Damauli, January 14
The future of community schools hangs the in balance at Shuklagandaki Municipality, Tanahun. Attraction towards private schools has pushed community schools to the verge of collapse.
With student enrolment dropping, five public schools have pulled down their shutters at the municipality in the past two years. Four schools have merged with other schools.
Data showed that existing schools are operating with a minimum number of students. Janakalyan Primary School at Bhakkal of ward No 10 has just 23 students.
“Due to low admission, we have to teach four students in one class,” said teacher Ganga Devi Lamsal.
Suklagandaki Municipality Education section Chief Nabaraj Chapagain said that love of English language teaching had pushed students into private schools. “Community schools have been badly affected due to negligence on the part of the community and locals,” Chapagain complained.
The Education section said that two schools had pulled down their shutters for want of students in the local level last year.
“Jaladevi Primary School of Ward No 6 and Nurlaulum Madrassa Primary School of Ward No5 pulled their shutters last year,” said Officer Jyoti Prakash Timilsena of education section at the local level.
Three primary schools namely- Bhairab Primary School of Ward No 2, Suradaya Primary School and Simana Primary School of Ward No 12 pulled down their shutters the previous year. In the same year, three schools were merged for want of budget.
Suklagandaki Mayor Kishan Gurung said that they had started stressing on day snacks programme, technical education, school improvement programme, and English as medium of instruction, to attract students to community schools.
The mayor expressed confidence that the new programmes would help attract students to community schools and send out a positive message among parents and guardians.
A version of this article appears in print on January 15, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.