A major dividing factor in the Nepali society is the quality of education that is accessible. Most people cannot afford a private school, which has become synonymous with quality education, and are therefore unable to receive good education having ramifications that affect their entire lives. Ram Rijal, an MIT graduate, aims to end this divide with the Bloom Nepal School.
“We opened Bloom Nepal School, to address a few things lacking in Nepal’s education sector - access to quality education for all, and, opportunities for students to pursue their interests” shared Ram K Rijal the co-founder of Bloom Nepal School. Bloom is unique in Nepal’s educational ecosystem in specifically these two ways. First, it provides a good education at an affordable price, increasing access to quality education in segments of Nepali society unable to pay the high prices of Nepali private schools. Second, it is the only school in Nepal promoting interest-based learning, motivating students to be the best in their fields of interest. “We, at Bloom Nepal School, do not just teach our students, or give them information needed to pass exams; but aspire and inspire them to be better, to be the best at their chosen field. We try and nurture the different strengths that each of our students have.” As a part of the passion-based learning, some tech-savvy seventh graders from the school even developed mobile apps a few years ago. Students at Bloom are from all over Nepal, many from poor economic backgrounds, studying on merit-based scholarships.
Bloom’s graduates perfectly showcase their quality of education. Till date two batches have graduated from Bloom, and the graduates are attending schools like United World College in the USA, and well reputed Nepali schools including Trinity College and Ullens School. In fact, of the 15 scholarship recipients at Ullens for IB from throughout Nepal, one was from Bloom. Some of these students would otherwise not have received the education to be admitted to such elite colleges nor would they have been able to afford these colleges without the merit-based scholarships they have received.
After five years of providing excellent education at Lubhu, Kathmandu, Bloom Nepal is now expanding to Itahari in east Nepal. “Expansion was always a plan and the location is perfect for us since Itahari is close to big cities, like Dharan and Biratnagar. So, with our current partner who is from eastern Nepal we went ahead and bought a school for expansion.” disclosed Ram. Stronger with their local partner Surya Karki, who had set up about 30 community schools, they bought an existing school, Sunshine Academy, with plans of turning it into Bloom Nepal School’s first branch. “It made more sense for us to buy an existing school than to start a new one since the infrastructure is already in place. We will already have students, and will not have to start from scratch as we did in Lalitpur, making things a lot easier for us.”
The investment received by Bloom Nepal School supported this expansion, “it helped us continue and build a new school in Lubhu, after the 2015 earthquake, when our building in Ekantakuna was destroyed and gave us the financial leverage necessary for expansion. Therefore we are able to expand faster.”
“It is going to take some time before the school in Itahari runs like the one in Kathmandu,” admits Ram. But they have taken steps to ensure that the same standard is achieved. “The core team will be based in Lubhu, but will visit Itahari for supervision and to provide training. A management team will oversee the school in Itahari, We will have strict selection criterion for the teachers, and provide them with frequent training. The core syllabus followed in the school in Lubhu will be replicated in Itahari to make sure that the quality of education is consistence in both the schools.” Following the opening of a new school in Itahari, Ram and the Bloom Nepal School team are now “planning on opening our third school in Pokhara by 2020.”