English | Dzongkha Wednesday, September 19, 2018

No age bar for education

Oct 22, 2010

Children in urban areas go to school at an early age of five or six. Some even at the age of four. But in rural areas, due to lack of school, children go to school at a much later age.

Bal Bahadur Mongar, 17, is studying in class five. By his age, he should be in class X or XI. Since there was no school in the Geog, Bal Bahadhur Mongar stayed home helping his parents.

He also attended non-formal education for two years. In 2006, a school was opened in his Geog. By then he was already thirteen years old. But his old age did not stop him from joining the school.

Bal Bahadhur Mongar is the oldest student in his class. But his classmates are also not very young. The youngest in his class is 13 years old. Bal Bahadhur says he regrets for not having gone to other school at an early age.

“Looking at my age, I should be in class eight and above. Since my parents are farmers, they could not send me to other schools. So sometimes I regret a lot looking at my age and standard.”

Twenty two of them were promoted to class five through fast track promotion scheme after mid-term this year. Through the scheme, aged students can advance to higher levels on merit basis. For fear of aged students dropping school, they were kept in the same school.

“We thought of sending the students to Geserling but we felt that the students will be affected psychologically when their class mates are very young and small. Despite many problems, we decided to keep them here since they are use to the environment,” said the Principal Ngawang Jamtsho.

After next year, the aged students will be transferred to other schools. And the teacher’s only worry is how they will be able to continue their studies.

But for Bal Bahadhur, becoming a doctor is his only ambition. If everything goes well, Bal Bahadhur Mongar will be twenty seven years old, when he completes his University Degree.

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