Jajarkot, January 27
Children of four settlements in Barekot Rural Municipality in Jajarkot have no access to school. Children here are unable to go to schools which are far from the villages.
School-age children from Rimdara, Khalaka Khutte, Dandakhani and Upper Laikham have been deprived of school education.
These settlements are too remote in the district, according to Rana Bahadur Khatri, a local. The number of children out of school is counted not at one, two or tens but in hundreds, he said.
At least a three-hour walk is required to reach the nearby school from these settlements at Sanghutara, which is not possible for small children. He said he himself put his first step in a school when he was 11 years old. Most of his colleagues and sisters who never saw schools during childhood are living as illiterates.
Of late, there was a kind of competition here to open schools but no school was established targeting children of these settlements. Many children reaching the age when they should be completing basic school education are enrolled in Grade one, but drop-out rates areo high. Self-humiliation is one of the major factors behind this because grown up children (students) do not feel comfortable with their juniors.
“Our children could go to school on time if we had a school for them near our settlements,” said Hari Bahadur Khatri, a parent.
People of these settlements have the dream of seeing a school set up for the benefits of their children. “It is really difficult for small children to walk for three hours to reach school,” guardians said.
Jay Bahadur Khatri,another local, said if Laikham had at least one school, no child would be deprived of education. It is not only education that people are deprived of but also various other facilities such as communication, electricity and health service.
Their voices for addressing these burning concerns have fallen on the deaf ears of the authorities concerned. They had appealed to the then District Education Office and current local government to take initiative to establish a school.
It takes around four hours on foot to reach the Sepukhola-based health facility, the nearest health institution from the settlements. Hundreds of children from the settlements have been deprived of fundamental rights of education.
However, in sheer mockery of the situation, the government has already declared Jajarkot a literate zone.
A version of this article appears in print on January 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.