The digital divide – I by Parwat Portel

Photo: Parwat Portel/

Garima Niraula, 15, was in the middle of the ninth grade when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her school in Jhapa. For three months she didn’t have much to do and worried about her future. Good news came late in June when her school, Dhulabari Secondary School decided to start online classes.

Classes start at 9 AM–she jumps from Nepali classes to Social Science to Science, Mathematics and Accounting. Other than the 20-minute lunch break, she is constantly in front of the laptop. In the evenings, she works on her homework and sends it to her teacher via Facebook messenger. “If the internet goes off, I miss a lot, and I worry about that,” says Garima. Her family makes sure Garima is comfortable and has enough time for her class and homework. “They pay the internet bill on time, they leave me alone to study and I don’t have to do household chores,” adds Garima.

Photo & Text: Parwat Portel @parwatportel7
Edits: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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