Sindhu schools face enrolment drought

- Rishiram Poudel, CHAUTARA

May 26, 2015-In wake of the massive April 25 earthquake, schools have been facing a difficult time finding and enrolling students. As most school buildings in Sindhupalchok district have been damaged by the earthquake, uncertainty looms over the resumption of classes.

At least 12,000 students from various schools in the district are out of contact since the earthquake.

The quake claimed the lives of 11 students from Chandika Secondary School in a remote settlement of Baruwa VDC while those who survived have fled to safer locations. Hardly 20 students at Kodari Higher Secondary School are in contact after the disaster . Before the earthquake, the school was attended by around 700 students.

The government has classified Ripar, Bolgaun, Soonchaur, Gangkharka, Wangdang, Dale and Bathro settlements of Baruwa VDC and Larke of Bhortang VDC as high-risk areas. In the wake, a majority of the residents from these settlements have started migrating to other locations. On Sunday alone, 24 people left their homes in search for safer locations.

None among the 34 private schools in the district are in a condition to resume classes. According Rishi Nepal, district secretary of Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal, around 14,000 children used to study in those schools. As per preliminary reports, 71 students from these schools lost their lives in the quake. Nepal said that the figures could rise in the coming days.

Stating that the private schools should also be entitled to the government’s assistance in the first phase, Nepal said that they needed tarpaulins, tents and other educational materials and were preparing to resume schools even though they do not have a building.

To facilitate education to the children, the District Education Office (DEO) has come up with an alternative, according to which the students will be taught at the location they were taking shelter. “If there are significant number of students at one location, we will conduct the classes on site,” said officer Dilnath Puri at the DEO.

Gorkha gears up to resume schools

GORKHA: Even when almost all of the schools in the district have sustained heavy damages, the DEO has been making preparations to re-open them from next Sunday. “We have asked the teachers to attend schools from May 25,”said District Education Officer Hari Aryal, adding that they planned to start the campaign to mitigate the fear of disasters from the minds of the children. Apart from constructing makeshift structures, the District Disaster Relief Committee and Nepal Red Cross Society have provided tents to 365 schools. Of the total 495 schools, 400 have been damaged by the quake. (PR)

Dhading schools unsure

DHADING: Local NGOs and NRCS in Dhading, with assistance from Unicef, World Education, and Save the Children, have been conducting entertainment programmes for children to divert their minds from the chaos and misery. Almost all of the 527 schools in Dhading have sustained damages. According to Chief District Officer (CDO) Basudev Ghimire, also the chairperson of District Child Welfare Board, 138 boys and 116 girls aged below 18 had lost their lives in the quake.

Stakeholders have urged the government to take stock of the situation and make proper arrangements and not to rush the decision. Although the government has decided to resume schools from May 31, there has not been any further notice. (PR)

Published: 27-05-2015 07:21

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