Keshav Adhikari

Jogimara (Dhading), March 25:

With the objective of educating the children of the Chepang, Dalit and other marginalised groups, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the district education office, and different village development committees of the Dhading district are making preparations to launch an alternative school programme from April 14. An alternative school (with two teachers) will be constructed in each of Gajuri, Dhusa, Benighat and Jogimara VDCs, where the Chepang and Dalit communities are in a majority. The Integrated Community Development

Centre (ICDC) has been given the responsibility to run the programme. “The programme is aimed at educating the Chepang and Dalit children aged between six and 14 years,” Madhav Raj Dahal, programme coordinator, ICDC, said.

Communities have been mobilised in Takthali and Hekrad of Jogimara VDC to raise awareness

about the programme. “Awareness campaigns have been launched to inform the people about the programme,” resource person for the district education office, Kamal Kandel, said, adding that as the children don’t have to leave their work for studies, more and more children are willing to pursue their studies. Children, after completing three years of alternative schooling, can take admissions in schools, Dahal said. The Chepangs of Jogimara, who had earlier refused to send their children to schools, are now willing to educate their children, Ram Krishna Adhikari, the ICDC treasurer said.