A world away from Bhutan: A former school principal straddles dual identities as he settles with his children in Maryland suburb

| By Heather Caygle |

After graduating from college and struggling for two years, Kharananda Rizal took all the money he had—which was $20—and started a boarding school for children in a rural area. Rizal used this small amount of money to buy five pairs of tables and benches to serve as desks and used the rest of the money to rent a classroom.

By the end of the first month, he had 30 students, all of which he taught himself. When he had saved enough to start construction on a new school building, at night, after classes were over, Rizal would haul bricks up the stairs on his back for laborers to use the next morning.

Now the school, started 18 years ago, has more than 1,000 students and is one of the best schools in its region based on academics.

Rizal’s story, of starting from nothing and building a successful school using his brain and his hands, seems to be the embodiment of the American Dream.

Continue reading