Khotang school sans students

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By Raj Kumar Bhattarai,Khotang, Nov. 30: Only one student each is currently studying in grades 2 and 4 at Panchakanya Basic School of Rubung village, Kharpa, in Rawa Beshi Rural Municipalily-2, Khotang. 

Pushpa Rai, headmaster of the school, informed that the school conducting classes up to grade 5 has 15 students.  According to him, there are six students in class 1, one in class 2, four in class 3, one in class 4 and three in class 5. 

The classrooms become empty when the only student is absent. Meanwhile, there was no student in class 3 last year. 

The school established in 1974 has two permanent teachers-- the headmaster and a teacher--and two temporary staff -- a teacher and an office assistant. 

Despite having quality physical structures and sanitation facilities, students are irregular in their classes. 

There are approximately 65 households in Rubung village, but many children from these households go to private schools. 

A villager who chose not to reveal his identity informed that there are no students in the community school due to poor education quality. He said," Teachers in the community school are from the same village. They don’t attend school when there is any function in the village. Parents don’t complain since they know the teachers personally."

Udim Chamling, a parent, said that many youths were working abroad. “Although they could not receive education, they want to provide quality education to their children. Therefore, they send their children to private schools in the district headquarters Diktel, Dharan, Kathmandu and other city areas,” Chamling added. 

Meanwhile, headmaster Rai denies that only a few students enrolled in the school due to poor education quality. Rai said that since there were not many children in the village, the community school had a few students. 

The school has a total of three buildings. One room of the building is being used for the administration office. One room in the same building and rooms in another building are being used for the classes. Meanwhile, one building of the school is not in use currently. 

Headmaster Rai said that they were thinking of operating computer classes in that building and had proposed to the rural municipality regarding it. The school also has a drinking water facility.

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