Another noticeable change is that a field where we used to teach the children Korean martial arts has been turned into a large playground where students now get physical education. It was the initiative of science teacher Krishna Khadka who passed away last year due to stomach cancer. He used to tell us that better facilities could change the lives of students who could then help transform the village.
Lowest Common Denominator, Editorial
Class Struggle, Prakriti Kandel
Khadka was a hard-working and motivated teacher and is sorely missed. I remember staying up late with him, sharing our knowledge of computers we brought with us from Korea. He had a strong, and rare, sense of responsibility and believed in the power of education. One of the reasons I wanted to go back to Tityang was to meet up with Teacher Khadka, only to find out that he had died.
His son, Yogesh Khadka, is a science teacher himself in Kathmandu and describes how perhaps because he knew he had limited time, his father put much effort in upgrading the school. “He was not just my father. I admired him for being a social hero who devoted his life to bring about change in education and school in the village,” Yogesh Khadka said.
In a trend familiar across Nepal because of outmigration as well as the preference for private schools, enrollment in Sigana school has dropped from 550 in 2011 to 400 today. Aside from the computer lab and library, the school needs more help. Yogesh Khadka wants to build on his father’s foundation by adding a subject like agricultural science in the curriculum.
“Most people here are farmers, so it would be useful to have practical classes about agriculture,” he says.
The sun was setting behind mountains to the west as I hurried to catch my jeep back to Baglung. The passage of time cast a lengthening shadow across a school that once taught me so much about Nepal, and about life.