Residential facility improves academic performance of Chepang children

Bharatpur, Feb 2: Academic performance of students from Chepang communities has improved remarkably after being provided residential facility along with additional tution classes.

National Basic School at Ichhakamana rural municipality-2 runs a hostel in financial assistance of the Ichhakamana rural municipality. It has 23 Chepang students upto grade 7.

The attendance of the students in school has been regular and their learning ability has been enhanced since they were housed in the hostel, said School Management Committee Chairperson Sher Bahadur Praja.Most of the students are orphans or come from impoverished families, shared Chairperson Praja.

School’s Principal Kamal Bhandari informed that the students staying in the hostel were disciplined and paid attention to cleanliness. According to him, those children are elated for being able to stay and study with fellow students.

Sixth grader Geeta Chepang confessed that she could get a chance to get education due to the residential facility. “My father died. Mother got married for the second time. I was staying with my father’s elder brother and his family. There was no possibility of them sending me to school due to the poor economic condition of the family.” She added, “I will study here till grade 7 and then will go to study wherever my teachers send me off.”

Sunita Chepang, another sixth grader, became parentless after her father and mother got married for the second time. She had been staying with her maternal uncle’s family after both of her parents got married for the second time. Sunita got guardians and a chance to study staying in the hostel, a home away from home for her.

She confided that the hostel environment was very much like her home. The hostel is being run for four years taking into account the prospect of lesser possibilities of the students from this community attending the school due to geographical remoteness of the place and their backwardness from such basic state facilities.

The hostel came into being on the initiative of Pancha Bahadur Chepang, ward no 2 Chairperson, and managed to secure financial assistance from the local municipality. Apart from food and residential facilities, there’s provision for additional tuition for the students in the hostel.

Rural municipality Chairperson Dan Bahadur Gurung pledged to extend support for construction of hostel and other infrastructures for ensuring education for the students from marginalized and impoverished communities.

Such schools have been mooted for other places to encourage and retain students especially from the Chepang community.