As predicted, it was a challenging time. It was good, in that the rains had stopped and, had there been petrol, places would have been more accessible. As it was, there were fewer jeeps on the road to Hetauda and the fares were double!
The workshop in Adhunik School in Hetauda went ahead as planned. Two or three members of staff from each of the 6 receiving schools were there, as well as a new librarian from a prospective new school. Information was shared and plans for future functions discussed. There was a particular interest in running a story-writing competition after the break. I felt that this time all together had value beyond the reporting back of library management. It was a lively session!
As it was Deshain festival time, the teachers returned to their family homes if they were able to find some petrol. I had a few days to meet up with the Deputy Director of the Dept of Eduation in Sanothini, Kathmandu. Narayan Kishna Shrestha has agreed to go through the formalities of bringing Book Reach under the umbrella of the Department of Education. The charges for custom clearance will be met by the department as well as the transport directly to DEO Hetauda. The paper work now needs to be done so that all is firmly official before next year’s delivery.
After Deshain, many of the condemned school buildings were not able to predict the positioning and layout of their libraries. But we discussed the priorities so that the head teachers were prepared with their requests. We were all concerned about how to keep the books safe and in their categories at the time of building. Meanwhile all the schools were still using the condemned parts of the buildings until some temporary rooms had been built.
One piece of encouraging news was the meeting of Dipesh Joshi in Hetauda . Dipesh is the headmaster of a Boarding (private) school, but is passionate about the development of a reading culture in Government schools as well. He offered to take me to all the schools on his motor bike and consolidate, in nepali, the suggestions that I had for further efficiency in the use of the books. He has agreed to return to the schools on a regular monthly basis to monitor the renovations and give advice on the management of the libraries. Finding a representative for Book Reach was on my agenda for this visit, so I am delighted with this outcome. I have Krishna Gopal Shrestha of Adhunik School to thank for this introduction.
Before leaving each school we decided, apart from new shelving, what piece of equipment would be immediately useful. I gave each school 10,000 nrp to realize this. They will report back to me.
Post earthquake temporary school classrooms