Elsa Primary School
Elsa Primary School was opened in 2010 and for the first five years was located in the Harijan Colony near the Bhutanese temple. In 2015 it moved to the Gaya-Bodhgaya Road, close to the Tergar Monastery in order to service the village of Jamna Biya. It is funded by Kusala Projects and is now the main focus of the charity’s operations. Currently, the school has two teachers and forty students.
Currently, there are three grades at the school, nursery, grade one & grade two. What differentiates Elsa from most many schools is the age of the students relative to their grades. There nursery students are aged 5-9, the grade one students are aged 8-9 and the grade two students are aged 11-13. In the photos below, you can see the age range of the students. Typically, in the state of Bihar, children begin school at age four, progressing through nursery, lower kindergarten, upper kindergarten and grades 1-10, before graduating from high school at age sixteen.
Elsa Primary School has one classroom with students seated in rows according to their grade. Winter can be quite cold in Bodhgaya, sometimes with daytime temperatures in single Celsius digits. On those days, it is too cold to conduct classes in the classroom, so the students are taught outdoors.