Dhading: The Past, Present and the Future
The 6th Form Dhading Project is a student-led project that facilitates change and development in the Dhading district (5 hours drive from KTM, on the way to PKR). The central focus of the project is to link learning to life and to allow students to lead the way in creating positive change within their community, while enhancing their own perception and understanding of the world.
The project has been a part of 6th Form from 3 years now. In 2010, the students visited Dhading to perform a ‘needs assessment’ in various schools, preparing the ground for the pilot project of 2011.
On the 7th Nov 2011, we headed off to Dhading for a week, keeping in mind that our primary aim was to facilitate development. Nervous but focused, we were split into 3 groups, each visiting a different school around Dhading Besi.
On reaching the schools, we realised what life outside the little bubble we live in was really like. No direct water supply, no proper sanitation, broken benches, a lack of general school equipments; all were problems faced by these schools. Blisters, sprained arms and legs, clothes splattered with paint, body aches, were minor inconveniencewe had to go through whilst addressing these problems. But, at the end of the week, a school was finally supplied with water after days of digging, all three schools were painted new inside out with murals, clubs and classes were taken, and manuals were made for both academic subjects and sports.
Grass-root experiential learning, such as Dhading, has made students help not only the community but also helped them to take ownership of where they want to go in their lives. Their organisational and communication skills, both have been enhanced as they are now able to work as a single unit and adapt to remote circumstances. All these skills are comprehensive and applicable to real life, which have the potential to heighten their personal strengths. We now appreciate the complexity involved in eradicating basic social problems and have helped us link our academic knowledge to address rural development at a small scale, if not big.
The Dhading project is an ongoing effort to reach out to rural schools around the district, which is why the 6th Form will be heading to Dhading again on the 5th November 2012. This year however is different: We will be working with 3 primary schools not just for one year, but for 3 years. This in itself is to tie into our view of real positive development which is about a change in mindset, which of course takes time. Hence, this year our watchwords are “self-sufficient” and “self-reliant”.