OKHALDHUNGA, Jan 3: Khusi Rai is the only student at Sanojure Basic School of Manebhanjyang Rural Municipality in Okhaldhunga district who attends the school regularly. She is a second grader. Though the school had enrolled three students in the beginning of the current academic year, two other students do not come to school at all.
Regardless of the fact that none of her friends attend classes, Khusi always comes to school. The government school has appointed only the school principal Baburam Rai as a permanent teacher. So, technically speaking, one teacher is teaching one student in this school. She does not have to take her classes regularly despite coming to school.
Her mother Sushila Rai is a helper at the same school. Both of them come to the school together. It is interesting to note that her mother teaches her most of the subjects apart from English.
"I begin with teaching her Nepali and then Social Studies, Science, Health and other subjects. I finish teaching her by 1 pm and bring her home later," said Sushila, adding, "Principal sir teaches her English when he is present in the school."
Principal Rai is not regular at school. It has been found that most of the locals do not prefer sending their children to this school because of the irregular attendance of the principal. According to the locals, principal Rai himself is responsible for the poor enrollment rate of the school.
Students of this school have shifted to Shree Rajyalaxmi Secondary School, Unbu and other boarding schools of Ketuke. It takes more than an hour for children to reach to these schools but they have no choice. Principal Rai says most of the students left his school due to their attraction toward English language which is mandatory in boarding schools.
There is a vacant position for a teacher since the past three years. But the school authority seems least interested in appointing a new teacher. Locals say that the principal has intentionally kept the post vacant so that he could hire someone close to him to the post. The school witnessed massive decline in the number of students at the school since the past four academic years.