Sunrise Academy English Boarding School is located in Nepal’s Dolakha district, lies to Everest Gateway nearly Jiri which is about 157 km away from Kathmandu Bus Station. Dolakha is a region in the North-East of the Kathmandu valley and is known for its hilly and beautiful scenery. Many local people rush the journey between Kathmandu and Dolakha, thus missing some of Nepal's hidden gems – for example the hills that flank the 157 km Araniko Highway, which are one of the most important natural sites in Nepal. From Kathmandu, it takes approx. 6-7 hours to reach the Sunrise Academy. There are 2 roads that connect up to the school, both of which cover a distance of about 157 km from Kathmandu bus station. Buses are available throughout the year on the first route.
Sunrise Academy English Boarding School, a community based English Medium School, was founded in 1998 by educated and social activists with the intention to provide the poor villagers’ children with a quality education. The school offers a broad and comprehensive educational program that was designed to meet the needs of its bright and diverse student body. Sunrise School graduates are well prepared to meet the academic standards of higher education after successfully completing this challenging and comprehensive academic program. Currently, classes are run from Nursery level up to Grade 10. In the current academic year of 2073 B.S., 352 pupils are enrolled in the school and 15 teaching and non-teaching staff are employed. All students of Sunrise come from poor villagers farmers an indigenous and Dalit background (Low Castes), as the school is situated in an indigenous community.
The primary purpose of Sunrise is to provide the poor village children of the area with a sound and practical education based on an all-round development of 'mind', 'body' and 'spirit'. It is Sunrise’s mission statement that dedicated teachers, helpful guardians, a wholesome teaching environment and laborious students are the key for quality education - rather than having to pay a maximum fee and employing only highly qualified teachers. The school also strives to produce and has been producing outstanding students since its establishment. Sunrise believes in preparing students intellectually, ethnically, physically and socially to live purposeful and enriched lives in a challenging world that is characterized by rapidly advancing technology. It strongly works to convey its students the sense to live in togetherness rather than just for one’s own; together with the feeling that co-operation is power. In order to carry our feeling of "Co-operation is Power" into effect, we would like to merge the teaching style of Nepal, i.e the Talk and Chalk method (the teacher is writing on the blackboard while the students are just listening) with the more interactive worldwide methods of teaching and learning by welcoming many volunteers of different countries, such as Germany, America and others, into our school.
Dolakha, the Himalayan district of the Janakpur zone situated close toGaurishanker Himal, is an area that was highly affected during the last 12 years of Maoist insurgency. While the poor people became even poorer, the middle class also impoverished. Consequently, the living standard of the majority of people became what we would call a nightmare. The Maoist insurgency, however, is not only the reason that left this society behind, as the Nepal Government itself remains biased when it comes to advancing society throught education, health, and development works.
In Dolakha, different castes of people are settled and the majority of these come from ethnic groups likeJanajati (indigenous) and Dalit (low caste people). Here we have a chance to make use of the notion of "unity in diversity", but the great tragedy is, that our society so far fails to recognise the importance of another notion: “unity is strength”. Caste differences are still a part of everyday life in widespread parts of rural Nepal.
Moreover, the region’s landscape is covered in rocks and stones and the soil is of low fertility. The literacy rate is less than 25%, and out of the total population, 60% of people live below the poverty line.
Most of the children aid their parents in household and farm works, and there is no one to encourage such children to go to school – therefore, their future looks rather dark. Additionally, due to the uneven land structure of the region, the villagers here observe more landslides, floods, soil erosion and many other devastating natural calamities that annually cause many innocent children to lose their parents and thus the bread-winner of the family. These orphans and helpless children are yearning for some sort of miracle that might help them pursue an education and enhance their chances for a future life.
Most of the local people in the region are farmers, but their method of farming is very traditional. Agriculture still depends upon the monsoon rain, and if it fails, then the farmers’ fields remain unploughed – an event that can easily lead to a famine. It is therefore necessary to educate farmers about modern farming methods with improved seeds and modern irrigation facilities so that they won’t have to be dependent on the monsoon rain any longer. Also, most of the farmers use chemical fertilizers and insecticides to increase the fertility and productivity of the soil and to kill insects that are found in farm. They do not know the long term effects of chemical fertilizers and insecticides though,so with the help of various agricultural trainings, farmers should be discouraged to use those. It is necessary to inspire them to use compost manure and pesticides that are locally produced.
Although the people are very backward and poor, that does not mean that this village doesn’t have any standard of education or awareness. Still, only few people have a real willingness and eagerness to do something to develop and promote the village's miserable status. By acknowledging all the faults of the place, i.e. the villagers' pathetic condition and the government’s negligence for the development of this place, these few people contemplated the situation and got to the conclusion that only the foundation of a school that offers quality education to the villagers will help them get rid of their doomed and miserable lifestyle. At the same time, we also understood that when people get access to quality education they are also able to understand their rights and can fight for these rights in order to gain certain opportunities and privileges.
Thus, in the year 1998, we organized a mass meeting and in the course of this mass gathering, we decided to set up a school by the name of "Sunrise Academy English Boarding School" where poor villagers’ children could rise like a sun that shall be perpetual and never grow dim.
Currently, the poor villagers’ children read and study in the school to gain a qualitative education of international level that is provided with low fees and in a reliable and homely environment. About the success of the school, all the parents, students and stakeholders are very happy and thankful. All our team members strive hard to keep up a team spirit and to achieve top most success by minding the slogan “Disciplined students, Dutiful teachers, National development”- but in spite of our strong enthusiasm and immense willingness, it is impossible to achieve our intended goals in the timeframes that we had hoped for due to a lack of infrastructure. Thus, we appeal to every interested individual, group, company, organisation, and government to support us in our efforts to improve the school’s infrastructure and equipment so as to offer even better education to our children.
We have observed that the Nepalese way of teaching is still very traditional and authoritarian - in other words, it is also called the CHALK AND TALK method. As we consider this method very unproductive, our team decided to replace this with more practical and pragmatic methods. With the coordination international foreigner euoropean ,USA and others we want volunteer program network establish, we started to offer internships for volunteers of European countries that can take part in our efforts of " sharing skills and changing life."