Bridge Class links Government SOP Class
There is a cluster of 120 families of RanaTharus in ward no 10 of Dhangadhi Municipality of Kalali district in Far-west Tarai of Nepal. Many of the children of school going age were out of the school. One of the obvious reason was there was no school in the community or the one in nearby. Even among those who went to the school the drop out rate was very high. There was no single RanaTharu schoolteacher form that particular village.
Against such backdrop, we started woking some two years ago in Nawadurga School, Jugeda to check the drop out rates. But, we virtually failed, however, learned some lessons. We then visited the families of those out of school children, aged 7-10 years. The responses from the families were various. Then, t team of Aasaman in Kailali had a meeting and decided to conduct a household survey, with the approach of each child monitoring in prospect.
Household survey revealed that 80 children aged 5 years or above had never been to school. The main reason reported was the distance to the school; it was far for the small children. We shared thefindings to the District Education Office and Resource Center. Realizing the problem, the DEOwas then willing to support us, the Aasaman Nepal, to start the bridge classes for those children. After a month, we shared the progress to DEO. 80 students participated in the bridge class but only one teacher with limited resources.The DEO then provided us with one support teacher and books. Five more students joined the course even after two months.
In one of the regular parent meetings, we discussed the progress as well as the limitation of the resources, then the parents decided to provide one support teacher from community. We constructed a small temporary hut like structure made of wood and straw. A Bridge Class Management Committee was formed. Now, there were three teachers teaching on a regular basis. Students were regular in the class. Aasaman Nepal kept on supporting with reading and writing materials: books, copies, pencils, eraser and sharpener.
After 10 months, during the evaluation, 64 students made such a progress that no one involved in the process had expected to that level.
After the first phase, parents were now ready to send their children to school in whichever the class they deserved. And, also decided to continue the bridge class.
Bridge Class Management Committee has purchased 2 katha of land for the regular bridge class. The children graduated from bridge course were enrolled in Nawadurga School following the enrollment campaign 2070.
Now, parents support to Bridge classes; send their children (age 4 yrs. above) to bridge class. Help children to get prepared for the classes. Consequently, all children of school going age are regular in the bridge class or in the schools.
DEO, RP, Nawadurga School SMC and HT accepted the request of Aasaman to include students in their second Flash Report. As an appreciation DEO provided tiffin box, books and uniforms to the children for this year, too. DEO visited the community and committed to support regularly. More importantly, the government gave permission to establish a new primary school in the vicinity.