Friday, 7 May, 2021

Muslim women deprived of higher secondary education


By Our Correspondent, Inaruwa, Apr. 16: Koshi Rural Municipality-5 of the district lies at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters Inaruwa.

Despite its close proximity to the district headquarter, there aren’t any educational institutions providing classes above grade X.

As a result, girls from Muslim community of the municipality are deprived of higher secondary education after completing their Secondary Education Examination (SEE).

Sahida Pravin of Lahi, a Muslim settlement in the municipality, is now confined to her home with no future prospects in sight. She is keen to continue her formal education but is sad to have her hands tied.

“There are no options here, and my parents are reluctant to send me away from home to study grade 11 and 12. There are abundant opportunities in Nepal, but I am simply not allowed to seek them,” she said. 

Another aspirant Anjum Khatun of Kumyahi Hoodki Tole also echoes Sahida’s sentiments. She wants to be well-educated and harbours a dream to hold a government job. “I want to serve the country as a civil servant. But I fear that if I am stuck here, my ambitions will never get the wings it deserves,” added Anjum.

According to local journalist Mustak Alam, there are over 1,000 Muslim girls under the age of 18 from nearby villages including Sreepur, Jabdi, Hali and Kumyahi, all of whom are now unable to carry on with their academic studies.

“Muslim students are still deprived of access to education due to lack of public awareness among Bengali (Maldaihiya) Muslims in the community and in absence of schools and campuses nearby,” stated journalist Alam.

Pravej Alam, a teacher of the community, further elaborated that there are no higher secondary level schools and campuses in any of the five wards of the local level. “Even in this age, it’s preposterous that the students who are willing to study do not have the platform to do so,” he added.

What’s deeply concerning is that the local authorities have been turning a blind eye to the entire issue, claims tutor Alam. “The local government has been neglecting the Madarsha Muslim education system,” he said.

Anita Yadav, Deputy Head of the rural municipality, expressed her commitment to take forward the programme of higher education in Muslim community in coordination with concerned stakeholders.

Yadav also appealed to the stakeholders to chime in to solve the problem of the rural municipality.