Monday, 27 September, 2021

Schools in rural Sarlahi sans basic amenities

Photo: Arpana Adhikari

By Arpana Adhikari
Sarlahi, Sept. 19: Amid the government’s plan to implement the IT friendly school campaign in at least one community school of each state, many government schools in the rural areas here lack even basic facilities.
In the absence of adequate benches, the students of Janata Secondary School at Belhi in Chandraghanta Rural Minicipality-2 of Sarlahi are forced to attend classes sitting on the floor every day.
Mostly the students of pre-primary class and grade one are made to sit on rugs.
Every morning, along with their school bags, students here are compelled to carry rugs from their home, as the school administration didn’t provide enough rugs for students to sit on.
The students said that they were facing lot of discomfort while sitting on the floor all day.
School Principal Birendra Chaudhary along with the administration has initiated action to arrange benches for the students, as they don’t have enough budgets for this.
They reached concerned bodies several times with the problem, but didn’t receive any support from them, said Chaudhary, adding that the municipal office had promised to provide 40 benches before Chhat festival.
The problem arose after the school was upgraded to secondary level, he added.
During a visit to the school, almost all students of these classes were found to be sitting on the floor in the absence of benches, said Lab Raj Oli, education campaigner.
“We were short of 40 benches in the school. We had urged the District Education Office (DEO) to provide us the budget for infrastructure, but all the duties of DEO were transferred to the local government so they asked us to visit the municipal office,” said Chaudhary.
Kishore Ray, chairperson of the school management committee, said a flood last year in the Lakhandeyi River that is located just 10 metres away from the school, swept away many of the school furniture.
“A discussion is on for delivery of the furniture, but till then the students will continue to sit on the floor,” said Ray.
When The Rising Nepal spoke to Mayor of Chakraghanta Rural Municipality Bikram Ray Yadav, he said arrangement for furniture would be made soon.
Like, Janata School other community schools of the municipal have been facing the similar problem. All these schools are said to get the benches before this Chhat.
“The municipal office will provide the furniture soon. It is delayed primarily due to lack of the official to look after the issue,” he added.
“We have been asking the central government to fill the vacant posts in the office, but the problem remained as it is.”
According to Mayor Yadav, like the municipal office, the community schools of the rural municipalities have been facing shortage of teachers.
There are total 13 community schools in the area where only 80 teachers have been appointed. It was difficult for 80 teachers to look after 13 schools, he added.
One of the main reasons why there is a delay in filling the vacancies of teacher is because of the confusion on local government’s duties and responsibilities, he added.
Oli said the situation was no different at government schools in Sarlahi, Mahottari and other districts of the State 2 and rural areas across the country.
The poor infrastructure and inadequate and unskilled teachers are said to be the reason why the public schools are unable to improve the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) results.