After a short closure in June, 2020, due to a case of COVID documented in another part of Dolpo, Nepali government authorities allowed Tsharka School to reopen. The school functioned well for the rest of the school year. Due to COVID, no outsiders were allowed to enter the region.
Materials that had been purchased for the passive solar classroom were unfortunately delayed during their journey to Tsharka. Landslides that closed a section of road near Pokhara were responsible. We hope building may start next year.
Villagers banded together to finish a long-anticipated project: encompassing the school campus with a stone wall. The stones are free — at the cost of back-breaking labor. The technique for constructing the wall was an ancient one, but highly effective.
The school campus and sports areas are now well-defined. The new classrooms and new wall highlight the progess and development that characterize Tsharka Elementary School.
Ancient building techniques
Tsharka School campus enclosed
Jun 23, 2020
Tsharka School during COVID-19
By Barbara Euser - Project Leader
Ready to enter Tsharka - Chharka - School
Despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tsharka School opened on time at the beginning of May 2020. Veteran teacher Thupten went up to Chharka in late April to join Tse-wangmo and Choesang to open the school and resume classes. In addition to our three experienced local teachers, we hired a fourth teacher from the village temporarily. The temporary teacher is a young man from Chharka who has studied in Kathmandu.
The school operated at near-full capacity for just over one month, until the end of the first week in June. Then the Mayor of the Municipality that includes the village of Tsharka ordered that the school be shut, because an active case of COVID-19 had been discovered in the Municipality. The case was in a part of the Municipality several days’ walk from Tsharka. Now that two weeks have passed, and there is no sign of infection in Tsharka, we hope that the Mayor will allow the school to reopen soon.
Our School Coordinator Samdup Tsering is currently in Kathmandu endeavoring to purchase educational materials and other materials for the ongoing school building project. He has been waiting for the country to reopen but due to the persistently increasing number of infected cases, the lockdown has been extended and as yet, he has not been able to purchase the materials.
Although operating Tsharka Elementary School is proving exceptionally difficult this year, the teachers ICDF supports are working hard and creatively to ensure our students’ continued progress.
Feb 27, 2020
Celebrating Schools in Dolpo
By Barbara Euser - Project Leader
This year, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary celebration of the first elementary school in the Dolpo region, Crystal Mountain School, founded in Do Tarap. Do Tarap is located in the next high valley neighboring Chhaarka (Tsharka). It is a one or two day hike from Tsharka to Do Tarap. Tsharka School sent representatives to the festivities in Do Tarap, including a group of students, who participated by dancing in traditional costumes.
Establishing schools in the high Himalayan region of Dolpo is very difficult. It takes years for a school to become an intrinsic, highly-valued part of the community. Tsharka School, which began operating in a tent in 2003, is now deeply entrenched in the Chhaarka community, as Crystal Mountain School is in Do Tarap.
This year, for the first time, thanks to a special grant, classes at Tsharka School were extended into November. Students were able to continue their studies beyond the April-October school season. Now housed in newly built classrooms, Tsharka School is developing — and students are thriving.