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Child

“It has never been easy for a teacher. We have always been left out and under appreciated. For the last 17 years I have chosen the most remote areas to teach. Yes, the rural allowance helps with the family expenses but it is nothing compared to the time I have lost with my family. I really want to make a change. The struggle for me teaching in these communities is mostly to do with me being an outsider, from a different setting and culture, from a different ethnicity and language. Once during a final exams, I caught a student cheating. I took his answer sheet and told him that he will not be able to sit for exams anymore and that disciplinary action will be taken. That night as I was about to have my dinner, a man came shouting – “How dare you fail my son? You come to our place and show us your ways. I am here to kill you. Come out.” I was really afraid for my life. He had a Khukuri swinging. But I joined my hands in front of him and said – “Sir, please forgive me and spare my life. I did not mean to offend you. Let me have my food and sleep for one more night. I beg you to come to the school tomorrow and you can do anything you want to me. But please spare me for tonight.” He left but he was really angry. Next morning I went to the school and nervously waited for him. He stormed into the principal’s office and raised the issue. He asked the principal of the school, “Does this man have the right to expel my son from the exam? Who does he think he is coming into our village and do as he please?” The principal was able to calm him down and told him it was my right as a teacher to take disciplinary action and that cheating was an offence. The man was not satisfied but he could not do anything in front of the others. He left. After sometime, I met the man on my way to school. He came to me and he told me how he was afraid his son’s life would be ruined if he could not appear for his exams. He accepted that cheating was not the way. He said, “I am sorry, sir. Please forgive me. I do not know how to act or react. When I heard that you had expelled my son fear gripped me. My son would now live the same difficult life like I have and I did not want that for him. Fear blinded me sir. I hope you forgive me and my son.” I told him, “Send your son to my house, I will help him with his exams. We will go through the chapters together and he can sit for a re-test but he cannot cheat.” The man happily left and finally I breathed a sigh of relief and headed towards my school.” (Chaindra Khatiwada, Budhabare, Jhapa. Met him in Lelep, Taplejung)