practical than theoretical classes, the students got oral explanations only: the computer teacher lectured or read the chapter aloud to the students. There were three computers in the school but they were used for official/administrative tasks only. Some of the eager and comparatively rich students, especially of higher grades would go to a nearby place in India during long vacations to take computer courses.
In November 2016, the school received eight assembled desktop computers along with an electricity back-up system from GNI Nepal. Now the school has a computer lab where around half of the students do their daily practical lessons taking turns. Head Teacher, Rajesh Singh Samant shared,“Our students actively take part in computer practical classes. Now, there are 12 computers in the lab, and at a time, 24 students can do their curricula practical lessons. They are very eager to learn to things on a computer”.
Before having the computer lab in the school, these students didn’t have any opportunity for doing their practical lessons. One of the grade seven students, Manisha Bhat depicted the past and present situation as, “we could look at the computers that were in the office room but could not even touch them. But, now, I can operate the computer and have learned to use MS Paint, MS Word and do other basic things”.
As a first step towards sharing this important information-communication technology (ICT) resource with the community, the school will run computer classes for adults during long holidays like Dashain and summer vacations.
The School is planning to add computers and an e-library in the near future. The school already hosts a library and has plans to build a well-equipped science lab.