Schools Representatives' Impressions

On behalf of the 14 participating schools, representatives from three schools – Mount Glory, Vajra Academy and Rato Bangala – spoke about their experiences and their take on the programme.

ICIMOD and NTNC appreciate the dedication and effort put in by the schools to promote the Herbal Gardens in Schools concept. Each school has its own unique story to tell. ICIMOD will bring you more stories and experiences from other schools as we move ahead with the programme, joining hands with schools within and beyond the Kathmandu valley. ICIMOD hopes to replicate the success of the programme in other regional member countries in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

Mr Ishwor Khadka, Environment Studies Coordinator, Mount Glory Boarding School

“We appreciate ICIMOD and NTNC for starting this valuable and interesting programme. For our garden, we began by bringing soil from outside, improving its condition through manuring, and then planting the herbs. Our students put a lot of effort into bringing the plants from their homes during the Dashain holidays and nurturing them over the weekends. We have made parents and teachers a part of the garden, and, in future, we intend to collaborate with local youth clubs and nearby village communities in disseminating the idea. We are proud that our students are now the messengers in raising awareness of the concept in rural areas where knowledge of such medicinal herbs is undervalued.”

Ms Achala Thapa, Principal, Vajra Academy

“Our sincere gratitude to the organisers for the opportunity provided. The programme on promoting Herbal Gardens in Schools has innovatively involved students in creating awareness about herbal plant resources, which as a matter of fact has been ignored in the existing education system. My students, from all the grades have not only sown the plants in the garden, but have internalised them in their hearts. With enthusiasm, we are ready to replicate the concept and transfer the experience and knowledge to other schools in the community. As a member of the Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education and as co-author of the science and environment textbook, I am eager to give this topic special attention and include it in future curriculum. The herbal garden, I believe, has added yet another feather to our school’s eco-friendly concept cap.”

Ms Milan Dixit, Principal, Rato Bangala School

“We did not have to think twice before being part of the ‘Promoting Herbal Gardens in Schools Competition’. Our children, teachers, and school management were equally enthusiastic in implementing the concept. In order to give the herbal garden focused attention every year, the school has decided to make it a grade eight project. The grade eight students are quite possessive about their garden. Actually, students from other grades, children in the hostel, teachers, and parents all have put effort into looking after the garden. Regarding sharing our experience with other schools, we have already tied the concept to our community service project where our students work with students from public schools. Rato Bangala has an education outreach programme in Dailekh, where we are working with 480 public schools. We are more than eager to take the concept there and spread awareness about herbal plants and their importance.”