Thu Nov 17 2022
- Name: Samjhana Mijar
- District: Dolakha
- Training Name: Dual-Vet Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering
- Training Start Date:
- Training Duration: 24 months
- Age: 23 years old
Samjhana Mijar was not sure what she wanted to pursue after high school. Her mother suggested she join a nursing college but she was not sure about the career. When she shared her dilemma with her aunt, she suggested that she join a diploma course in Electrical Engineering in Kathmandu along with other youths from her village. Her elder brother, who was already doing a diploma course in Vocational Education Training, was aware of the prospects of technical education and vocational training in Nepal. He also fully supported the idea and encouraged her.
With encouragement from her family members and the hope to build a successful career, Samjhana moved to Kathmandu got herself enrolled in the Dual VET-Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering which was launched in 2018 with the support of ENSSURE project. It is a 24-months course where apprentices gain institute-based learning for the first three-and-half months and work in a related industry to get hands-on learning.
When the training began, theory classes were okay but in the practical classes, they had to perform bench work which included scrubbing metal. This needed energy, precision, and patience. Samjhana usually got exhausted at the end of the day doing all that work. Samjhana recalls regretting her decision a few days into the training because of this. In fact, she had even thought of quitting the course and returning home. Her brother, however, asked her to take some time before deciding and encouraged her to continue saying it was a field of high career prospects. After some time, she got used to the practical work.
Samjhana and her six classmates were sent to Microtech Pvt. Ltd. for their apprenticeship to do wiring in an under-construction Hotel at the Chhaya Centre, Thamel. “There was no lift and my workstation was on the 13th floor. We had no option but to climb the stairs. My mood plummeted as we kept going up the building.”, Samjhana shared with a smile. However, her supervisor was very supportive and caring. He provided engaging work and was considerate about her reservations against climbing high spots and entering narrow places. In no time, climbing up to the 13-14th floor and down to the store room underground became routine work for her. “I now realize that any difficult work becomes a common action if you persevere,” she said. Samjhana received around Rs. 3000 per month during her apprenticeship.
Even though she received full support from the staff, some of them disapproved of such career for girls and were sometimes overt about it. While these remarks did make her doubt her decision to continue but she was able to brush them aside soon.
“I understand that this is just the beginning and there will be a lot of challenges ahead of me. Such voices would be louder once we start working. But my supervisor keeps motivating me by saying that if we work diligently, there are plenty of opportunities in this field irrespective of gender” says Samjhana. She further adds,“I am aware of my career path, possible challenges and opportunities and I am quite happy that I did not quit”. She plans to start her own business in future and be established as a skilled personnel in this sector.