Buried hopes as school, pupils vanish

- Rishiram Poudel, Chahana Sigdel, Sindhupalchowk
Buried hopes as school, pupils vanish

Aug 9, 2014-

Rubbles and ruins remain of what was once the building of Bansanghu Secondary School. There’s nothing left now, says school founding member Indra Lal Shrestha, standing among the concrete piles.

The August 2 landslide at Mankha VDC of Sindhu-palchok district flattened the school located at Damsite area. “We had children from Damsite, Jure, Itini and Tekanapur studying in the school. Not only did we lose the school, but also our students on the night of the disaster,” said Shrestha.   

At least 35 students who attended the school died in the incident. According to Purna Chandra Adhikari, one of the school teachers, he had himself notified the authorities the names of the 26 children he knew missing in the landslide. “Bansan-ghu was one of the top schools in Sindhupalchok. We had the best students,” Adhikari said.

After the school was destroyed in the landslide, the school management and the parents are planning to resume the classes.  On Friday, parents, teachers and other local organisations in the district held a meeting to discuss about setting up a temporary learning centre.

Krishna Prasad Acharya, resource person at the District Education Office, said they have narrowed down to two possible locations. “The final decision will be taken on August 16. Safety is the main concern. Both the locations are far up the river,” he said.

While primary and secondary students will be accommodated in the temporary centre, students from grades 9 and 10 will be adjusted in schools nearby.

Along with the safety of the children, Acharya said, they were also focused on minimising the trauma the children had suffered.  “We don’t want the children to be reminded of the incident every time they come to school,” said Acharya. “The site of the landslide should not be visible.”

Save the Children and its local branches will provide technical and financial support while a permanent location will be decided after a few months.

Published: 10-08-2014 09:33

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