Schools in mountainous districts in the country that remain closed for two months during winter season will have to compromise on school days for months in the next academic year.

This happened after the government decided to extend the current academic session until mid-June across Nepal due to the months long lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 .

Normally, schools in Nepal begin new academic session from April or March-end. But, schools in mountainous districts begin from February, two months earlier than schools in other districts. This system has been introduced as the schools in mountainous districts close for two months in the winter.

This year by the time the government imposed lockdown in March, the schools located at high altitudes had already conducted classes of the new academic year for two months, while schools in other parts were preparing to hold examinations.

But, with the government's mid-February decision extending the current academic year by two months, students of mountainous areas will get additional time to study this year. In the next year, however, students will have to compromise at least four months, two months of winter and two additional months of loss due to extended academic year.

Deepak Sharma, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said that like the students of hilly and the Tarai regions, students of schools in mountain regions will have to cover their syllabus in within a limited time period. Similarly, situations can occur in some hilly districts when schools will be closed for additional one month in the monsoon. "Such districts that close schools in the monsoon are very few these days due to better access to roads and construction of concrete bridges over rivers."

In Nepal, usually one academic year consists of at least 180 days. With the loss in working days, the government has revised the syllabus by reducing 25 per cent of the course of study for this academic year.

But, for the next academic year, syllabus has not been rationalised and it may affect schools in the mountain region.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.