Bank shifted to school building, students in tents

Published On: July 17, 2018 07:30 AM NPT By: Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHA, July 17:  A community school in Dolakha has rented out it's building to a financial institution after being unable to pay salaries to the teachers, forcing students to study under tents.

The school's building was constructed with the government's quake grant. Bhim Secondary School of Bhedpu Gaun, Melung Rural Municipality, has rented out its newly constructed building to the branch of Sanima Bank for 10 years. The bank has rented the building for Rs 15,000 per month. 

After the devastating earthquake of 2015, students of this school were shifted to a makeshift tent. As the building was finally rebuilt, they were desperate to attend their classes there. Unfortunately, there dream has been shattered. "It's been three years since our children have been studying under tents," said a local, adding, "They were dying to shift to the new building but unfortunately could not do so as the school is struggling with financial constraints."

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has spent more than Rs 9 million for the construction of the two-storied building of the school with six rooms. The bank has rented four of the rooms while the remaining two rooms have been used for the office and library of the school. As per the agreement, the rent of the house will be increased at the rate of 10% each year.   

The branch of Sanima Bank has been extended to Melung Rural Municipality as per the target of Nepal Rastra Bank to have a bank's branch in each local unit within a year. Sachin Thokar, principal of the school, laments that the school had no option other than renting out the new building to pay the salaries of teachers. According to him, physical infrastructures are not enough to upgrade the standard of education if there are no qualified teachers. The school has hired some teachers for quality education but it has no income to pay them. 

There are altogether 170 students in the school which runs classes from Nursery to grade 10. Raju Shrestha, assistant chief executive officer of Sanima claims that the bank was shifted there after the recommendation and permission of the rural municipality. "We were unable to find a suitable building at other places," said Shrestha, adding, "We shifted here after being recommended by the rural municipality chief."

Nar Bahadur Shrestha, chairperson of Melung, stated that the school's building was most appropriate for the bank. "Locals were having great difficulties in the absence of a bank. We will shift the bank as soon as we find a new building," said Chairperson Shrestha. He also assured that the students will have no problem as the tents are safe and they will be shifted to another building in the near future.

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