Gyan Abhiyan Day 5

Gyan Abhiyan DAY 5

Beginning the day at 9, we left for Meyar. From here we would resume our journey, and push onwards till Bhui. We welcomed a few new people to our cause- a Railway officer, a highschool girl and a law student along with a few others. Our transport dropped us off at Meyar where at 9:30 we had our Breakfast of Milk, Chana, Roti and Chutney. Then we left off at 10:15, with high spirits and a sense of solidarity. The road greeted us with bumps and shocks, but we cycled on till we reached our first destination : the village of Chandora.

Here we stopped at the village school, to talk to the people and look at present conditions. At the ‘Aangan Badi’ we heard kids recite poems and sing the alphabet, in an unco-ordinated cacophony. In the higher classrooms, we found the same tight blind discipline in the students. The school building was not completed like the others, and we also found a lot of dangerous rusted structures that once used to be slides and swings. The mothers sang a inspirational song about education and ‘moving forward’, before the discussion began. We explained the importance of teacher-parent meetings, and they told us of the problems they faced due to the lack of a compound wall.

At the same time, half the team moved onwards to Lacchepur. There we stopped at the primary school, where we found the principal missing. One teacher was present, who told us that the school ran with the help of 3 people. The Head Master was ill and the other teacher had gone to a wedding. The children were sitting idle while the teacher ran inbetween classes. We interacted with a class, and Dr. Mithelesh Singh entertained the little kids with magic tricks and funny theatrics. While talking to the mothers, we found out that parent-teacher meetings never take place. We reminded them again and again the importance of transparency.

The hours dragged on and we found ourselves having lunch at Buiy. As usual the chutney and aloo were delicious. By now we had already internalized the staple food of Bihar. We then head to the Buiy village school, that held 400 students and just 5 teachers. With a teacher student ratio of 1/80, we were yet again displayed the plight of quality education in Bihar. The Mid-day meals were also not getting delivered because the rice had not arrived. This appears to be the common situation for most schools these days.

We reached Seema late in the evening, and yet again the skies became pitch dark. Here we entered the village school, that was by now almost empty. The Gram Sangatan Samajik Committee along with many mothers of students, then began to turn up. There was a huge turnover, with the room entirely filled. Here we had  a heated debate over various topics. We were told that the kids run away after the mid-day meal, because they aren’t served enough and that the Head Master had held just one meeting in six months. However, these gritty women would not give up and had constantly requested for meetings, but were turned down quite rudely. The Committee morally polices, the households and informs them of important agendas. It was also nice to see that the women acknowledged that they also shared the burden of the blame, and promised to actively work harder.

The Day was good, not very tiring and definitely productive. However, yet again hammered in the fact that quality education is still miles ahead. The fundamental issues were once again visible, and dispite the numerous perspectives that we got, the problems remained the same. Once again the teacher-student ratio was appalling and once again the women self-help group’s participation was affirming.

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Gyan Abhiyan Day 4

Gyan Abhiyan Day 4


Started from Garaur village at 10:30 AM, our group reached Dogi where we met the Head Master. This was the first school where we met the HM. He told me that he had read the news of Gyan Abhiyan. He welcome the yatra and wished that the yatra succeed. HM shared with us the experience of implimenting the Samjhe Sinkhe (quality parameters of education).


He had weekly meeting of parents once for class I, II, III, VI, V. These meeting was primarly to tell the parents to send their children to school on time. Points that were discussed suggest that these meetings were used for appealing the parents to send their children and send them on time. For continuous and comprehensive evaluation, only the part of the profile has been prepared. There is no CCE. Lot more can be done.


Meeting with women and children were held separately. Meeting with parents and teacher was useful. They agreed to meet once on Saturday classwise as per SS. They will start the effort from this saturday. We discussed as to what to discuss in such meetings. Teacher should articulate the expectation from a child of that age and class. Teacher should help the parents to understand the position of the child with respect to the expectation. It would help in doing the CCE in the school as well.


We talked about seeing the dream for the children. There was excitement to think of dream. Parents want their children to become engineer and doctor.


