ALLOWANCE FOR ELDERS

  • Voice Of The People

Feb 23, 2018-It is quite appalling to know that the elderly citizens of the district of Makwanpur taking refuge in old age homes are being deprived of the old age allowance provided by the government, due to their lacking citizenship certificates (‘Elderly persons in care homes do not get state benefits’, February 22, Page 4).

Even though the newly elected people’s representatives have promised to help the elderly citizens acquire citizenship certificates, we can’t be fully convinced that they will take any initiative anytime soon. Since the elderly people staying in shelter homes don’t usually need their citizenship for any other purpose, and issuing their citizenship certificate might be problematic, it is suggested that the government still provide the elderly people with the allowance of Rs2000 so that their needs are not neglected.

- Prekshya Chand, Lalitpur

SEGREGATED EDUCATION

The gap between private and public schooling hasn’t changed much. Just as in India, Nepal seems to have been implementing an education policy that is highly segregated (‘Bridging the gap’, February 21, Page 6). 

Our neighbour in the South inherited an extreme educational inequality from the British Raj. Indians working in the government, or those professing law for example, had gone to the best schools in the country, thanks to their elevated position in society. Some of them even went to Britain to obtain degrees from the best schools of that time. With independence achieved but a literacy rate as low as 15 percent, the government of independent India faced the tremendous task of alphabetising the rest of the population. India, as well as Nepal, has achieved major successes in raising literacy rates within only a few decades since 1950. But technocrats on the top levels in both countries have largely failed to push public education beyond alphabetisation, particularly outside major hubs. A reason might be that their own offspring do not have to visit any of these schools; the incentive to improve these schools is quite low. The focus has been on developing the higher education sector—a level hardly reached with the average public-school education. 

We need to probe deeper into this gap and the lack of incentive to improve public schools. Just as the poor tend to accept their miserable fate without questions, so do the well-to-do.

- Prema Tamang, Kathmandu

Published: 23-02-2018 10:14

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