and Safe Food (23 July 2013)
Diet and nutrition are important components of the school curriculum -- usually included in a student's Health and Physical Education textbook. It is sometimes easy to forget that 'snack food' as one buys it in the local shop is probably supplied by a local factory. Often, these local factories are an extension of 'globalization' into Nepal -- the C.E.O.s of such institutions have 'profit' as a motive and don't necessarily care about the health and safety of their products. Young students can't be expected to understand how dependent their world has become on mass-produced food. It is heartening to realize that our students' tiffin doesn't have to originate with such a factory. As Rising Rays Boarding School grows into the new school year, we hope to soon have our own 'kitchen and tiffin' center where students can rely upon getting safe and hygienic food. The students in the Cooking Club will soon be practicing their skills in this 'kitchen to be'. All of life is a lesson and sometimes we learn from others' mistakes -- or should so that we don't make them also. A reminder about how serious this is --
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Day 22 July 2013
Guru Purnima is an important cultural event in those countries where teachers are still appreciated and respected. It's unfortunate that the modern and developing world often forgets this. Many teachers in so-called developed countries are expected to work in schools that are solely operated as a 'business' where the school is conceived of as a factory, students as resources, and the 'business product' is the 'student' and his or her 'skills'. He or she will be brainwashed into accepting his or her role in modern society as another 'soon to be' factory worker who keeps his or her mouth shut, follows orders, and makes a profit for the C.E.O. of his company, regardless of whether or not his cooperation is amply rewarded. More often than not, he or she is 'exploited' as a cheap labor resource. For students in Nepal to still respect their teachers is an important achievement for Nepalese education. The Buddha, who is perhaps one of the most respected models of an ideal 'teacher', was born in Nepal. It is only appropriate that Guru Purnima has a special meaning here in Kathmandu where people still remember the value of a good teacher.
Teachers' Day at Rising Rays Boarding School was an important reminder to teachers and students of their responsibilities to each other in a mutual relationship of respect and appreciation. For the teacher or student who forgets this, learning will become a difficult process and education without it is a rough road to travel on.