We went to chabilapur school. There was enrolment of 224 and there are only three teachers. HM is busy in paper work. There are so many paper work. We can not have classes separetly. We have to combine classes and hold classes. Class 1 to 4 in one class room and from 5 to 8 in the second class room to manage them. Student teacher ratio is 80. It is difficult to achieve quality of education with this. There are some schools where the ratio is 30and below. May be some teacher be transfered to this school.


Teacher was concerned about the no cooperation from the village. He talked to VO member and they assured the teacher for the coopeartion. They were ready to have the weekly PT meeting class wise.


He is of the opinion that MDM is not at all useful. Instead it will be better to provide the food in kind to each parent. It will reduce the load of MDM from these teacher and will pay more attention to education. One child was was in class 8 said that he wants to be a teacher while her mother wanted him to be an engineer. She was happy to be having such expectation.


We suggested that the boy wants to be a teacher, he can be give chance to teach younger class students. This may help the school to reduce the problem of lack of teacher and at the same time he will feel confident about his own capacity to teach.


We went to Andwas village thereafter where we could have meeting with VO members only as the school was closed. It was a minority school and it was thursday. On Thursday school has half day.

Well, we interacted with the parents.


Anita Devi has one son and a daughter. Daughter lives with her Meternal grand ma. She is doing well in study. Her son Avinanad is not doing well. According to her, son is not a normal child. He is metally handicap. We called the child. We gave him few sums and asked him to read text. He did them perfectly. Only thing he was little slow. Therefore the child was normal. He likes cricket. We advised her to meet the teacher and discuss about his growth.


Instead, of meeting individually, parents can visit the school in group class wise. They said that they will explored with the teacher.


Thereafter we went to village Meyar. It has a welcoming big pond. Farmers here were prosperus. They are doing well. We met the parents and members of Bhamani VO. VO is managing public distribution system (PDS). One of the member shared about the problem with her son who goes to school but runs away. He is afraid of teacher. Mother was concerned about his education. Solution is to have meeting with the teacher. They also agreed to meet once on Saturday. Social Committee member of the VO will now take this as an actiivity.


We gave them literature on SS and Right to Education. Some of the members had children of bigger age group. They were worried about the money required for higher study. We suggested to them that they need not worry about money. Government and Bank both are now keen to provide education loan. Saurav Kumar narrated his story of taking Vidya loan and doing the SaralTA training. After getting the job he is repaying the loan and he does not take money from parents to repay.


VO had arranged dinner for us. We enjoyed the dinner after whole day of cycling,

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Gyan Abhiyan day 3


Gyan Abhiyan 2012 Report Day 3 Pilkhi Raushani VO We had a meeting with Pilkhi VO. 45 women attended the meeting. Meeting conducted in a hall near a temple and a pond mist paddy field. We interacted with three children

a. Aditya Raj (Age 15, class VIII) – Grand mother who is a member of VO was very much disturbed about Raj as he is not staying in any school. He was put in a private school. He comlained about the teacher who was putting Makki in the food. He run away from there. He does not go to school now. He wants to be a doctor. He is confident. But his Grant ma is concerned and asked for help. We gave small sum of multiplication. He wrote six hundred seventy five as 6075. He not at all sorry for that. His father does not pay attention. Dr. Mithilesh offered her to send him to his school. She will have to wait for one year. But he can be brought back on track. He is confident, intelligent and energetic. He does not want to hear that he does not know. He says that he can do.

b. Khushabu Kumari (Age 11, Class V) : Putul Devi’s husband is missing for last ten years. She is the only earning member in the family. Her daughter Khushabu was in class 5 and doing well. She also does all kitchen work in home as she has to feed his younger brother.

c. Prem kumar (Age 7, class II) : Her mother complained about him that he runs away from the school every day. Prem says that teacher scolds for earing more and playing. But he could read when we asked him to read.

d. Girl (do not remember) (Age 10, class VI) She is unable to read. Her mother was very much painic. She does not know what to say when I tell the teacher, they say “ GHOR KE PILA DE” You do not pay attention to your child. Mother feels helpless as she is iliterate and hence does not know what to do. After this discussion, we discussed with the mothers of the VO. Only solutions is to meet the teacher.

