Floodwater enters quake-hit school, disrupts classes

Bhaktapur, June 28

Since its establishment in 1969, Shanti Niketan Secondary School, Bhaktapur has had to deal with floods every monsoon season. Classrooms become unusable every year due to floods, hampering daily teaching-learning activities.

“After the earthquake, we have been able to use only 12 classrooms of the 27 we had,” said school principal Mahendra Gopal Karmacharya.

The earthquake damaged two of the floors of the four-storeyed building, and the school is now using only two of its floors and a six-roomed hut built by an INGO.The situation has been aggravated by floods from the nearby Hanumante River.

In August last year, many parts of Bhaktapur, including the school, was under waist-deep water.

“Last year, the earthquakes and the monsoon made life very difficult for us,” said Karmacharya.

There are altogether 593 students in the school that has classes from nursery to Grade X.

The floods have disrupted classes for the last ten days. The school management does not have any alternative but to run the school from where it is situated, since it has taken a 10-year lease on the land.

“Although we have informed the Bhaktapur District Education Office of this problem, they haven’t taken any action as of yet,” said Karmacharya.

On his part, Assistant District Education Officer Govinda Raj Sedhai said, “While we are aware of the situation, we haven’t been notified officially in writing.