Nepal U16 cricket team members Rohan BK and Prashant KC had two choices to decide on. Either to appear for Secondary Education Examination (SEE) or to travel to Kathmandu all the way from Rajbiraj to play for national level U16 school cricket tournament: gateway to Nepal U16 national team.
The passion for cricket in Nepal is no less than in any Test playing nations. A national level U16 school cricket tournament held at TU cricket ground in Kirtipur from 31st of March to 8th of April was sanctioned by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS). Unfortunately, these young cricketers had to sacrifice their Secondary Education Examination held from 24th of March to 4th of April. However, they performed well and succeeded to grab their spot at Nepal U16 team to participate in ACC U-16 Eastern Region Cricket Tournament from April 18 to 29 in Thailand. Though, these two young cricketers still have very important unfinished business to complete: appear for SEE examinations one year later.
“I had a very big decision to make, very hard one. I wanted to play cricket, but exams were as important as my cricket. It was an opportunity I would hardly get to march forward to represent my nation at U16 level. I consulted with my father and thankfully he supported me to chase my dreams. I want to appear my SEE exam as sooner as possible. I don’t want to lose my studies for a complete year”, said Rohan.
“I want to play cricket but I don’t want to terminate my studies this early. It was so unfortunate that I had to take such a big decision at this young age. Luckily, we succeeded to make a spot at national U16 team”, Prashant said.
Young players shouldn’t be deprived of their educational rights while participating in sports tournaments & compaigns. This is not just the case with Cricket but also with all other sports. The sports governing bodies must be accountable on the fundamental rights of the players while planning such major tournaments. Our society and system should not create such circumstances to settle on either sports or education.
Meanwhile in India, The University of Mumbai has offered to appear in special exam for students who miss their exams for Sports. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports should also analyse and plan about the career of our players who serve our nation. Playing for a nation is as equivalent to working as a civil servant. We must allow the students who are involved in sporting tournaments to appear for exams at a later time. Such initiatives are the stepping stones for Nepal to become a sporting country one day.
Several universities in sporting nations have provisions of appearing in exams prior or subsequent to the tournaments, provide athletic scholarships and provide support to students involved in sports activities. I hope the concerned authorities come up with these initiatives as soon as possible to support and motivate players from different sports.