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Visit to Doti (Uchchakot and Dipayal) for student selection

On 19th April 2017, 2 members from the Nepal Pestalozzi Foundation (NPF) went for a visit to Doti District of Nepal for the selection of the students for this year Pestalozzi scholars. The purpose of the visit was to understand the running and monitoring of the hostel, interacting with the students and meet Pestalozzi alumni from Doti. The examination for the Doti district was assigned at two centres; Uchchakot and Dipayal. We had 79 students from Uchchakot who appeared for Pestalozzi scholarship examination and 16 students in Dipayal who sat for the examination.

On 19th April, Sandeep Sada (Treasurer of NPF) and Arju Dahal (Member of NPF), left from Kathmandu to Doti. On 21st April, we held a meeting with the Teachers and Principal of Sitaram Higher Secondary School along with the Coordinator of Pestalozzi’s hostel at Uchchakot. We also had interaction with the Pestalozzi students studying at Sitaram Higher Secondary School. On 22nd April, entrance examination of students took place. We had 79 students appearing for the examinations at Uchchakot who came from neighbouring villages for the examination. On 23rd April, the papers of the students who appeared for the examination at Uchchakot were examined by the teachers from Sitaram School: Mr. Ram Rosyara (English teacher), Mrs. Bhagirathi Kathyat (Hostel Coordinator), Mr. Lal Bahadur Kathyat, Mr. Sandeep Sada (Treasurer NPF), Krishna Kami (District Coordinator, Doti), and Ms. Arju Dahal (Member NPF). On 23rd April, we left for Dipayal for the selection examination along with the team of 6 members. On 24th April, the examination for the students in Dipayal took place at Seti Technical Institute. On the very same day the papers were examined by the following teachers mentioned above.

Out of the 95 students, we selected 20 students out of which, 12 students will be studying at Sitaram School and we have 8 students in the waiting list for PCEC selection. The format of the question paper was as practiced since long; Mathematics subjective paper, Mathematics objective paper, English and the oral interview was conducted.  We divided the students and conducted interview in 2 different halls for the convenience and time saving of all. The interview patterned as calling the student first and interviewing on the certain questions as set to understand their background and once the students answer them the parents were interviewed. Amongst the selected students we will be sending some students to PCEC as required. People were concerned about the selection process as they thought that it would be unfair and wanted the papers to be sent to NPF head office for correction.

The selection of the students took place considering few criteria to be fulfilled by the students:

  • On the basis of the merit list
  • Short listing on the basis of their family background and their financial status which was identified during the interview of the students and the parents
  • The students who belonged to government job holder’s family background were not accepted even if they secured good marks

Recommendations from the Rapporteur (Sandeep and Arju): Interaction with students/teachers

  • Video documentary should be started
  • Rain water harvesting program in collaboration with local NGO working for the very project
  • Club to be set in schools to increase leadership roles of the students
  • Classroom/Interior decoration
  • There is not much communication between the seniors and the juniors thus students deal with the problems on their own
  • The role of Bhagirathi Madam is not clear and she has not been actively involved with the hostel and children. We also advise to have a coordinator from alumni.
  • The students lack the basic facilities like clothing, toiletries, extra copies and pencils, etc.
  • The school does not have any tuition classes running after the school so we can have alumni running tuition classes for all of the students staying at the hostel with a minimum wage.
  • Students engagement beyond academics; they should be involved with NPF Doti
  • Regular monitoring should be done in every 6 months. The visit should be made from NPF head office. The first at the beginning of academic session and the second in between Dashain and Tihar holidays.

Facilities to the students in school and hostel

  • Computer class: there are 36 computers and all in working condition
  • Extra curriculum activities: volleyball, cricket, quiz
  • Sewing class for girls: 5 machines will be operated soon, they need basic servicing

Recommendations from the teachers

  • Educational exposure/visit to good schools

The students have been doing well at the school. We have been getting good reports from the school teachers. The canteen provides food with local taste and is healthy as it provides all local village products. The students interact with each other, the senior and the junior and have been suggested to do it more often. The environment in Uchchakot for the students is very suitable as it is free from any kind of pollution. The teachers also seemed to be concerned about the students and their work. They were very generous throughout the meeting and were giving various suggestions on how the organization should be working and the changes required on our part and on the selection procedures which was a good feedback.

The problem that the students appearing for the final year of the secondary school before graduating foresee is their further education. Due to financial problems there are students who have zeal to continue their studies and have aims and passion on particular subjects yet troubled due to economic status.

Lastly, the project is running as per the principle and the objective of the Pestalozzi by educating the needy and the intellect ones.