Nepal’s first school awaits reconstruction

- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Kathmandu
Nepal’s first school awaits reconstruction

Aug 28, 2014-

The first school of Nepal, popularly known as Durbar High School, has been in a bad shape, thanks to its 123-year-old physical infrastructure. The roof of this old building is porous. During the monsoon, rain water leaks through the holes, hampering overall academic activities in the school.

In addition, the rear wall is only a pile of bricks as the cement plastered in the wall has come out. The wall guarding the school itself is feeble and adorned by weeds and lichen. “The old windows and doors of the building are in a dilapidated condition,” said Principal Hemchandra Mahato, further painting a grim picture. He said, “Rain water enters the classrooms and this has compelled students to return home without studying.”

“Due to the absence of the door and windows, students find their classroom damp during the monsoon while the cold breeze gives them hard time in the winter,” Mahato added.

It appears that the government, the Ministry of Education, the District Education Office (DEO), the school management committee, teachers and stakeholders are engaged in a ‘blame game’ when it comes to the re-construction of the building.

Saraswati Pokharel, under-secretary at the Ministry of Education, said it is the DEO’s responsibility to carry out maintenance and re-construction of the school.

Basant Kumar Thakuri, a member of the Durbar School Management Committee, said the committee alone can revamp the school.

Thakuri, however, said lack of unity among the committee members has come off worse. Besides this, political interest has found its space in the school, slowing the pace of the school’s advancement.

The school established by Jung Bahadur Rana in 1910 BS in his own palace in Thapathali got its new address when Bir Shumsher shifted it to Ranipokhari in 1948 BS. The school which offered education to the children of Ranas and other elite in the town only until Dev Shumsher made open to public in 1957.

Currently, the school runs classes from nursery to tenth grade and has 250 students. The earthquake in 1990 BS had destroyed its roof and it ran classes in the adjacent Tri-Chandra College for some time.

Mahato acknowledged a school of such national repute is suffering a miserable condition but said it will move forward retaining its legacy.

Published: 29-08-2014 09:17

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