Students displaced by quake, landslides miss their classes

- Harihar Singh Rathour, DHADING

Jun 29, 2015-Schoolchildren in remote Sertung VDC-1 in the district have been compelled to relocate to other areas due to threats of landslides and mudslides even before this academic year’s textbooks had reached their hands . As a result, their studies have been badly affected.

A third grader at a local school, Prem Bahadur Tamang, who is the best student in his class, had to move around with his parents from village to village looking for a safe place to stay and has been unable to go to school that has reopened after the devastating earthquake.  

Likewise, Prem’s classmates Chandan Ghale and Prerana Tamang, who also excel in academics, are currently in Dhading Besi, the district headquarters, two months after the Great Earthquake of April 25, leaving their studies altogether.

Upon the instruction of Acting Chief District Officer Toran Prasad Parajuli, District Disaster Management Committee has made necessary arrangements for earthquake-displaced people to take shelter at a playground in Alchhidanda.

Around 58 quake and landslide displaced families with 128 children in total have pitched tarpaulin tents in the playground.

“As the water level in the Hindung River rose significantly following heavy rains, and threatened to trigger landslides and mudslides that could possibly destroy our village, we fled to this place,” Surya Tamang of Hindung, who was appointed secretary of the newly constructed camp at Alchhidanda, said.

A primary school in his village is yet to come into operation after shutting down following the earthquake due to scarcity of construction materials in the district. Two teachers of the school who have their homes in the district headquarters have also not returned after the earthquake. After instances of landslides increased dramatically, 96 houses of Sertung-1 have been completely abandoned by their owners. As of Saturday, 58 families from Sertung have reached Dhading Besi to find food and shelter while 40 families have been stranded midway owing to landslips blocking their way.

Out of 90 students from 116 households of Dhansarbesi, 133 households of Kumal Gaun and Lapa VDC and 230 students from 138 households of Ri and Jharlang VDCs, 90 are enrolled in the nearby Pashupati Secondary School and Panditchour Lower Secondary School. The schools, however, have now expressed their inability to admit more students due to the lack of classrooms and furnitures. Only last week, some 46 displaced households of Kapurgaun in Lapa pitched their tents in a private property in Dhola-7. The schooling of altogether seventy children in this camp is uncertain, however.

As reopening of schools is the least of the concern of displaced families rummaging for food and shelter, schools in northern areas of the district have not come into operation.

 

Published: 30-06-2015 08:12

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