Last Thursday afternoon, on Sonam and Shirley’s invitation, I made a presentation to the Shree Mangal Dvip Boarding School family. Again, as at the presentation to Teach For Nepal Science Fellows, my iPhone failed to record the presentation! So, instead of a video as usual, what I reproduce below are the images and notes for the presentation.
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I WAS born into a low socio-economic background, and living in our village with my grandfather, I was destined for a life of limited opportunities. I wasn’t meant to have even made it to school.
When I did make it to school, the expectation was that I would drop out soon. Luckily for me, a teacher at this public school recognized my potential, and told my dad to put me in a private school in Kathmandu.
After being shuttled from one public school to another in Pokhara, I found myself enrolled at St. Xavier’s Godavari School. My parents could afford to send me there as the Jesuits subsidized the fees.
The high quality education I was receiving as a primary school student, when in grade 5, made me realize — and decide — that education would be my ticket out of poverty.
My motivation and drive to succeed and my dedication to my studies paid off when I won a full scholarship to the United World College of the Adriatic, an international school in Italy, and then admission to Grinnell College with also a pretty much 100% financial aid package.
Following my studies, I had a professional career as an international teacher for over 15 years, teaching in ten different countries, including Nepal, spread over five continents, and travelling to about three dozen other countries.
My life story however is an exception.
A majority of Nepalese belonging to marginalized groups like myself and possibly even like many of you, and others, notably the Dalits, women, Tharus and Tamangs, don’t get anywhere near as much opportunities in life.
IN THE rest of the talk, I will be doing a number of things:
- I will firstly be providing details of how these marginalized Nepalese suffer both at home and abroad because of violation of some of their most basic human rights,
- Next, I will be describing what education is like in Nepal, a lot of which you might already know, to show you
- How and why quality education will help marginalized Nepalese, and
- Finally what COMMITTED, the non-profit organization I run with my friend Jayjeev, does with education to help free themselves.
I know quality education will make the difference to others from backgrounds similar to mine, like many of you, because it made all the difference to me!
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