Our plan in 2011 was to enroll 10 students and start a small community school. When 200 families showed up for admissions, things evolved quickly. Nepal, with a 60% literacy rate, has a high demand for affordable and accessible educational institutions. In 2011, 90% of private school students were admitted to a secondary educational institution compared to 46% of public school students. This cannot only be the fault of the students. Little children with heavy bags on their back mugging up the alphabets cannot be held responsible. If Nepalese children had an equal shot at education, the country could begin to solve the majority of its problems independently. We need more professionals, such as teachers, doctors, architects, lawyers, business managers, and diplomats, to build Nepal. Until the problem of unequal and incomplete education is tackled head on, NGOs, local government assistance, and foreign aid will not rescue the country from poverty. The revolution has to come as a grassroots initiative within our communities. The country has little hope for government schools, as they are inefficient, ill managed, and corrupt similar to the government that runs them. The entrepreneurs who back private charter schools are motivated by profits and do not cater to the needs of the poor or rural families. This led to the formation of Maya Universe Academy; a non-profit, community-run organization, which finds innovative ways to provide quality education free of cost. We operate with the help of local and international volunteers and by our own dedication to hard work. We drink spring water, tend fields, cook on an open fire, and bare the harsh conditions of living in a remote village of Nepal with a lot of fun in order to offer the opportunity of education to children otherwise overlooked.
The application process for new students will begin in a few months. The word of our vision and philosophy has reached many neighboring villages. We expect hundreds to apply. It is hard to deny admissions. The truth is, without help, we will not even be able to accommodate the present students until their graduation. We are looking for Nepalese and foreign volunteers. –Manjil Rana, Head of Maya Universe Academy September, 2011
Our volunteers, community members, and students are committed to social justice, community development, and education. Maya Universe Academy, the first and only free educational institute in Tanahun District, Nepal, promises high quality, cost free schooling. Since 2010, Maya Universe Academy has become a vital member of Udhin Dhunga, contributing whole-heartedly to the betterment of its people, culture, and society. Inspired by our gracious supporters and friends, Maya Universe Academy continues to educate and inspire our students and their families. The community recognizes the power of education, and our school continues to expand as we accept new students, teachers, and volunteers.