Date: October 17, 2011
Heritage School to Shishu Niketan Nalanda
Only 40% of the invited participants turned up in Gyan Abhiyan Workshop held on October 16, 2011 and some of them left in between the workshop. I felt that lot more has to be done by our team to connect with people in education sector in Nalanda District. Hence it was a concern for the organization and the project. Well, I felt that I should try to address this during my Gyan Abhiyan.
There were couple of logistic concerns such as where we will stay in the night where we will have food and how we will wash our cloths etc. I said we will find a suitable way out. Perhaps we may come back to Rajgir by bus leaving the cycles. Next we will again go there and start the journey for Gyan Abhiyan.
I needed a concrete task for the journey. Baseline survey of 60 schools was the correct work for the journey. Hence we decided to cover 60 schools during Gyan Abhiyan and do the baseline survey as required by the project.
Sanjeev took me to Nalanda Heritage site where 1500 years ago (5th century BC) there was world famous University. Thanks to Sanjeev, it was really inspiring to be at the site that was a great center of learning. It was absolutely great feeling to be there before starting the journey.
Ranjeet Kumar joined me for the journey. Sanjeev, our project coordinator came to first school, Nalanda Heritage School, where from we started our journey for Gyan Abhiyan. Principal of School wished us a successful journey. Other colleagues wanted to joined, I discouraged them as they need to attend to their own responsibility in the project. Ranjeet and I started the journey at 12 noon from Nalanda Heritage School.
a. Nalanda Heritage School: A private school fully owned and managed by Col. RS Nehra. The school is residential for 100 children and 80 Day Boarding students. School has good class rooms, living rooms, dining hall, toilets and play ground. Above all, there is great level of security. Perhaps, in Bihar even that is also essential. There are alround development here. Games, painting and regular learning all are there. Students are doing well. Quality of education is high.
Perhaps we need one such schools at all the Panchayats in Nalanda District. Only then Quality education can be delivered to majority of children in the District.
b. Juafar Bazar Middle School: Governemt School. Children were having enregy and happy. School has four teachers including Head master. Head master has many non-academic work and hence school has to depend on three teachers. One of them not available he is not well. Therefore there only two teaches effectively available for 358 students of class I to VIII. Actual attendance in about 200. Hence ratio is 100 children per teacher.
c. Shishu Gyan Niketan: Private School in Nalanda. It has five rooms and 135 students. 80 of them stay in the hostel. Rest are Day boarder. I met Mr. Niraj Shah who has come to school to drop his 5 year old child. Niraj works in Kolkata. Since he has to stay in Kolkata for work, it is more safe to keep the children here.
Interesting persons met:
1. Col. RS Nehra: A retired colonel from Army who was also the founding Principal of Sainik School Rajgir. He is in Bihar since 2002 and fallen in love with the place. After retirement, set up Nalanda Heritage School in 10 acre of land using all his savings. He believes that people in Bihar are nice and intelligent. School has hostel facility for 100 children. It has 180 children including Day boarding students who come from near by towns such as Biharsharif and Rajgir.
Our President Dr. Kalam said that we should start Providing Urban facilities in Rural Area (PURA) and Col. RS Nehra has shown the way. He did not wait for any assistance from Government, Doner agency or Bank. He did it. Where there is a will there is a way.
2. Mr. Uday Kumar: Youngest and Dynamic Head master of Middle School Juafar Bazar. 5 years back he joined Government School. He is dynamic head master of the government school. He still has hopes that situation will change in Government schools. He has lot of ideas. If the Government schools are not there then many children will not be able to see school. His father was also in education. He is keen to participate in eLearning program of Saral Services. Because, School needs more teachers. Any help in that regard is wellcome. While being in Government, he is positive and has lot of ideas.