Kathmandu, Lalitpur DEOs yet to finish school safety assessment

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Jun 6, 2015-

The district education offices (DEOs) of Kathmandu and Lalitpur are yet to complete the safety assessment of school buildings damaged by the April 25 earthquake, though the classes resumed one week ago.  

In Kathmandu district, the assessment teams have completed inspecting all public schools and only 750 private schools. There are 1,050 private schools in Kathmandu, which means 300 schools still need to undergo safety assessment.

Out of 1,870 buildings owned by 750 private schools which were assessed in Kathmandu, 1,150 buildings were declared safe and given green stickers. The remaining 720 buildings were deemed unsafe and given red stickers.    

Similarly, out 804 buildings of 280 public schools assessed so far, 530 buildings were flagged green (safe) while 274 buildings were marked red (unsafe).

Dinesh Kumar Shrestha ,district education officer of Kathmandu, said the assessment of the remaining schools will complete by Wednesday.

The Kathmandu DEO blamed inadequate number of the experts as the main reason behind the delay in the assessment. “The number of technicians are very low compared to the amount of work,” said Giridhar Mishra, chief of engineering department in Kathmandu.

He said the problem emerged after the private firms that were supporting DEO’s in the inspection quit before completing the job.

In Lalitpur, the assessment teams have completed examining 205 of the 269 private schools. Sixty-four schools were yet to be inspected as of Friday.

Among the 634 school buildings assessed so far, 517 buildings were given green stickers while 117 buildings got red markings.

Unlike three safety categories for residential and commercial buildings, the Department of Education had directed the DEOs to categorise the school buildings with either red or green stickers, to ensure maximum safety of the students. In Bhaktapur, 94 out of 129 public schools got green stickers. Similarly, 45 out of 169 private schools got red stickers; the remaining 124 schools were declared safe.

After one month of closure, all schools in 14 worst-hit districts resumed their classes from May 31. Schools that were marked unsafe started their classes by setting up makeshift classrooms.

The Ministry of Education on Friday had directed all the DEOs to complete the assessment soon and ensure that students are taught in safe buildings.

Published: 07-06-2015 08:09

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