Learning Women

4 02 2012

“Here is my report card. I passed with first division and now I am a 2nd grader.” She said very excitedly. In return, I congratulated her and asked to see her report card. She had indeed achieved much than expected and stood third in the class. She is not a 6 year old. She is ten times more than that. She is my grandmother who could not get any education during her childhood. Now in her early sixties, she has joined a school for women where she goes every day.

Today there are many women like my grandmother in Nepal especially in urban and sub-urban areas who are pursuing their education. Their ages vary, but the reason for them to start their education at the old age is common: their love for education. “Starting to educate oneself is never late “, says Mrs. Man Maya Dhakal who started her education in her 40’s and now she is a high school student.

Women’s have many responsibilities and different roles to play .They are mothers, sisters, wives etcetera. But many of them are illiterate. Their educational incompetence has helped men to dominate them. Knowing this fact, women nowadays are wanting to make themselves literate and capable albeit in their elderly days. However, they face many problems. There are many women interested and enthusiastic to study yet are not lucky. Some don’t get support and encouragement from their family or society or both. Many family members don’t allow them to study citing their age and duty for the family. Sometimes their family supports them but they don’t find any school for women.

It has been few years since the government of Nepal has started to run elderly education classes for both men and women in different part of the country. The number of people attending those classes is exciting but the number of women attending such classes is not equal or similar to number men attending given that percentage of illiterate women in Nepal is higher than that of men. Therefore, each and every family and society should encourage women to attend such classes. If elderly women know how to read, write and some mathematics then they can change their life. In addition they can also contribute to the society.

Hence, I request all the organizations working for women and government of Nepal to initial effective programs to help old yet enthusiastic women to learn. They should establish schools meant only for old women in every neighborhood. These schools should be well facilitated with teachers, staffs and educational materials .Teachers should be trained to teach old people because the process of learning is not same for children and adults. There are indeed many women who cannot attend such schools due to economic hostility. The government should bring a program which can respond to this problem.

Also, to all people out there let’s encourage illiterate women around us to join elderly classes and schools and help them to learn because learning and teaching is never late.

Bibhu Bipsan

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