Early Childhood Development in Tangting

How early Childhood Development will consolidate Tangting’s progress supporting the next generation.

One of the most remote communities that PTN has been supporting for over 20 years is the beautiful Gurung village of Tangting. 24 km from Nepal’s second largest and arguably most picturesque metropolitan cities, Pokhara.  From this village, the snow topped peaks ofAnnapurna IV, Anapurna II and Lamjung Himal can be seen from tea shops, courtyards, homes and school windows. Tangting has a population of around 1000 of whom most speak Gurung, The villagers’ main occupation is agriculture, rearing livestock or working within the community’s rural tourism activities, though, others have gone on to serve in either the British and Indian army, teach or to work abroad.

In 1956, the Himalayan Milan Secondary School first opened for children at primary school entry level. Unfortunately, due to difficulties in resources and funding, the school struggled to progress beyond primary education. As a result, many Tangting villagers suffered in regard to attaining a good education with only 72 students passing their School Leaving Certificate (SLC)- A Levels- between 1956 and 2000.

That year, PTN supported the existing school by constructing a new 10-room school building. By 2001, secondary education was established with the addition of a four-bedroom school hostel and a new library built in 2004 and 2016.

 

The first school building provided by PTN at Tangting 

Students now no longer have to make the long or expensive trek to other schools and can now receive a secondary level education within their own village. Since then, over 290 students have passed their SLC, with 67 students going on to achieve intermediate and high education qualifications.

The school’s head teacher Om Prakash Gurung says, “The next generation of Tangting students have been given the opportunity to receive a fantastic education and have great careers ahead of them. For example, our students have gone on to work within both the public and private sector, health posts, the army and abroad.

What’s crucial now is to extend into Early Childhood Development(ECD) which will develop a child’s social, emotional and physical potential in those all-important pre-primary years.

It is vital that we gain support to build ECD classrooms around the country, as in many rural places, they are often in poor condition, with unqualified staff and offer only very basic materials. On behalf of the villagers, we would like to extend huge thanks to PTN for contributing to the construction and redevelopment of our school and for now supporting pre-primary education with the 30 For 30 campaign.”

Om Prakash Gurung, Head Teacher

One of the students who has benefited from PTN’s work in Tangting is Purna Bahadur Maurati. Since passing his SLC at Himalaya Milan Secondary school, he has gone on to work as an assistant director at one of Nepal’s national banks. Another student Guman Dhoj Gurung completed a master’s degree in English and now works as a village social leader, Mr Birkha Raj Gurung accomplished a Bachelor ofScience and teaches at Himalaya Milan Secondary School and Ran Bahadur Gurung now works as a computer operator within the municipality.

In the UK the school has benefitted from having supportive and outgoing relations with Maidstone Girls Grammar School who have been fundraising on its behalf since 2006 for improvements such as  a science lab, ICT and teaching materials. This has meant that the school has been able to develop exponentially in terms of their education, and have been able to be more interactive, innovative, creative, and student oriented in their learning. For more info you can read a case study about this link here.

Since our involvement with Tangting over 20 years ago, our relations have remained strong, and we have become great friends with many of the teachers, students, villagers and community members. In March, as part of our 30 For 30 campaign, Om Prakash Gurung and PTN Trustee Laxmi Thapa Giri, organised a 30km bike ride along dirt tracks and mountainous roads to Tangting village with 30 cyclists to help raise awareness for our campaign.

The cycle route up to Tangting

The team of cyclists were cheered on by a huge number of volunteers, villagers, school children and teachers and as they reached the finish line, were offered flower garlands and food. To involve the children, PTN also organised a relay race, for those who attend the school, and the winners were awarded fantastic prizes. The day ended with traditional Gurung dancing and singing where everyone was involved. We are proud of the relations we have built withTangting and look forward to seeing these progress in the future.