BY RAJ KUMAR BHATTARAI,Khotang, Feb. 6: Bhimkanya Primary School in Rajapani of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality-11 in Khotang district has been dependent on a single person for one- and-a-half years.
The entire responsibility of the school has fallen upon Hira Thapa Magar, the school peon, after its teacher was transferred to another school on August 28, 2021.
The school has 14 students, and runs classes from 1 to 3 grade. The lone staff, Magar, has been teaching the students of all three grades for one-and-a-half years now.
Magar lamented that he had to go to school even when he was sick, citing the lack of a teacher in the school. "I carry mattress and blanket to the school when I am ill. I teach students even while taking rest," he said.
The school was built in 2006 from the money collected by locals playing ‘Deusi Bhailo’ programme. But, at present, the school building is in a dilapidated condition and houses only termites. The walls of the school building are on the verge of collapse while the corrugated sheets of its roof are awaiting repair.
According to Magar, the students faced difficulty to stay in school from 10 am to 4 pm in lack of desks and benches. After the 2015 earthquake damaged the school building, they have been running classes outside the building, informed Magar.
The municipality, however, informed that it would soon make an arrangement for another teacher in the school. Magar, however, said that no one had paid attention to address the problems facing the school.
Municipal Education Branch Coordinator Padam Bahadur Karki said that there had been a shortage of permanent teachers while the request of the municipality to appoint temporary teachers through an advertisement was refused by the guardians.
Deputy Mayor Ramesh Kumar Raut assured that the reconstruction of the school building would be completed within a year.
The school, which is located in Ward No. 1 Thumki of previous Rajapani Village Development Committee, has planned to manage the required teachers. Navaraj Regmi, headmaster of neighbouring Mahankala Basic School, has been looking after the administrative works of that school.
Karki said that the municiplaity executive has decided to send permanent teachers to the school.
Deputy Mayor Raut said that a new building would be constructed within this year, as many defects were found during the inspection of the school.