Many schools can’t reopen

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 7, 2015-

The April 25 earthquake has damaged most of the school buildings in districts outside Kathmandu Valley.

The government plans to reopen schools in the quake-hit districts from May 15, but without safe place for the students to learn, the possibility of these schools reopening is highly unlikely.

 Most of the school buildings in Chitwan district have been damaged. As a result, the District Education Office (DEO) said, studies of thousands of students have been affected.

Uttam Bhatta, teacher of Rashtriya Primary School, said they have been running the daily classes in two rooms that are relatively safer than others. The school building has developed many cracks and could give way anytime.

Rupa Pandey, the school’s headmaster, said the school cannot go on operating in its current situation. “It would be a lot easier for both the teachers and the students if the authorities only built temporary bamboo classrooms,” Bhatta said.

District Education Officer Damodar Acharya said around 60 percent school buildings in Chitwan have been damaged.

In Makwanpur, the earthquake destroyed 11 school buildings and caused damage in many as 162 schools. There are a total of 520 government schools in the district.

Similarly, 97 percent schools in Nawalparasi have been damaged. According to District Education Officer Khadak Bahadur Kamal, seven schools had collapsed as a result of the earthquake.

Bijay Development Resource Centre has pledged 30 tents to those schools whose buildings were destroyed in the quake.

Chief District Officer Hari Mainali said that he has already requested the centre to proved the budget to reconstruct the school buildings.  

In Dolakha district, nearly 90 percent of the schools have been damaged by the Great Quake, according to the initial report of the District Education Office.

District Education Officer Lok Bahadur Lopchan said 75 out of 82 higher secondary and secondary schools, 70 out of 76 lower secondary schools and 200 out of 218 primary schools have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. Lopchan said that they need around 3,000 tents to resume classes in the quake-hit schools.

Similar is the situation of the schools in Sindhupalchok and Gorkha districts. In Sindhupalchok, almost all school buildings in the northern region, including Golche, Gumba, Pangtang, Hagam, Baruwa, Baskharka, Bhotang, Gunsa, Helambu have been damaged or destroyed.

According to the preliminary assessment, 2,000 out of 2,347 classrooms in the district have been destroyed while the others have been deemed unsafe.

Similarly in Gorkha, 3,052 out of 4,600 classrooms have been destroyed.

Janardan Rijal, assistant district education officer, said though the government aims to resume the classes in the quake-hit districts from May 15, it is impossible because nearly 400 out of 495 schools in the district have lost their buildings.


(With input from our correspondents in Chitwan, Makwanpur, Dolakha, Sindhupalchok and Gorkha)


Published: 08-05-2015 09:18

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