36 enthusiast housewives from the Changjiji community in Thimphu have enrolled themselves in the free literacy classes provided by Read Model Center under Read Bhutan in Changjiji.
The center provides one hour class, four times a week. The class has been divided into basic and advance categories with 24 and 12 students respectively.
43-year-old Pema Wangmo, a mother of five children said she has lot of expectations from the classes as she has shown substantial progress with just 12 sessions.
“This class has immensely benefitted me and I want to learn further to a level where I can fill up any forms independently, like banks or children’s school forms,” she said. She said the class is fun as she gets to study with her friends who are also illiterate.
However, there are housewives who face difficulty in learning and have to put in more effort.
35-year-old Deki Chezom said despite all her interest or effort, she still faces difficulty in writing in English. “I will be more than happy if I could at least read short stories through the class,” she said.
Like any other illiterate housewife, Karma, 40, also wishes that she can read any sign boards without having to seek help from others and wishes to attend the classes till the end.
“After attending the classes, now I can identify the letters though it is difficult to read,” said 37- year- old Tashi Choden. 22-year-old Nima from Trashigang who couldn’t study due to poor background and remained illiterate has also enrolled herself into the free literary class.
She babysits her niece and often brings her niece to the classes. She said it is challenging for her to learn due to the distraction.
The center’s coordinator and teacher Dorji Wangchuk said, “Teaching is quite challenging since they have no basic for they have never been to school, and therefore we are going slow with them by covering only one lesson in an hour’s class since it will be a burden on them.”
He said it has been three weeks for basic classes and four months for advance classes and that there has been good progress.
Other than free literacy classes for housewives in the community, the center also has library section, ICT section, children’s room, audio visual room where documentary and some animation movies are shown.
Apart from that the centre provides free tuition class for class X in collaboration with Changjiji School.
The center was started on 11 November 2012 and as of now there are 754 members with the center.
The center’s main focus is on the programs like women empowerment, education, early childhood development and Information Communication Technology.
Read Bhutan is a non-profit organization working to build libraries and community resource centers in rural parts of the country. There are five Read Centers across the country in Punakha, Trashigang, Sarpang, Bumthang and Thimphu. Read Bhutan was established in 2008 in Bhutan.