Navjyoti School, Dharan: A Brief History

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

December 12, 2023

By Ankita Thomas, SCN, Communication Office, Patna Province

Nepal is adorned with breathtaking natural beauty, featuring a diverse landscape that ranges from the towering peaks of the Himalayas to lush green valleys and serene lakes. Majestic mountains, including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, contribute to the country’s awe-inspiring scenery. Nepal’s natural beauty is a harmonious blend of mountains, forests, and water bodies that captivate the senses.

Navjyoti School, Dharan, Sunsari District – Province No. 1, began in 1985 as a special school to cater to the educational needs of the intellectually challenged children of Dharan Municipality. 25 children were admitted to this school on a day care basis. The objective of the school was to provide a learning atmosphere for the socially alienated children of the area so as to equip them with skills for self-reliance. As part of the government’s effort to consolidate special education, the students from Navjyoti School were shifted to a government establishment in 1987.

It was then that the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth focused their ministry on formal education. Thus, on Jan. 4, 1988, Navjyoti School opened its portals for the children of the locality. The school began with five children from the neighborhood of Narayan Chowk. Due to the steady growth of the number of children, the Sisters decided to purchase a new plot in Mahadev Chowk, the outskirts of Dharan municipality, and a spacious school building was constructed. The school was shifted in 1994 to this new location. The population in this area belongs to the lower income group comprising poor families who built their huts/small houses near the riverbed and by the side of the forest. Sisters have been giving active support to the families in this area through developmental activities, health and social work programs, as well as education. Every year, Navjyoti School has been admitting a certain percentage of children from these marginalized groups. On a regular basis, remedial classes are being conducted for the weaker children of the School. About 80 students take advantage of this facility during the evening hours.

In the realm of academics, Navjyoti School has consistently embraced a holistic approach, providing students with well-rounded education. The motto of Navjyoti School is “For God and Country, Service before Self.” The school is under Nepal Nazareth Society and administered by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. It is recognized by the Department of Education in Nepal. The school is proud of its 23 batches of students who have successfully completed class 10 examinations with excellence. This year, too, 60 of our class 10 students who appeared for exams have excelled in their performance. Navjyoti School has been able to provide a good education all along. The students of Navjyoti have excelled in their further education and life. We can be proud of having many doctors, engineers, defense personnel, nurses, officers, Pilots, Social Workers and many who have taken up jobs abroad as its alumni. Thus, SCN Sisters have laid a good foundation for upward mobility and transformation of society. 

Navjyoti School got permission to conduct classes 11 and 12 from 2010. However, after four years of running the classes, we had to discontinue due to a lack of students and financial problems. Since 2017, we have restarted classes 11, 12 and 8 batches of students who have successfully completed class 12 examinations. Navjyoti has introduced hotel management and computer science in classes 11 and 12, besides the other courses.

At present, Navjyoti School has 764 students (407 boys and 357 girls), 44 teaching staff, and 14 Non-teaching Staff. Six SCNs are ministering in Navjyoti, Dharan. Four Sisters, SCNs Jyoti Kerketta, Sophia Joseph, Sahaya Mary and Grace Binita Tuti, are giving their dedicated service to Navjyoti School. Their service to the school gives a moral support to the school and the teachers. Sister Jyoti Kerketta serves as the principal of the school. Sahaya Mary and Grace Binita are among the teaching staff, and Sophia is the academic supervisor. Sister Sunita Vayalipara serves as the coordinator of the house, and Sister Marina Thazhathuvettil is doing the outreach work. 

Along with excelling in academics, students of Navjyoti outshine in non-academic activities, too. Navjyoti also prioritizes excellence in non-academic activities because recognizing and celebrating achievements in areas beyond academics helps create a well–balanced and enriching educational experience for students. It prepares them not only for academic success but also for a future where interpersonal skills, leadership abilities and personal passions are valued assets. Students of Navjyoti shine in extracurricular activities such as sports, dance, arts etc. Navjyoti stands as a beacon of knowledge, an institution with a difference nurturing the youth of tomorrow as competent, committed and compassionate women and men for others. Navjyoti School is not merely a physical structure. It is a living, breathing entity fueled by the dreams and aspirations of its students, educators and supporters. May Navjyoti continues to shine as a center for imparting knowledge and values for building a true humane world. 


  1. rita puthenkalam

    Congratulations to all connected with this esteemed institution in the past and present.
    What a wonderful achievement in the service of the people of Dharan!

    May God be praised!

  2. Maggie Cooper

    Wow, what a wonderful story of that mission! What a wonderful history of holistic education!!
    Special greetings to Sophia!!!


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