ANKURAN EDUCATION CENTER
“Receive the child with reverence, educate the child with love, let the child go forth in freedom.” – Dr.Rudolf Steiner
The Ankuran, which is the Nepali word for ‘sprouting seed’, is serving as a kindergarten and school for local children. We are looking to enrich the lives of the children through Waldorf inspired educational programs. We seek to nurture each child in our care so he or she may freely develop into a healthy, happy and wholesome human being. Through education, we also seek to prepare the children to meet society with self-confidence, critical thinking skills, and a sense of social responsibility. It is our hope they will use the skills and knowledge they will have gained here to serve the well-being of their community in the future.
The Waldorf “Ankuran” School is developing well. To date, we have 73 students who come from Khahare, a Leprosy colony and a nearby villages. Our seven teachers and two school assistants are busy each week with children, nurturing them mentally and physically. The teachers are highly trained, meeting national and international standards. The Foundation is in the process of implementing a strategic growth plan to raise awareness for Waldorf education and increase enrollment.The school is receiving new children and has interest from other families.
Our fully operational kindergarten provides high quality, meaningful education to children who need it most. The kindergarten operates according to the views of Dr. Rudolf Steiner and the principles of Waldorf education. We strive to create an atmosphere that is beautiful, calm and welcoming, where children are invited to take part in creative experiences that develop the imagination. Through practical, hands-on activities and learning through play, the child’s natural talents are nurtured. Respect and appreciation of nature is celebrated in the décor, in the variety of nature based activities and in free play outdoors on our natural bamboo playground. We employ seven Nepali teachers who have undergone teacher training in Waldorf-style education.
The building, which was previously meant to become an orphanage, is now providing rooms for the rapidly growing kindergarten. Last year, it was hosting 15 kindergarten children, while there are currently more than 70 children attending the kindergarten. We offer a playgroup, nursery, lower and upper kindergarten depending on the child’s age. We are astonished by the interest of the local community and are doing our best to provide space for a further growing of the kindergarten sections.
The third floor on the Ankuran house serves as a new classroom in order to expand the class offerings of our school. We have started enrolling children up to class II. Our current aim is to increase the level of class at the beginning of each year as enrollment increases. As we grow alongside our students, we hope to offer each grade leading up to secondary school.
Many of the children come from families who are impoverished, so they only need to provide a small fee in order for their child to go to the kindergarten and school. In desperate cases, the foundation provides full financial support for families who cannot afford the cost of the child’s education. While the children are at the Ankuran Education Center, their mothers are free during the day to earn a living. We extended the reach of the kindergarten program to the Kokhana leprosy community, located 40 minutes away. The children are coming to school safely with an acquired vehicle that is being used for a transportation service. By advocating early social development with those living in leprosy affected communities, it is our hope that, in time, the social barriers that stand against full acceptance of the disease will be weakened. Of the 73 currently enrolled students, 60% come from families who are able to afford the full school tuition. For other students, tuition is offered in exchange for 4 days of work each month at the foundation. This has allowed many more students to enroll as we continue to provide Waldorf inspired education.
Why Waldorf inspired Education
The currant education system in Nepal has been proved to be based only in memorization. The children have to repeat mechanically what the teacher says; they learn to read and write from the age of 4 sitting on a bench for the entire day, but often don´t know what they are doing. The Nepali schools don’t give much importance to culture or a practical approach toward learning, but the country of Nepal has a rich heritage of music, handicrafts, festivals and traditions. The Ankuran Education Center wants to give the children an education that develops heart, hand and mind. This means emotions and love, practical skills and thinking connected to learning. The curriculum is based on the suggestions of Rudolf Steiner, also known as Waldorf education, but also incorporates the local culture. We would like the children of our Education Centre to become self-confident, creative and ready to change Nepal. For that we are giving a creative education instead of an only informative one.