Print Edition - 2015-06-11  |  Earthquake Relief

Nagarkot school sees a new day

- Anup Ojha, Bhaktapur
Nagarkot school sees a new day

Jun 10, 2015-

Suntali Tamang, a fourteen-year-old ninth-grader of Shree Mahakhali Secondary School in Nagarkot, and her friends feel things are getting better at school now. Their school, which was badly damaged in the Great Quake, will be resuming classes as eight classrooms—made up of wood, corrugated zince plate and bricks—have been built.

The project to build new classrooms for the school was initiated by the Nagarkot Youth Society. The rebuilding was coordinated by Hari Sharan Lamichhane, who is a senior news editor at Radio Nepal and a native of the area.

The three buildings of Mahakali Secondary School were reduced to rubble in the Great Quake of April 25 and its subsequent aftershocks.

Tamang, along with 410 other students of the school, had not been able to attend classes even after the government had called for educational institutions in the country to resume classes from May 31 as the school did not have space to accommodate students.

“After the quake, we were running classes in morning- and day-shifts because there wasn’t enough space to run classes. But now, the classes will go smoothly; I am really thankful to the youth society   and all the stakeholders who have helped us,” said Pramila Thapa, the principal of the school.   

Students of the school  have  also been involved in building the new classrooms. A group of tenth-graders, for example,  have been ferrying building material.

“We have been studying here since class one and we had not been able to give anything back to the school, till now. But this time, each of us helped by carrying mud and supplying bricks while the classrooms were being built,” said Jolly Tamang.

On Wednesday, the society had organised the inaugural programme of the new building in the school premises. The youth society members, along with the donors, the school staff and the students were present during the event. A few popular singers and performers were also present. Comedian Manoj Gajurel shared some of his jokes, while singers Komal Oli and Kamal Khatri and actress Sushma Adhikari also entertained the children with their performances. The idea was to celebrate a new start as well as to help the school students overcome the trauma that the disasters has inflicted.

Anil Gurung, one of the members of the youth society, said that they had spent the collected sum of Rs 600,000 for the rebuilding work, for which local carpenters volunteered help. “A few friends and I had been to the school to clean up the debris on the school-opening day (May 31), but the building was in no way fit to run classes in as most of it had collapsed. We even consulted with the school’s principal, but she didn’t know what to do,” said Anil Gurung. With the help of two friends, Nabin Gurung and Raju Gurung, they started the rebuilding campaign and completed the work in 10 days.  “The scale of local participation was unexpected; everybody wanted to help,” said Anil Gurung. And thepeople of Ward no 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Nagarkot provided free labour, he said.

Andrew Duncan, a citizen of the United States, who has been living in Nepal for some time, provided 45 bundles of corrugated zinc sheets to the school, while Into the World, an international organisation,  donated Rs 25,000 worth of stationery supllies during the opening function. “We have been amazed the work put in by the local community to establish the new building. Scores of school buildings have been destroyed all over the country. If we could involve locals in a similar manner in other places as well, this could bring about great change,” said Lamichhane.

Published: 11-06-2015 09:17

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