Even the poorest in the country side should be given the opportunity to learn to read and write, so they can have better opportunities in their future life. To this end, the Initiative Kronberg has been supporting the community of Kumbu-Kasthali since 1997. The support of the school system is based on three pillars:
The school buildings of 6 schools we found at the beginning of our engagement were in a desolate state, and required a number of constructive measures in order to allow an all-year-round teaching for the children, even during the monsoon season. In addition, all schools have received a water tap for the first time during their full or partial refurbishment, as well as a toilet block. One more school was built from scratch in 2000/2001. Permanently growing numbers of pupils made the construction of additional buildings necessary, in order to lodge newly established classes (f. ex. several primary schools now having 5 grades instead of 2 or 3 before). As a consequence the daily walk to school has been considerably shortened for hundreds of pupils.
The efficiency of the lessons also depends on the class sizes. With 60 to 70 pupils in one room, the required educational goals are not achievable; consequently, the rate of repeaters is rather high. As the number of pupils keeps increasing and the government cannot meet the required number of permanent teacher posts, we also pay for teachers' salaries in extreme cases, in order to keep the class sizes within tolerable limits (the target is 30 pupils per teacher).However, since regular salaries should not depend on fluctuating donations, we finance them mainly through private sponsorships. End of 2013, ten sponsors are contributing to the annual salary of 14,5 teacher posts. As our overall expenditure for the teachers is higher than the totals received through the sponsorships, further sponsors are very welcome.
Although some success has been made in the past years, Nepal's goal to enrol 100% of all children in school age is not likely to be achieved anytime soon. Especially in rural areas, the children of the poor - who in most cases have never attended school themselves - have to help out on the fields or in the house, or work as porters in order to add to the meagre family income. They are either not sent to school at all or taken out again much too early, sometimes after only the second grade. In order to counteract this trend, we carry out with our local partners the following measures:
In 2006 our partners in Kumbu had begun to establish a "School Incentive Programme" which here in Kronberg is financed by a sponsorship programme for children.