Quake-damaged schools in Gorkha yet to be rebuilt

Published On: March 23, 2018 03:49 AM NPT By: Narahari Sapkota

SEE exams being conducted under makeshift tents

GORKHA, March 23: On Thursday, 101 students participating in the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) at the Himalaya High School exam center in Barpak of Gorkha district could not take their exams on time. The exams were delayed not because the question papers were brought late or because of any other reasons, but because of the lack of proper management which became difficult as the exams are being held under makeshift tents instead of school buildings. 

Three years after the devastating 7.8 magnitudes Gorkha earthquake, the district is still struggling to rebuild its damaged infrastructures including school buildings. Strong winds and rainfall affected the exams. As bad weather condition darkened the 'exam rooms' under makeshift tents, students were visibly struggling. 

According to Chetnath Panta, head of the exam center, all the preparations had gone as planned to conduct exams inside the makeshift tents. However, they had to adapt to the sudden change in weather condition, delaying the exams. 

“Due to darkness, we took off the corrugated zinc sheets of the roofs to allow some light during the exam,” said Panta. “If we had a school building, we could have easily switched on the lights. However, there was no electricity in the makeshift tents,” he added.

Out of the total 26 exam centers for SEE in the district, about half are forced to hold the exams inside makeshift tents due to the lack of concrete school buildings. 

Not only in the villages but also in Gorkha Municipality, the situation is no different. Ratna Rajya High School of Gorkha-9 is also holding SEE exams under makeshift tents. “We face lots of problems to hold exams inside makeshift tents. Rains and storms affected the exams on the first day. However, we have no choice,” said Sarala Devkota, head of the exam center. 

The district has a total of 443 schools. Of them, only 231 have been reconstructed so far, according to the District Education Office, Gorkha.  

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