National

Children in Chitwan deprived of education past primary level

- Bimal Khatiwada, CHITWAN

Dec 20, 2015-

Although Chitwan was declared 100 percent literate district last year, there are still many children in remote villages who do not have access to education past primary level.

Schools are few and far between in rural parts of Chitwan and children have to travel a long distance to reach their schools. And even if the children attend schools, a majority of them are likely to discontinue their education once they have passed their grade three or grade five finals. There are not enough high schools in remote villages of Chitwan.

Dhalka Bahadur Chepang of Lothar village was out of school after he completed his grade three, because there were no schools near his village that taught higher than grade three.

“I wanted to study till at least grade 10 but I could not because there are no schools that teach up to that level,” Dhalka Bahadur said.

After leaving school, Dhalka Bahadur got married. Today, he is a father of two children.

Alisha Chepang and Aasha Chepan also have a similar story. Both girls, after completing grade three, could not pursue their education.

Like Dhalka Bahadur, Alisha too got married. She is a mother of a child now.

“I did have a desire to

go to school after I passed my grade three, but could not,” Alisha said. Surya Chepang said around 100 Chepang

children leave schools after they have learned to read

and write in the most basic form. “After that,” Surya

said, “they are out of school. Many of them will go out

of practice and forget their lessons.”

Another reason many children brought up in rural setting do not continue their education is their economic standing. Most families cannot afford to send their children to town where they could have access to schools.

“We do not have the kind of earning to provide for accommodation, food and stationery if we send our children to town schools,” said Netra Bahadur Chepang.

The District Education Office does not have the record on the number of children deprived of pursuing education due to reasons like lack of schools and poverty.

The office had spent around Rs 20.3 million to declare Chitwan 100 percent literate district.

District Education Officer Damodar Acharya said Chitwan was declared a completely literate district as a part of the national literacy campaign whose criteria is judged by the number of people who could read and write.

“It is true that many children are deprived of higher studies. But to deal with that situation, we need a different solution which should come from the centre,” he said.

Published: 20-12-2015 09:34

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