Temblors throw academic programmes into disarray

  • Earthquake Terror
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu
Temblors throw academic programmes into disarray

May 13, 2015-The academic calendar from school to university levels has been jeopardised by the devastating earthquake and strong aftershocks that rocked the country.

All the academic programmes which were put off after the April 25 earthquake have been further delayed by another two weeks, while the examinations from Higher Secondary to Masters Levels have been postponed indefinitely.

Following a strong aftershock measuring a 7.3-magnitude that rattled a number of districts in the central region on Tuesday, the government has decided to close all the schools until May-end. Earlier it had directed the schools to resume classes from May 15.

The Tribhuvan University (TU), the country’s largest and oldest university, on Wednesday decided to postpone all the examinations of Bachelors and Masters while extending the shut down till June 5. The Kathmandu University (KU), the second largest university in the country, which had resumed its classes on Monday, extended the closure date till June 13 after the powerful aftershock.

Similarly, the examinations of grade 11 and 12 that should have been completed by this time in the normal situation are still uncertain. The postponement of the exams means a delay in result publication, leaving the students looking to pursue higher studies aboard staring at one more year.

Around 8.4 million students, including 541,000 from universities, have been studying from pre-primary to Masters Level. “The mega disaster will definitely affect our academic calendar but we will try to adjust it by reducing our festive vacations,” said Khagendra Nepal, spokesperson at the Department of Education. He said that as both the students and teachers are still in trauma due to continuous jolts, it is not safe to resume the classes.

The ministry has directed all the academic institutions across the country to give psychological counselling to the teachers before resuming the classes. It has also asked those teachers to allocate a week’s time for similar counseling to their wards.

It has also instructed all the private schools to carry out thorough inspections of their buildings and resume classes only after confirming that they do not pose any risk to students.

According to the Department of Education, 15,003 classrooms of 5,800 public schools in 44 districts have been destroyed by the earthquake, while causing damage to 500 buildings of the private schools.

Sixteen departments of TU including the office of vice-chancellor, rector, registrar, Examination Controller’s Office have been reduced to rubble. Similarly, 14 constituent colleges and around 250 affiliated colleges have sustained varying degrees of damage.

Published: 14-05-2015 09:50

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