Chepang students in Dhirang suffer in the absence of secondary school


The Kathmandu Post

PRATAP BISTA, HETAUDA, June 21, Phulmaya Chepang passed her eighth grade with decent marks from Dhirang Basic School in a remote village of Raksirang, Makwanpur, in the last academic year. However, she has to repeat her eighth grade this academic session as well, as there are no secondary schools in or around the village. Phulmaya’s case is not an anomaly--the graduates of Dhirang, a remote Chepang settlement in Raksirang Rural Municipality-7, have no other option but to repeat classes or quit studies altogether.

There are 11 students in grade eight of Dhirang Basic School. Among them, four have been studying in the same class for the past two years. The nearest secondary school, Rastriya Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, is in Silinge, which is a six-hour walk to and from Dhirang. The lack of a hostel facility in the school has further affected the students of Dhirang and surrounding villages. Only those students who can afford a rented room in Silinge have so far enrolled for secondary level education.

“The students are compelled to study in the same class or quit studies, as there are no secondary schools near Dhirang Village,” said Babulal Ghalan, the headmaster at Dhirang Basic School. “I want the authorities concerned to upgrade the basic school to a secondary level school so that Chepang students can continue their studies.”

Dhirang Basic School has a total of 161 students, all Chepang. The students have been studying under make-shift huts after their school building was destroyed by the 2015 earthquake.

The local people also complained that the authorities pay no heed to the hardships faced by students in Dhirang. “Not a single government representative from the education office or other government offices have visited the village in recent years,” a local said.