By Thakur Prasad Acharya,Beni, Mar. 31: Bishnu Gurung was in grade eight when her parents got her married. Now, she is a 49-year-old mother who looks after her children, family, and a giant nettle business.
A resident of Beni Municipality, Myagdi, Gurung is now preparing to pass the Secondary Education Examination (SEE), which is starting from Friday (March 31) with good grades.
"After my children grew up and completed their high-level education, I started having a free time. I then decided to utilise the free time to complete the education that I left years ago. I also plan to continue my study after passing the SEE," said Gurung.
Similar to Gurung, many mothers of Beni Municipality are now preparing for the SEE. The mothers thank the Ujyalo Alternative School of Beni for providing an opportunity to continue their education despite their old age.
The school was established six years ago as a part of Beni Community Secondary School as an alternative institution for adult women who were unable to complete school education for various reasons.
Since then, mothers from other local levels than Beni have also been enrolling on the school.
According to the school, nine mothers are appearing at the SEE from the institution this year.
Speaking at a farewell programme organised by the school on Wednesday, 57-year-old Radha Pun, a resident of Raghuganga Rural Municipality, said, "My sons and daughters have already passed the SEE. Now it's my turn."
"My childhood passed grazing cattle and I got married at a very young age. My children have already completed school level education. Now, they are supporting and motivating me to complete my education," said 50-year-old Dil Kumar Purja, a permanent resident of Ward No. 1 of Raghuganga, now temporarily living in Beni.
Along with Gurung, Pun and Purja, Sangita Chhinal, 35; Dhan Kumari BK, 39; Ram Devi Pun, 40; Indramati Phagami, 37; Puja Chhantyal, 28; and Tul Kumari Khatri, 52, will be appearing in the SEE exams from the school.
"The alternative school is being operated by some money provided by Beni Municipality and the remaining is collected as donation. If the government managed posts of teachers in the school and assisted in its operation, it could help many mothers to obtain formal education ," said Rajesh Shakya, chairman of the school's management committee.