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NEPAL: Two Salesian schools provide education to 1,500 students with rented rooms to allow for small class sizes


(MissionNewswire) Two Salesian schools in the Don Bosco Community of Bharoul in eastern Nepal are conducting educational lessons for 1,500 students using 42 rented rooms, each called a community classroom. Each class educates only 10 students at a time and strictly follows government restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are 46 teachers who are facilitating this new way of learning. The lessons began on July 16.

Schools in Nepal have been closed for the last three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there is still uncertainty when schools will be back to normal. School premises cannot be used to conduct lessons because the students cannot all come together to learn. To continue reaching students, Salesians rented rooms to conduct lessons in nearby villages, educating smaller subsets of students. This method was preferred over online lessons because of the financial restrictions on many students.

The local government educational department has given Salesians the authorization to carry out the lessons this way. All regulations must be strictly respected, such as the use of masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Currently, lessons in major subjects such as English, Nepali, math, science and social studies are being taught. Students, parents and teachers are all in support of these new lessons. From the first day lessons started, 95 percent of students were in class.

Nepal is among the least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Salesian missionaries are still hard at work with long-term reconstruction efforts after a devastating 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 and a second earthquake on May 12, 2015.

More than 8,000 people died and close to 20,000 were injured as a result of the earthquakes and their aftermath. Forty of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected, 16 of them severely, with homes, schools, buildings, cattle, fields ready for harvest and other property destroyed. More than 500,000 people were displaced and in need of shelter and other assistance. The United Nations reported that more than 1,300 schools were destroyed during the earthquakes.

The construction of schools that can withstand earthquakes and provide access to education for the youngest and most vulnerable children is the daily commitment of Salesian missionaries in the country. The goal is to help equip youth to have the education and skills necessary to change their lives and become agents of development in their country.



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