| May 1, 2017
Education Vs Marriage in Nepal
Interaction with pupils and parents
School attendance of the girls in the scheme has gradually improved in the last two months. In fact, it was the best since 2009. All the girls except five attended school eighty percent of the school days and above. The five girls have some complicated family issues, and we are working on it. People in the community do not give priority to education for girls, especially in rural villages of Nepal.
Once girls are fourteen, their parents start searching a suitable groom because the parents believe that they have to do so. If the parents failed to find a groom for their daughter, then it affects their social status in the community. More importantly, if the parents died before it, then it’s a sin. Girls and boys, more particularly girls in the community are not allowed to choose their own partner. It is a responsibility of parents and, the parents negotiate for a large sum of wealth from marriage. It is known as dowry and Bride side pays to Groom side.
Girls in the community have to pass through a very critical stage when they are aged between 14 and 16 years. It is a decision-making stage for life. One of the five girls in our education scheme is at that stage, and her name is Nilam. If Nilam goes with her parent’s decision, then it is an end to her education career. If she doesn’t then she is a bad girl and, it is seen as a bad parenting in the community.
If Nilam parents do permit her to continue her education, then her school is too far to walk. At age fourteen pupils in Nepal start their secondary schooling, and secondary schools are few and far. It is certain that if she doesn’t go to school regularly, then she will lose an interest and end up working in the home which ultimately leads to marring someone as soon as.
Very few lucky girls get an opportunity to continue their education after marriage because their new role demands more than she can manage. So, she won’t have time to study. After marriage, Nilam more probably will work non-stop from early morning till late night in her new home. Cooking, washing, working in the field, looking after cattle, taking care of her husband and his parents, it’s all her job.
By now we understand the issue clearly and concisely, therefore, NVF has set up a priority frame-work, where to put more focus, how and when. There are eleven girls in a very similar situation to Nilam. If we want them to continue attending school regularly, then a bicycle is an immediate need. This will enable them to attend school regularly and minimise the risk to getting married soon. Schooling for the year has already begun from 12th of April, and we are still unable to provide a bicycle for the girls. A bicycle costs only £60/$90 in Nepal. Please buy a bicycle today. Link to the bicycle project on GlobalGiving is- https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/give-a-bicycle-to-girls-in-nepal-to-attend-school/
If you can please also sponsor a girl, it costs only £50/$75 a year, providing uniform, study materials, fees and all the support.