July 2, 2011

NEPAL: Senior citizens unimpressed‚ no takers for literacy classes

KATHMANDU, Nepal / The Himalayan Times / July 2, 2011

Himalayan News Service

MYANGLUNG: With participation of senior citizens dwindling progressively, the government-launched literacy classes in Terhathum district have gone down the drain.

There are 160 literacy centres in 32 village development committees across this eastern district.

A village in Terhathum district of eastern Nepal.

However, most of the classes look good only on paper, thanks to a low turnout of the district’s senior citizens.

Inspector for literary classes in Simle and Isibu VDCs, Yubaraj Bhattarai, said the classes have been a fiasco after the target group stopped attending the classes, citing different reasons.

According to inspector Bhattarai, very few parents are taking up the classes, despite the fact that the number of illiterate people in the district is pretty high.

Literacy volunteer Sabitra Khabas of Myanglung-4 said the classes had been closed several times after the elderly people stopped attending the literacy classes.

According to the District Education Office, though 30 students are required to conduct a literacy class, many literacy centres do not even have a single student.

District Education Officer Baburam Dhungana said there were no students at all in many literacy centres.

“Elderly people hesitate to turn up, saying they will not get anything by studying at old age,” Dhungana said.

According to the Terhathum District Education Office, Rs 52, 34,960 was spent in the district under informal education and national literacy programme this year alone.

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