Nepalgunj, December 11:

Due to language barrier, students of Madhesi community in mid-western development region are facing a hard time.

Raj Kumar Pasi, 12, a class seven student in Rastriya Lower Secondary School at Bankatti VDC in Banke district, said if the medium of his studies were to be conducted in his mother tongue Awadhi, it would be an immense relief to him. “I find it tough to speak Nepali language. Studying in Nepali medium is even more difficult for me. Somehow, I have managed to reach grade seven, however, I am not attuned to Nepali language,” he said.

Most of the 600 students in the school are Awadhi speakers. They said that it is difficult for them to speak or write Nepali fluently. They added that if studies were to be conducted in Awadhi language, it would ease their burden tremendously.

Teacher Kaushal Prasad Yadav said that many students do not attend classes regularly due to problems with Nepali language.

He said, “Six hundred students have enrolled in the school but only 300 attend their classes regularly. We explain to them the meaning of words and terms but they keep gaping at us. Even when we explain in Awadhi language, the medium of writing is Nepali and that confuses and puzzles them.”

Another teacher Sitaram Pal said that the level of literacy would rise if studies were conducted in Awadhi medium. Eight of the 11 teachers in the school are Awadhi speakers . Nepali speaking teacher Ganga Rawal said that many students had dropped out due to their inadequate Nepali language. All the textbooks are in Nepali, they don’t understand most of what is written and drop out, she added.

School principal Ramesh Kumar Srivastava said, “Unless official paperwork is done in Awadhi, there is no sense in having studies in Awadhi medium.”