BAJURA, August 2
Durga BK, 16, from Dalitbasti of Kolti VDC, Bajura, quit her studies last year. She has completed Grade VII. “I wanted to continue my studies, however, it was not possible as my village school has classes up to Grade VII only,” she complained.
Kalika Lower Secondary School is the only school in Dalitbasti. Students willing to continue their studies have to walk three hours to reach Kolti Bazaar. Most of the children from Dalitbasti are compelled to discontinue their studies owing to poor state of road and time consumed to reach the school. “Renting an apartment at Kolti Bazaar to continue studies is not possible due to our poor economic condition,” Durga lamented, adding, “Moreover, girls face problems while staying in rented apartments.”
Like Durga, Abishara BK, Mina BK, Maya BK, Premkala Luwar, among others, had to quit their studies after passing Grade VII. “We had to discontinue our studies because the village does not have a secondary school. Family members do not allow us to leave home and got to Kolti Bazaar for studies,” said Premkala.
Maya BK said they passed their days while farming and grazing cattle. “I have an interest to study, but lack access to education,” she said. Dalitbasti is home to 35 Dalit households, but only two youths have passed SLC in the entire settlement. Local senior Afilal Rokaya said some parents sent their sons to Kolti Bazaar for education. “Some youths work as wage earners at Kolti Bazaar to finance their studies,”Rokaya added. He said majority of the youths leave for India to work as wage earners after completing Grade VII.
He said they had failed to upgrade the school to secondary level for want of funds and asked the concerned authorities to provide secondary level education in the village. Dalit senior Tika BK said the number of Dalit youths completing secondary level education was negligible.
A version of this article appears in print on August 03, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.