Jana Uddhar is a massively under-subscribed school. We currently have only 122 students… and 16 teachers. You might think that demonstrates a determination to have a low teacher:student ratio (much better than any private school in Nepal), but it’s actually a sign of how unappealing our school had become and how poor managed it was.
In fact, ask any teacher in the school how many students we have and they almost always say 200, or even 250. This is not because they don’t know our student numbers (although many actually don’t), it’s because they know we have the pretend we have a high number of students in order to justify the number of teachers we have. Be honest about our numbers and you risk the government transferring teachers to other schools, or merging our school with another.
However, we’ve taken a decision not to be overly-worried about our enrolment at this stage. We’re first concentrating on building our teaching quality, and therefore hopefully our reputation, in the hope that word will spread and our numbers will increase in due course.
This is already beginning to happen, although perhaps by luck, rather than design. We have a particular problem with low numbers of students in Class 1 – 4. Here are two photos of our school assembly, one taken in April and the other in August. You can see in the second photo that the number of students in Class 1 – 4 (closest to the camera) has increased significantly, from 10 to 26.