Egalitarian education

Apropos of the news story “Like other years” (THT, June 22, Page 8), if the dirt poor SLC results of the public schools are any indication, the country has a long way to go to ensure egalitarian education for all. How is the country going to empower the marginalized masses by dishing out substandard education in the public schools? How and when is the government going to address the anomaly in the educational standard between the private and public schools? When are we going to ensure educational justice and

equality? Or, are we going to ask the masses to “eat cake” like Queen Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI of France, did. By empowering and emphasizing the private schools, the government and the politicians seem to silently think like Queen Marie. Instead of improving the government schools as in India, we seem to be pushing education into the private hands, often known as education mafia, which will allow the distinguished members of politics to reap huge benefit through unholy alliances. Compare SLC results of our government schools with those of a school in a nondescript poor village, called Simaltala, in neighbouring Bihar where 89 students passed their Matric or 10th standard with marks ranging from 90 to 97.5 per cent. Most of these students are children of daily wage earners. Looks like the Nepal government has got its priorities all muddled up.

J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur

Self-defence

A self-defence class was recently conducted for girls and women in the capital after the April 25 quake. There were more than 40 girls and women who took part in the self defence class. Participants were from different professional backgrounds working in organizations and educational institutions. Self–defence means you are responsible for your own protection, doing nothing is basically giving up; you have to come up with the mentality that it’s either him or you. We cannot prevent being a target but we can prevent being a victim. A black belt in martial arts is not required for you to defend yourself from an

attacker, and mental and physical preparation is enough. News like women and teenage girls becoming victims of rape and sexual assaults appears every day. Some cases are reported to the media while others are not done so due to the fear of social stigma or insult; such social conditioning can leave women vulnerable to strange types of violence. Most of the sexual assaults and rape cases are not reported to the police. Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime in the Nepali context; so rapists never spend a day in prison. The male chauvinism has pressurized women to become a victim; attitudes like ‘boys are always boys’ is not good; even boys are becoming the victim of sexual assault. Attackers aren’t always strangers who jump out of the dark alleys. Most women and teens can be attacked by those whom they know very closely. Predators rely on women’s weakness, show good manner of being polite and

nice to take advantage of the situation.

Giri Bahadur Sunar, via e-mail