In association with
Logo Logo Logo

Age no bar for education: 68yo man is tenth grader at western Nepal school


PHEDIKHOLA, (REUTERS): Nepali grandfather Durga Kami brushes his bushy white beard, puts on his school uniform and, with the aid of his walking stick, trudges for over an hour to class for another day of learning.

Poverty prevented Kami finishing his studies as a child and achieving his goal of becoming a teacher.

Now 68, the father of six and grandfather of eight goes to school six days a week to complete his studies and escape a lonely home life following the death of his wife.

Walking into the Shree Kala Bhairab higher secondary school and the buzz created by 200 children is a welcome contrast to the hush of the isolated one-room home, with its leaking roof and frequent power cuts, where Kami lives in Syangja district, some 250 km (155 miles) west of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.

“To forget my sorrows I go to school,” Kami, one of the oldest students in Nepal, told Reuters in the classroom where he studies alongside 14 and 15-year-olds.

Kami, whose children have all left his hilltop home, first went to Kaharay primary school where he learnt to read and write with the seven and eight year olds before leaving after finishing grade five with the 11-year-olds.

Shree Kala Bhairab teacher D.R Koirala then invited Kami to his school, which provided the grandfather with stationary and a school uniform including grey trousers, blue striped tie and white shirt.

“This is my first experience teaching a person who is as senior as my father’s age,” Koirala said. “I feel very excited and happy.”

The school scholarship does not stretch to cover food, though, meaning Kami’s breakfast of rice with a fermented green vegetable known as ‘Gundruk’ must sustain him until dinner.

DurgaThe 20 children in his grade 10 class have dubbed Kami ‘Baa’, which means ‘father’ in Nepali, but despite his age their elderly class mate joins in all activities, including volleyball in the schoolyard.

“I used to think ‘why is this old man coming to school to study with us?’ but as time passed I enjoyed his company,” Kami’s 14-year-old class mate Sagar Thapa said.

“He is a little bit weak in studies compared to us but we help him out with that.”

Kami said he wanted to studying until his death, adding he hoped it would encourage others to ignore age obstacles.

“If they see an old person with white beard like me studying in school they might get motivated as well,” he said.

(A teacher helps Durga Kami (68), who is studying in the tenth grade at the Shree Kala Bhairab Higher Secondary School, to fill his registration form to apply for the upcoming School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinations, in Syangja, on June 6, 2016. Photo: Reuters)

Comment here !
Related News

Election campaigns are rarely the place to look for reasoned geopolitical analysis, and the 2020 US presidential election was no

By Elizabeth Lee, LOS ANGELES:- On the day U.S. President Joe Biden took office, he began dismantling former President Donald

It is easy to forget that for a long time – long before Google and Facebook went head-to-head with the

NAIROBI, (AFP):- At least 20 people drowned after smugglers threw dozens of migrants overboard during a crossing between Djibouti and