A 61-year-old grandmother is in the same class as her grandson at Madanpur VDC of Nuwakot. Chandra Kumari Wagle and Sushil even share the same bench in grade five at Chanda Devi Primary School. Chandra says, "My grandson Sushil helps me with homework, and I help him with whatever I know. English is very difficult."
Chandra Kumari regrets not educating her children. "If I had educated them, they might have been teachers in this school but in my time we believed those who studied English became disrespectful and took to drinking. My son's peers have all done so well, but he is still tilling the fields," she told us. Danga Ra, her eldest son, never set a foot in a school but willingly supports his mother's education. Chandra was motivated by the sheer joy of learning. "I plan to stay in school as long as this old body supports me," she says. Hari Sharan Pandey, the acting principal at the school does not give her any special treatment. "She is treated like any other student," he says, "but due to her age she cannot grasp things as easily as her younger classmates." Not that it deters the granny. She finished 20th out of 25 students in the last exams, but takes pride in never having failed a grade since she joined school.