Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, and the Samata Shiksha Niketan School is one of several Samata schools founded by Uttam Sanjel to provide an education for some of the most deprived children in the Kathmandu Valley. The school roll includes over 3,500 children aged 4 - 19. Most are orphans or child labourers and so there will usually be only about half that number present at any time, others being called on to work or to help their host family with chores. For some children, Samata is their only home, and they board there.
All lessons are in English and concentrate on a thorough learning of the language, which is the most important tool a Nepalese child can have. Without it they cannot take public exams or even consider applying for a job in tourism or communications.
There are 34 classes with children ranging from 3 to 16, but classes contain huge age ranges as children enter education at very different ages and must be placed according to their educational level.