Policy change sought to increase indigenous kids’ enrolment in schools

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 21:

Indigenous nationalities today urged the government to correct its policy to boost the enrollment of children from their community in schools. The indigenous community makes for about 42 per cent of the total population. Finance secretary of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Pasang Sherpa said the government policy was totally wrong. “If the government does not correct its policy, we will go for extreme protest programmes,” he said

at an interaction on ‘School enrolment programme and indigenous and nationalities children’ organised by the Association of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists (ANIJ). Former headmaster Harka Raj Syangbang said the enrolment of indigenous students will not show improvement unless there are more teachers from their communities. “With teachers from other communities, they face a language problem that can be solved by bilingual teachers,” he said.

Nanda Kumar Thapa Magar of Nepal National Teachers’ Organisation said creating a favourable

environment to keep them in schools is more important than their enrolment. Journalist Ganesh Rai presented a paper on ‘School admission campaign and indigenous nationalities’.

“The most important tool to ensure enrolment of indigenous children would be to use their respective organisations, which the government overlooked.” Pointing out the flaws of the campaign, he said people started sending their sons to graze cattle after they received oil for sending their daughters to school.