NEPAL – Bringing quality education to the tea labourers’ children


Over the past decades, the Jesuits in Nepal have made great strides in either providing or improving educational outreach to marginalized populations. A striking testimony to this commitment is Moran Memorial School - named after a pioneer Jesuit of Nepal, educator and amateur radio operator. Fr. Boniface Tigga, a former Regional Superior, is the present Principal of the school; he tells us about the history, the development and the role of Moran Memorial in Eastern Nepal.

In 1999, the Nepal Jesuit Society – the official name of the Society of Jesus in the country – opened the Moran Memorial School in Maheshpur village, in Jhapa district, with the sole purpose of providing a decent education to the children of tea garden labourers who otherwise did not have any opportunity of proper schooling. The Jesuits chose this place, which is far away inland from the town, in order to cater to a needy community of the country. Most of the inhabitants are from four tribes and they work in the Budhkaran Tea Estate. The school was established as a sheer social service endeavor. At present, it serves 518 students from Kindergarden to class 10: 261 girls, 257 boys with 32 staff members. Around 98% of the parents never had an opportunity to go to school. Therefore, our students are the first generation to get formal education.

For those who can afford it, the monthly fee requested from the family, for each student, is 550 Nepali Rupees (around 5.50 USD). The parents of the students being daily wage earners, in the tea gardens for instance, earn around Rs. 350 (3.50 USD) per day. These wages are hardly enough for their food. Therefore, every student gets a 60% scholarship supported by the Nepal Jesuits Society and the parents bear 40% of the total expenses. The school is a work of charity funded by the Jesuits. It is at the same time a model and an experimental school for the Jesuits of Nepal.


Looking in retrospect, Moran Memorial school administration is proud to have contributed greatly to a marginalized sector of the population. Of course, the challenges are many. One was to migrate from the use of Nepali language to English, answering a strongly felt need. Motivating and promoting human and Gospel values are somewhat challenging as well and getting competent teachers is another area of concern for the school.

The educational institution also plays a pastoral role in the area. We offer our service to the faithful every weekend in six chapels. Faith formation, youth animation, capacity building, community building, catechist training, regular catechism to children, leadership training, ongoing teacher training, formation of parish council members are some of the priorities of the mission. Moreover, the school continually strives to promote the overall development of our students involving their parents in the education of their children.

The environment of Moran Memorial is stunningly beautiful. The school is surrounded by the tea gardens and paddy fields. The birds chirping and monkeys restless activities, the fresh air and tea garden like green carpet, all this give an ecstatic feeling to those who visit this location. Year after year, local people have better understood the value of education and, as a result, they are motivated and very happy that they can provide formal education to their children. People are pleased to see the drastic change in the local environment. Education opens the minds to see beyond the tea garden. Folks are ever ready to provide services to our school. Indeed, we, the Moran Memorial school administrators, welcome all the generous people - locally but also from far away - who are willing to join with us in our mission of love, care and compassion for the needy people of our area.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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