Another year under the influence of the pandemic (04/02/2022)

The Covid-19 pandemic determined life in Nepal and at the Tapriza School in 2021.

After the winter break, our teachers reached the school. They stayed in quarantine for a week and cleaned the school grounds. The school children followed at the end of March under strict hygiene precautions. But it soon became apparent that this would yet again not be a normal school year. At the end of April another lockdown in Nepal started that would last four months.

But before that, the Tapriza School managed a feat: Normally, the district board of education administers the final exams for the tenth graders. This year, as an exception, the exams were to be taken at the respective schools and the deadline was extended to June 2021 in order to allow the schools to finish the required curriculum. Because the Tapriza School managed to complete the syllabus before the lockdown, the exams were conducted right at the beginning of the school year – before the next lockdown started! All the tenth graders passed with flying colours. However, their future remains uncertain as attending lessons of eleventh and twelfth grades in Kathmandu was only possible to a certain extent for these students from remote areas, hampered by the renewed lockdown and online classes.

Around mid-June, the remote Tapriza School began teaching the younger students in their respective villages with “travelling teachers”. This has proven itself successful in the previous year. At the same time, from grade six upwards, the students were allowed to come to school under strict protective measures. From August 2021, the school was finally able to resume regular operations.

Last years Class 11 and 12 students, who we continue to support, had travelled to Kathmandu for the exams in March 2021 – as requested by the government. This happened despite the fact that the entire school year had taken place online. Due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, the exams were then cancelled. The school management and the parent’s committee decided to let the youth return home for their own safety. However, seven of them tested positive before leaving and were isolated. Luckily, no one had severe symptoms. Only when they had tested negative again, all of them travelled back to Dolpo together. There they spent ten days in isolation outside their respective villages in order not to put the local population at risk. So far we have not had any Covid-19 cases among the students on the school campus.