Why do our teachers say we have 250 students, when we only have 122?

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. … Continue reading Why do our teachers say we have 250 students, when we only have 122?

Towards a pro-female school

Jana Uddhar was an anti-female school. The female teachers, who almost all teach at primary level were utterly marginalised – they rarely spoke in meetings, and no one took an interest in their teaching or the primary curriculum. The female students shared one disgusting toilet, and there was no provision for menstruation. Girls would just … Continue reading Towards a pro-female school

0% – 100%

People often say you should introduce change gradually, but that’s not always possible, or desirable, in a school. Before we began working with Jana Uddhar, if a teacher was absent, their class simply went without a teacher. As a result, each week, dozens of lessons went untaught. In fact these lessons were known as ‘leisure … Continue reading 0% – 100%


I don’t think children in nursery, or Class 1 or even Class 4 should spend the whole day just studying academic subjects – an endless round of maths, science, English and Nepali. So one of the first things we did was to introduce playtime – once a day the students in Class 1 – 4 … Continue reading Playtime

Landslides and water supply

This is what we have to do to re-connect our school’s water supply, when the water pipe (which is fed by a mountain stream) is swept away by a landslide. Update: the fix worked for a day and then broke again.