At Limi of Humla district, education is at a standstill. Schools were established decades ago in all three villages of Limi but today the classrooms are empty, not because there are no students but teachers have a poor attendance record. Humlis, who in the past cared little about the school, have begun to doubt the teachers' intentions. They say they come to the village just to show their face once in four months and take their salaries without teaching the children.
Sonam Jigme, ward chairman of Til village 8, has seen the school here since his childhood and says no one has benefited. "There is neither teacher nor students, so how will this school function?" he asks. "Not a single student has passed even Class 1 from this school."
Only few parents value education enough to send their children to Kathmandu or Dharamshala in India, the seat of Dalai Lama's government-in-exile, where they pose as Tibetans to receive facilities. "Our school is nothing more than an empty building," says Jigme.
One of the main problems here is that Nepali is not the mother tongue of the people and there are no provisions for teaching in the Humli language. This just provides teachers with another excuse not to do their jobs. "Even if there is a teacher, we cannot understand a word he says," explains young Pemba Dorje in broken Nepali.
Halji village has had Sunkhani Primary School for over 40 years but not a single generation has passed even the lowest class, says Khenrap Lama. This year, the school received funding and the villagers are planning renovations. "But what's the use when there are no classes?" asks 66-year-old Doche Lama.
Every year, the school is supposed to receive government funds from the district education office under the free education policy. "We haven't seen a single paisa come here," says Karma Tshering, ward chairman of Limi.
Tshering blames the officials at Simikot district headquarters and the teachers for no education in his village. "This year, all the villagers had supported the renovation of the school and extending classrooms but the teacher never came," says Tshering. The school has been closed for the last three months and students are still waiting for their teacher