Written by : Phurwa Gyaltsen
Crystal mountain school, dho-tarap, Dolpo is a school located at an altitude of more than 4000 metre in Dolpa district. The school runs up to grade 7. After finishing summer session of 7 months the student of class 7 are brought down to Kathmandu in Snow Leopard Residence a boarding facilities for the students to continue their studies from grade 8 to 12. Hence they roughly gets 3 to 4 months break before joining to different private schools in Kathmandu. During these months they more or less remain idle accept reading library books and waiting to hang with their seniors in the evening.
It is important to enroll them more in other supplemental activities as a Dolpo student need to adjust in a challenging environment of private schools in Kathmandu. To minimize the gap of communication and the environmental aspect between village and city the former and current senior students of SLR came out with a plan to organize educational trip inside and outside schools of Kathmandu.
As part of preliminary efforts, the crop of new class 7 students of 2017/18 got an opportunity to visit Maya Universe Academy( in Tanahun) at the end of 2017. Maya Universe is a self sustaining school which provides free education to the children of Tanahun, Gorkha, Udaypur and other districts. It boasts an impressive learning atmosphere for students, providing freedom to express their opinions and feelings, and other supplement to take students go beyond classroom learning. At Maya students are really focused on 3Hs – an education based on spiritual, manual and cognitive skills, and they get to converse and learn from the volunteers from all over the world, who due its unique environment develop strong attachment to Maya and often regularly spend months at a time if not years contributing to the school.
During the visit to Maya, our students got first hand experience of a different kind of learning environment in this innovative school. Even though they stayed only for two nights they made new friends, played games, and even participated in an interesting debate about ‘ allowing 10000 Rohingya refugees in Nepal’ with Maya’s grade 7 students. It took a while for our students to come up with their opinions but gradually they got involved in the debate, even though they had no idea about Rohingya refugee crisis.
We the teachers from CMS who were leading the trip to Maya were delighted by how easily our students were integrating at Maya and how they were going beyond what they had learned in school at CMS. So, right after the short visit to Maya we felt it would be a life changing experience for our students to be there in Maya for longer period of time. We have thus contacted authorities of Maya for an exchange program and we were more than happy for their acceptance.
We hope to continue this partnership between Maya and CMS next year and the years to come.
Thank you very much Maya Universe for everything…..