They should meet the teacher and discuss about the progress of the child once a week as per the Samjhe Sinkhe point number 20. Sanjeev Kr Rajabansi, Cluster Coordinator came to attend the meeting. It was nice of him to come and understand the problem of the education and these parents. He was very honest in his effort to coordinate the schools. In the school he has already given the instructions for Bal sansad and implimentation of SS. We suggested that he can also monitor that if the instructions have been implemented. He agreed that such monitoring can also be done. Parents of VO will now go to school for meeting the teach and discuss specific issue of the child. We visited two more villages – Nekpur where we met 30 VO members and Katari 23 women, Garaor where we met 70 women from three VO. In two villages Nekpur and Garaor we two parallel meeting one with children and one with women.

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Gyan Abhiyan 2012 Day 2

Discussion with Principal Mr. RN Choudhari of Krishna Public School

Day started little late at 9:30 AM from Krishna Public School Pawapuri where we interacted with school Principal and learn “How to teach” from him.  He gave interesting methods that he uses for teaching the students.  In the class he will first give 15 minutes for asking questions to students on a given topic.  Once the deadline is over then he will ask the question from the student.  Such a pressure works and students motivated to ask.  Asking a question is considered good and opening the door of knowledge.

Meena Manch on the wall

Soon after that we went to Government middle school Pokharpur.  We were delighted  to see Meena Manch.  Teachers were happy to share the benefit of Meena Manch.  It has developed management quality among the girls.  One of the girl has talent in Carr ate and was sent abroad for International events/competetion.

Heated discussion on content of material

There was discussion on content of the text that is to be taught to the student.  Mr. Alok Kumar played a song sung by student. It was song by Haribansrai Bachhan.  The song was on Madhushala.  Team said that while it is good to this activity does encourage the talent of the student but there is danger here about the content.  We are suggesting them to know about Madhushala at this age.  Perhaps we could use the song on Mahavir which the child must have seen so many time in Pawapuri.  There could be song of SRI method of paddy cultivation.

There was discussion on Samjhe and Sinkhe (SS) indicators.  Teachers were confident that school has done well on these indicators before it was started in September 2011.  School does open on time and closes on time.

For meeting with parents has started weekly.  Only one meeting has happened so far for each of the class.  This meeting was systematic and the meeting minutes was of 5-6 pages.  But only one meeting since it started.  Reason for not having the meeting was that Saturday was holiday.

TLM, teacher was not so excited.  One teacher was not convinced for not scolding and heating the child.  Several arguments were given in favour of scolding.  Only argument was given in favor of not scolding is to follow the rule.  Rule is the only factor why he would like to do.

Team went to Pawapuri Adarsh Middle school where we talked to teachers from 11 schools.  it was a workshop of teachers where they discuss about the quality of teaching. When we asked them to share experience of implementing the monitoring indicators based on SS.  There was no willing volunteer to share.  After insisting one teacher said that he follow the opening of school on time. He follows chetana Satra for more than 30 minutes.  It is good but some girls fall down during the session as they come to school empty stomach.  parents do give them food. They are from poor family and parents do not prepare food in the morning before the child goes to the school.

Education officer asked further to reprt with names of such family.  One this teacher from Bakra said that 80% of the students come empty stomach.  It was shocking news.

It requires investigation.  DPO assured to do that.


Our journey moved forward on road, on agriculture field.  It was long journey of 25 KM. Then we reached Lohar where we talked to Jeevika Janani Gram Sangathan.  This group was more vibrant than the teachers at Pawapuri.








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Launch of Nalanda Nikhar magagine


Nalanda Nikhar is forum for the teachers and parents in Nalanda District for quality of education.  Nalanda Nikhar has publish a magazine in Hindi that focuses on quality of education.

On the day Gyan Yatra, Magazine was launched. DM, Nalanda did the bemochan of the in-house news magazine.

Dr. Mithilesh Singh is the editor of the magazine.  He with help from Anisha Singh who came as Intern from KIIT, Dr. Singh got the materials and brought out the first issue.




