I have been working with Shree Rastriya Secondary School in Taranagar, Dhangadi. The school teaches up to grade 8, has almost 500 students and 14 teachers. The situation in this school is similar to all the government schools in this area: the infrastructure of the building is weak, the school has little to no supply of stationary materials for the students. Most of the students are of dalit and tharu community, which are two of the most marginalized groups in Nepal. Almost 70 percent of the students are girls. This is because most families tend to send their sons to private schools where the standard of education is much higher, but girls are relegated to studying in government school where education is free. I have heard some girls tell me that they have to drop their younger brother off at boarding school every morning, before they themselves can come to the government schools- so they are always late for school. Even though it is good that all girls are gaining some form of literacy education, boys’ education is still considered most important by families.
I taught/observed Nepali and other classes taught by teachers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Even in the class setting, boys are more active and engaged, as they have always been encouraged to study and speak up, however, girls are usually super shy, huddled in groups, and rarely speak out in classes.
We set up a computer lab and installed four computers, and a printer. I start teaching computer classes starting tomorrow.