If children in Nepal are able to attend school, there is a big challenge waiting for them: The language challenge. There are approximately 123 different Nepalese languages or dialects in Nepal. Though the official language in Nepal is Nepali, it is spoken by only 44% of the population as their mother tongue. For the rest of the population Nepali is a foreign language. At School, children are mostly taught either in their local language or in English, but don’t receive a proper education in Nepali.
As a result, children often don’t possess a sufficiant knowledge of their own country’s official language even after having graduaded from school. This leads to many disadvanteges concerning their access to employment, literature, movies, media, information and entertainment. Often especially children from already disadvantaged minority backgrounds are affected by this problem. To find a good place in society and get a decent job they have to learn the official language as a foreign one, different from their mother tongue. This is the only way they will ever be able to communicate with everyone in their country and, in particular, to deal with authorities.
As Roots for Life we will emphasize this aspect within our individual scholarships and faciliate our supported children to achieve good language competences in Napali as well. The organization Career Disha Nepal stands up for Nepali as a language being taught at schools in Nepal (among other fields of action) and seeks to strengthen its role beside Nepal’s different dialects and English.