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Day 1 Flagging of Gyan Abhiyan 2012

Flag off function in DM office campus, Nalanda

On 26th Nov. Gyan abhiyan yatra was flagged off by the district magistrate of Nalanda district of Bihar. This cycle yatra is a yearly event taken up by Saral Services at Nalanda Nikhaar Manch to build awareness on quality education in schools of Nalanda district if Bihar. This year Bihar Rural Livihood Promotion Society joined hands in Gyaan Abhiyaan and sponsored the campaign. The inauguration was done by Sri Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, DM, Nalanda by riding a cycle for some distance. From Nalanda Nikhaar Manch Dr. Mithilesh Jha, Akela Ji , Sanjay Kumar and Sangham Bharti joined the yatra. From Saral Services Subodh Kumar Gupta, Shekhar and Vikash Kumar Sahu participated. BRLPS was represented by
Sri SK Agarwal, DM, wished Gyaan Abhiyaan a success and also called for the officials from the education department join in this campaign. Subodh Kumar Gupta explained the background
Of Gyaan Abhiyaan.

DM Nalanda joins the Gyan Yatra


Gyaan Abhiyaan was started in 2010-11. It was a ten day Yatra in which 50 government and non -government schools were contacted. students, parents and teachers participated in this campaign for improving the quality of education in Nalanda district. After the successful completion of the Yatra, a network of people interested in quality education in Nalanda was created through Nalanda Nikhaar, a social forum of parents and teachers.

BRLPS has sponsored this year’s Gyaan Abhiyaan. BRLPS promotes formations of SHG and village organisations for managing the issue of livelihood. BRLPS covers more than 1 Lakh women members who are also parents and are interested in the improvement of education in order to make a difference in the lives of their children. Guyana Abhiyaan is also helped by UNICEF Patna; it has provided documents such as RtE.

district administration has given its active support by involving the education department and providing their schools for the stay of the participants. The first school visited was Dehuda Government Middle School with 700 students. It was encouraging to know that the school had 100% enrolment .
The VIdyalaya Shiksha Samiti appears to be active and the President of VSS, who is also a Ward member, was supervising the mid day meal. The complaints that were voiced were that the hand pump of the school has not been giving potable water and that the number of books distributed has not been uptp requirement. It was also understood that this appears to be a distribution problem as in some schools more books than required have been given
During discussions teachers voiced their concern regarding abdication of responsibility by parents. It is felt that the parents expect the teachers to take all responsibility of children’s attendance in school while children abscond from school and teachers are not able to do much.

Second school visited was Mahanand Middle School. This school has 700 plus students and 100 per cent enrollment. Retention, however, is a huge issue with onlyaround 50 per cent remaining. It was also seen that teachers have used some Teaching Learning Material (TLM) while imparting education.
Sri Arun Kumar Singh District Quality Coordinator and Sri Jayant Kumar Acharya, District Coordinator joined Gyan Abhiyan.
One major issue in this school is that there is no boundary wall.

At night in Bisthapit, there was a meeting with the members of Gram Sangathan, organised by BRLPS. There were around 50 members present. The women expressed their concern that the teachers were scolding the children. This, they feel, acts as a deterrent in the children’s going to school.  The issue of violence in schools, the role of teachers and parents in ensuring attendance of children in schools was discussed in this meeting.

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November month important for children and education

November is an important month for education and children.

On November 11, we celebrate National Education Diwas on birth day of Dr. Jakir Hussain. Great Stateman indeed who participate in our freedom fight and became the first Education Minister of India. Bihar celerated it with a big announcment by the Dy Chief Minister Shushil Modi. Government dedicated INR 1000 cr for scholarship for the meritorius student. Dy CM announced that out 15,000 cr for education, 9,000 cr is being spent on primary education. Still there is miles to go before we sleep. Attendance in primary school is 70%. We have not yet gain the faith of the parents and children that there is good learning evironment in the school.

On November 13, we celebrated Dipawali, a festival of light. We also celebrate that we have moved from darkness of ignorance to light of knowledge and wisdom. Sad part is that even now

In 2011 ASER survey report,

a) 31.4% of Std 3 children cannot read words in their own language

b) 70.1% of Std 3 children cannot solve a 2 digi subtraction problem
c) 72.5 % of Std 5 children cannot do a simple division problem
d) 51.8% of Std 5 children cannot read a Std 2 level text

No wonder any educated family who has money wants to send their children to private school. My guess may not be wrong if I say that all who are involved in making policy at the National level or at the State level send their children to private school for education. In another word, they do not take the risk of sending their children to Government primary school where education is still in dark. There is no real Dipawali for those children who go to such school.

