Kathmandu, November 15
Only 60 per cent private and boarding schools in the Kathmandu Valley that had closed for Dashain and Tihar festivals reopened today.
Almost all schools in the Valley had closed from October 13 for Dashain. Although the schools were planning to reopen after the festival, continuing fuel shortage forced them to change their decision.
Some of the private schools had managed to store some fuel after the government distributed petrol and diesel during Dashain and Tihar festivals. Some of the schools, citing fuel shortage, had announced to reopen only after the Chhat festival, which falls on November 17.
Mukunda Sharma, principal, Hattiban-based Little Angels’ School, said the school resumed classes from today. “We have very limited stock of diesel to ferry students,” he said, adding, “If the government fails to supply us adequate fuel, we might have to halt classes again.” He said Little Angels’ School needs 1,200 liters of diesel to ferry its students.
Sharma further said that if around 30 schools like Little Angels’ School close as a result of fuel crisis, around 125,000 students in the Kathmandu Valley would be affected.
DK Dhungana, general secretary, Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal, today said that around 60 per cent of a total of around 1,600 private and boarding schools in the Valley resumed classes from today.
“A school which used 12 school buses has been running only a few buses to ferry students due to the fuel crisis,” he said adding, “If we are not supplied fuel within a couple of days, we will be forced to close schools from next week.”
Karna Bahadur Shahi, president, National Private and Boarding Schools Association Nepal, said schools in the Valley resumed classes from today. He, however, said that the schools would be forced to close if the government does not ensure them adequate fuel supply.
“We can recover losses in other sectors but the impact of closure of schools is irreparable,” he said. Despite shortage of petroleum products, the schools have been running classes for grade X, keeping in view the School Leaving Certificate exams scheduled for March next year.
A version of this article appears in print on November 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.