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More Frequently Asked Questions
After the school was established, how did it develop?
The school grew in steps, as funds become available and with the support of Westeners and Indians.
In 1992 the tents were replaced with by a two room mud and brick building with a straw roof. That September, in 1993, Thomas Jost came and started working for the school on a volunteer basis. He became deeply involved with the needs of the school, the building program and relations between the school and community. He spent much of each year in Bodhgaya till his death in the year 2000.
In 1994-95, the first 2 floors our current building were constructed. The constuction was overseen by the abbott of the Burmese Vihar, Ven U. Nyaneinda. Funds for this were raised by Felix Helg. Two more rooms were added in 2004-5 and an extra floor was built in 2006.
Each year from early 1990s an extra class was added as the original students progressed, up to Class 8 in 1997. Lower and Upper Kindergarten classes were also added. After persistent requests from students, additional classes were added from 2006 to provide tuition for Class 9 and then Class 10. By this time the student population was big for the size of the school, there were around 560 students.
In April, 2010 land adjacent to the school was bought. This new land was 15% bigger than the original school land, it more than doubled the size of our school and gave students a good playground.
Then in 2014 and 2015 a large new classroom block and new toilets were built.
Where has the support come from?
Support has come from many people and in many different forms. Apart from the principal and deputy, all the management committee and Prajna Vihar Inter-religious Education Society (PVIRES) members in India give their services at no cost.
The principals of the school have been very dedicated: Mr. Prayag Prajapati (March 1990-1994), Sr. Udita (April 1993-1994), Sr Cicile (June 1994 - 1997), Sr. Anjali (1997-2003), Sr. Yogita (2003-2004), Sr. Bindu (2004-2008), Sr. Shobha (2008 - 2015), Sr Anicia (2015), Sr Rashmi (April 2016 - March 2018), Sr Shobha (April 2018 - current).
Thomas Jost spent much of his time helping develop the school in the 1990s, before his death in 2000. There is a memorial plaque in his honour in the school grounds. Tom Riddle has taken many professional quality photos of the school and students and made videos to help with publicity. His photos and videos are on this site.
Katie Mitchell looked after funding arrangements for many years. Christopher Titmuss (UK) and Felix Helg (Switzerland) are mentioned elsewhere on this site. Past and present members of the Bodhgaya Development Association in Australia (Eoin and Kerstin Liebchen-Meades, Victor von der Heyde, Kim Lewis, Loris Neff, Crissi Schmidt, Karen Longland, John Ransley and others) have raised funds and supporting the school in other ways for over twenty years. Compassion Beyond Borders (USA) provided funds for the school for years.
Shaila Catherine and Insight Meditation South Bay joined with the One World Children's Fund (USA) to become major supporters. The school received a major donation for building works and other donations for recurrent expenditure from FOTOCAN in Canada, supported by Bryan Moran.
Many people have given regular large donations through the fundraisers mentioned here.
Not all of the individuals and organisations mentioned here still support the school and there is uncertainty as to whether the school will continue to receive the funding needed to keep running in the way it runs now.
The school offers Hindi, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, English, Sanskrit, Ethics, Civics, General Knowledge, Computing and Dance. Traditional Dance is a school speciality: groups of students have been taken to Varanasi for further training and there is a Dance and Music teacher specifically for the Traditional Dance program. The school has no science lab, and a very limited library.
Teaching staff (July 2017)
Front row from left, with year starting at the school: Sr Preethi (2016), Miss Aarti Kumari (2013), Miss Pushpa Kumari (2014), Miss Sujata Kumari (2017), Mrs Sapna Sen Gupta (1997), Mrs Sumitra Devi (1990), Mrs Neelam Kumari (1995), Sr Rashmi Kerketta (2016).
Back row from left: Mr Ajay Kumar (2013), Miss Priyanka Kumar (2017), Miss Priyanka Bakhla (2013), Mr Syed Abdul Wajid (1995), Mr S Mansoor Alam (2002), Mr Mukesh Kumar Sharma (2014), Mr Pramod Pandey (2006), Mr Deepak Kumar (2013), Mr Jackie Vishwarkarma (2014).
Mr Rahul Kumar (dance teacher)