November 14 is celebrated as Children’s Day to celebrate the birth day of first Prime Minister of India (Jawahar Lal Nehru). Once again Government has put effort to make the day memorable. In order to protect the power of children’s right, Government has thought of involving children as Bal sansad. Most of the school, Bal Sansad is inactive.

These important days in November reminds me with a question – are we doing adequately for the children and their education even after 65 years of independance and bringing of Right to Education. Answer is no, Lot more is to be done.

In small effort, Saral services plans to explore answer from teachers, parents and children during Gyan Abhtiyan Cycle yatra from November 26 to December 2 in Nalanda District.  I am participating in the yatra and hope to learn a lot.

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Day 10

Day 10
Date: November 12, 2011
Patelnagar to Maghara (Biharsharif)

Our colleagues of Saral Services were very cooperative. We met at Pureland Hostel where we had kept our cycle. We proceeded towards Maghra from there.

Maghra School was set up by Late Madan lal Jain. In 1950, he came to visit Rajgir, Nalanda and Pawapur and was to catch train from Baktiyarpur but missed the train. He stayed for one night in Biharsharif. He liked the place and settled down. He setup the school in 1978. There used to be the only school in Biharsharif then. It was doing well. There were more than 350 students. There are 12 rooms. School building is good even now. There is a place for children to play in the school.

Mr. Ashok Jain who is a businessman in the town. He has a cloth shop. He is not interested in earning money from the school. The school is for children from poor family. Monthly fee is Rs. 30-40 per child. Now there are only 120 children. Total collection is only Rs. 4000. There are five teachers. Monthly payment to teachers are Rs. 1200-2500. Total payment is Rs. 10000. There is monthly loss of Rs. 6000.

There is general downfall in the moral of the teacher and that reflects on the teaching. Number of children has gone down as a result.

It was sad to see down fall of the private school set up with only motive of doing social service. Motive to doing social service is not enough. One has to think in the line of sustainability which means that one has to think of getting returns in tangible terms directly or indirectly.

Great learning from this school is that we have to think in terms of sustainability at least with respect to the variable and recurring cost. It must cover the cost.

With this school we completed survey of 100 schools.  We also completed cycle yatra for 100 km covered in 10 days.  Yatra started on 17 october 2011 from Nalanda Khandar and closed it in Biharsharif.


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Day 9

Day 9
Date: November 8, 2011
Shepamor to Patelnagar

I met a monk Mr. Mahant Sheelbhadre. He started Ashoka Buddist Trust. The Trust has five members of which three are from foreign country. He started the school Pureland. In Buddism, Nalanda is treated as Pureland.
He explained Udantpuri university that was located in Biharsharif. He has plan to start school in near Deepnagar for which he needs about 57 lakh. He receives donation but the trust does not have FCRA.

His school is more clean and organized. He has three computers but that is locked. He is not using them now because he feels that we need bigger space and once we get that more computer will be procured and computer class will be started. He also have Shravans who are small little monk who are in the making of monk.
SheelBhadre has a dream to give some thing to Nalanda that history will remember. He wants to make the land where best teaching of Budda is done.
I and Sanjeev went to see three schools, namely National Public School, Indian Public School and Gurukul Public School. All of them are private school and they are unregistered. NPS is new an small having 80 children. Some of them stay as family member. They take some students and ask them to teach in the class.
Nageshwar Pd, Principal of NPS was earlier taking tution in Jharkhand. There is several attempt to make the delivery mechanism such that cost of delivery is lower. He is using students as teacher. He takes them as part time. He alone takes all the classes. Single teacher taking all the classes.
Principal of IPS was preparing for an examination. If selected there, he will drop the school. It is his stop gap arrangement. Rajendra Prasad, Principal of Gurukul first joined as Marine Engineer but he had medical problem so he returned and joined his father to manage the school. School is doing well. He has computer lab with 10 computers. His School has 700 students. About 100 are in his Hotel. He plans to start big school in Jana. It will require more than crore but he confident that he will get money from Bank.

