ROLPA, Jan 14: School is an abode of knowledge and children are considered to be the nation builders. Parents send their children to school with high hope that they will prepare themselves for their better future. People usually have faith that their children are quite safe at school.
But the reality of a government-run school in Rolpa district is completely different. Dozens of students, teachers and staff of Saraswati Secondary School at Lungri rural municipality-1, Pang Taibang are now terrorized every day due to dilapidated condition of their school building.
The walls are cracked, and it's been long the rundown building has not been renovated. The debilitated school building may collapse any time, according to locals. Luckily, the students, teachers and staff have remained unscathed until now.
Of the total 535 students, those studying in class two, three and five have been placed inside the dilapidated block.
According to the principal Umesh Pun Magar, they have no other alternative but to run classes in those crumbling classes. “It’s unfortunate that no government authorities are paying attention to this issue. Except for an inspection team from the rural municipal office last year, no other stakeholder came here to learn about the situation,” Magar said.
He said that the school administration is forced to run classes due to lack of good physical infrastructure.
The dusty floors of the classes never get wet no matter how frequently they pour water onto it. It’s because of the very wall from where dust and clay fall off time and again.
One of the teachers Ram Prasad Pun said, “Students and teachers are terrorized during school time. The stones may fall at any time. I can’t imagine how dreadful that is going to be.” Another teacher Kyuri Gharti also shared the same sort of feeling.
The chairperson of Lungri rural municipality Durga Bahadur Khadka, however, committed to addressing the problem. “We are sorting out the issue in the current fiscal year. The school will get a new building soon,” vowed he.
Ward chairperson Mati Pun also expressed commitment to build a new building for the school by the upcoming rainy season.
Locals blame the local government for not paying attention to construct the new building for the school even though the students are forced to study under the shadow of the death. The guardians feel that they are sending their kids to an ambush-like school building.
"They (local government) spend millions on constructing roads alongside the school. However, they are turning blind eyes to the dilapidated school building even though it is posing threat to students' lives," a guardian said.