School library boon for young bibliophilesKalika Secondary School built a well-stocked library last year with the help of national and international agencies.
Last week, Shristi Chepang, a grade 10 student at Kalika Secondary School in Bidang, was seen at the school library with her nose buried in one of the books listed in the library.
“I spend most of my time at the library during recess. I love coming to school ever since the school stocked up the library,” said 16-year-old Chepang. “I enjoy reading books that will also help me with my coursework.”
Students of Kalika Secondary School in Bidang of Benighat Rorang Municipality-8 in Dhading can be seen spending their free time at the school’s well-stocked library built last year.
Almost all the 74 community schools in the rural municipality have libraries but most of them are run with fewer books and resources. Kalika Secondary School is the only educational institution to take a step towards stocking up their library for the benefit of the students and teachers.
According to Gopi Krishna Dahal, the principal of Kalika Secondary School, the school decided to have a well-stocked library to encourage students to read books outside their coursework.
“The library currently has 2,464 books from a variety of genres suitable for students,” said Dahal. “We stocked up our library with the help of international and national development organisations.”
According to Dahal, the 2015 earthquake caused partial damage to the school building, including the library. The reconstruction of the school also included that of the library and the new library now boasts book racks filled with a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and tables and chairs kept for the students’ usage.
Fourteen-year-old Aditya Bharti, a ninth grader at the school, says that his favourite place in the school is the library but says that he does not get enough time to spend in the library amid the pressure of classes and homework.
“Sometimes I want a break from my classes and school textbooks so I go to the library to clear my head,” said Bharti. “I like to read books on current affairs in the country and abroad and historical events that changed the course of humankind. But my favourite is books on Science since I want to become a scientist one day.”
The habit of reading is a rewarding one, especially for children at an impressionable age, says Sajana Mainali, a teacher.
“The library at the school has proved to be a boon for students since it has opened an avenue for children to immerse themselves in learning new things,” she said. “But it is important for guardians and teachers to monitor the kind of books made accessible to students at the school library.”
Since students from primary to secondary levels have different interests, learning abilities and needs, books are selected according to age, says Mainali.
“I encourage all students to spend their free time in the library. The collection of books is suitable for both young and older children. But I always make sure I read the books myself before recommending one to a student,” she said.
According to her, since the refurbishment of the library, absenteeism among students has decreased. “The number of students coming to school has also increased since the opening of the library,” she said.
There are currently 352 students enrolled from grades 1 to 10 at the school.
“A library is a place for children to learn new things, and our library helps students learn things outside the curriculum, which helps them to broaden their thought process. The school has also appointed a librarian for the management of the library,” said Dahal, the school principal.