Baglung, April 7:

Locals in ward 1 of Damek village development committee (VDC) in Baglung district are commercially farming vegetables to help run the school and impart practical education to students.

They started farming vegetables on land belonging to Gyanjyoti Primary School. Some villagers also provided their land to the school for growing vegetables.

Crops including radish, cucumber, pumpkin and carrot are planted on the school land and the land provided by the locals, headmistress Dambara Devi Sharma said adding that villagers also provide fertilizers.

“Education is imparted to students free of cost and children from Dalit and janajati communities are greatly benefited,” she said.

“Among the 16 schools operating in the VDC, we are trying to make ours a model one,” said Sharma. “Vegetable farming will help students learn the practical aspects of science and environment at the primary level,” she said.

A guardian, Lekhnath Sapkota said, “Vegetable farming has totally changed the environment in this school since a year.” Another guardian, Gita Sharma said, “Our children who study in the school are encouraging us to plant vegetables in our own fields after seeing the vegetable farming in their school.”

“Work in the school’s vegetable garden is voluntary. The school is not inflicting any physical punishment on the students,” school management committee member Shanti Sapkota said.

Gyanjyoti Primary School was established 16 years ago. There are six teachers and 124 students from grade I to IV. However, the government has not shown any concern for the school yet.

There is only one teacher teaching under the government quota. The other five teachers get salary from a fund that is managed locally.