It is profitable to start schools at Panchayat level. Earlier days one did not think of starting school in those places as a) communication was not there to reach there by the parents to drop their son. b) There was purception that in urban places people can pay more. But this has been proved wrong. Even people in village pay more if they see the value in the school. Poor pay when understand the value for the educating child and even Rich do not heed education for child. It was nice to meet children of IPS.

In Vidya Bhawan where I interacted with children. They do not complain. They also have huge patience. We reached Vidya Bhawan at 5 PM. It was becoming dark. There was no electricity. Children were inside. There was no light. School though has Inverter to use. But the Inverter was to put on light. Hence the boys was sitting in the dark. None of them complain. There was large number of musquito. Yet no child complained. My explaination of this phenomena is that these boys came from Village and for them no electricity is normal.

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Day 8

Day 8
Date: November 7, 2011
Ranabigha to Shepa mor

It was indeed another wonderful day. Today was Bakrid and hence all government schools

Enjoying tea sitting infront of a private school with Brother

were closed. However, some of the private schools were open. Sanjeev and I went to Ranabigha on motorcycle. We went to SVV school where we had left our cycles. Brother of Mr. Mehta was there and he commented, “Yes, save the petrol by going by cycle”. We kept the motorcycle and took our cycle to move.  Petrol price has be raised and there has been country wide protest.  his comment was apt.  Meanwhile Brother got tea for us. It was really sweet of him. We sat on paddy field and enjoyed drinking interesting tea. It was nice tea indeed.

One lady came from the field and requested for the bench from the school. She took the bench for thrashing paddy. It was really funny to see bench of the school being used for thrashing the paddy. School is so much integral part of the village.

We visited four private schools namely – a) Bharati Model Public school, Gyan Jyoti, Pragatisheel and Pureland in just two KM. Model public school and Gyan Jyoti are located in two building adjacent to each other. We had to cross narrow lane from the main road. Pragatisheel was located on main road.

One father and 80 + children, Arun Kumar takes care of children

Mr. Arun Kumar is the founder and Principal of Pragatisheel. He said that he is the oldest. He helped others to start and grow. Model has 200, Gyan has 250, Pragatisheel has 150 and Pureland has 150 students. They are charging Rs. 150 to 250 per month and Rs. 1000-1500 for Hotel fees. All four had Hostel facilities. All of them have one computers. All were interested in starting computer aided learning. All these four schools were started by four persons and they were teachers of maths and science.

I reached Pureland school at 4 PM. School had closed. But children in the hostel were siting in organized manner to do the homework. Sangam Bharati was happy to show us the discipline that they follow. Students were sharp too. I asked question from a student. He gave me correct answer. One of the student showed model of science that he had made. I was really happy to visit the school and understand the alertness of the teacher and preparedness of the student. Pureland is school through a Ashoka Buddist Trust.

Mr. Surendra Pd argued against government action against Private school

Mr. Surendra Pd of Model school was concerned about what is happening for private schools. Today government has given ultimatum for getting them registered. If school do not go for the registration, all of them will be considered invalid and may have to pay penalty. Unde r the RTE, Government of Bihar has asked all the private schools to get them registered under SSA registration. All of them will have to do so by November 12. Government wants us to be close. What we have done. It is indeed a problem. Government may want private school who collect fat fees to come under this law. But now all have to do. Why should government ask them to register? Non of us had actually seen the form. We may be concern for nothing.

However there is a point as to why all schools that are private be seen with same yard stick. Smaller size located in narrow lane of the town and in paddy field are certainly not the same as DAV, International School. We felt that there is a need to create category for such school and then try to think for regularizing them. While bigger school who charge high fees are charged for meanting money being commercial in approach, these private schools are atually doing service to the society. If they were not there, future of many children would have been closed. These schools have given hopes to so many children and saved them from indifferent attitude of the government schools.

What ever may be the source of motivation, teachers and management are concerned about the students and are responsive to the demands of the parents and students.

Akela, Principal of Gyan Jyoti is confident of teaching all subjects. He is Msc in Maths. He happy that he can do so. I felt that he will the right person to start computer aided learning materials (CALM).

After the school hours, Buddist School maintains cleanness and discipline I was really impressed with Pureland school. It was certainly more cleaner than other schools.

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