Stories of Struggles
Have you walked to school everyday for more than an hour? During my school I used to walk 30 minutes after completing grade 5 before then after 15 minutes walk I used to reach school. From grade 6 and above, school was located at some other place, so 30 minutes was minimum time, I start 9:25 am and reached before assembly or exactly that I manage to keep my bag in assembly area.
I grew up in a town, the headquarter of a district in western Nepal. Now, my school has their own bus. And, for those who are from outside of the town, residential facilities was available and it is still continued. Since Tansen is the town with facilities of education, health and business, many from within the district and even outside of the district used to come and go and many lived in rented room. There are 3 – 4 popular with capacity of 800 – 1000 student schools are still running where student from the surrounding used to walk for more than an hour to reach school and many discontinued after difficulties in studying i.e. doing assignments or getting fail mark test. I think they gave reason to their unknown parents about education that they could not walk anymore. Or, for some who continued even after they failed in final examination felt ashamed and later changed school and some passed and some failed again and started to help parents in field or did nothing than roaming or hanging around. At that time, I did not know about girls who ran away (married) or guys who brought wife at young age before completing school education because I did not really care about it. I become more aware when I learned that Nepal lacks quality human resources during my Master’s research.
It is disadvantage for Nepal and for the global world.
These girls who grew up in village have similar stories. They walked a long way about 2 and 1/2 hours to reach their school after passing grade 5 because the nearby school had until grade 5 only. Now, seeing them preparing for course that will equip them for professional job that helps in earning and, advantage for their community and locality where they lack qualified people gives happiness. There are 7 from different villages of the rural areas of the Lalitpur district preparing for college of which 6 are girls. 3 of them are living in Console Mission’s rented house. They go for preparation class early in the morning and after returning practices.
There are children who are in need of uniform, educational materials and educational coaching.
There is one case who hold for a year from running away at the age of 14 because she was getting educational materials and involving in annual get-togethers. Talking to her mother it is learned that after girls have menstruation it is culturally unlikely that they stay with parents.