Dinesh Subedi, Republica Daily, 24 February 2018
The current academic year is about to end and students across the country will be appearing for their final examinations in two weeks. Unfortunately, students of nearly 75 percent community schools in Rolpa district are ill-prepared for the exams as they are only halfway through their courses due to the inadequacy of teachers.
The problem doesn’t end here: More than half of the community schools in the district don’t have government-sanctioned teachers while such teachers at most of the remaining schools are busy in political activities. This has badly hit the schools, according to the officials of the District Education Office (DEO).
Of the 407 community schools in the district, 204 do not have government-sanctioned teachers, according to DEO, Rolpa. As many as 101 primary schools, 67 pre-primary schools and 36 secondary schools do not have the required number of teachers.
However, the sorry state of education in the district has yet to grab the attention of the elected people’s representatives and politicians. As of now, road connectivity has been the only priority for the politicians. This unfortunately has overshadowed the education sector here. “The people’s representatives are busy building roads but they don’t seem to be concerned about the negligence of teachers and the future of thousands of students,” said one of the officials at the DEO, adding, “The students haven’t been taught even half the courses.”
But the elected people’s representatives blame the DEO officials. “We had urged the DEO to submit a report on the status of education in the district but they are yet to do so,” said mayor of Rolpa Municipality, Purna KC. After learning that most community schools in the district have not completed the courses, the municipality had provided Rs 18,000 each to eight schools, urging them to provide private tuitions to at least Grade 10 students appearing for the Secondary Education Examination (SEE).
Similarly, there is not even a single government-paid teacher at secondary schools of Sunchhahari Rural Municipality. Altogether 361 students are studying at the secondary level in this rural municipality. There are a total of five secondary schools in this rural municipality but all of them are being run through private resources. This has compelled the parents to spend huge amounts on the education of their children.
The situation is almost as bad at the lower secondary schools. There are only six government-sanctioned teachers in all the lower secondary schools of this rural municipality.
In the last academic year, communities had collected Rs 230 million to pay salaries to the teachers. Despite the constitutional provision for free education up to the secondary level, locals of Rolpa have been forced to pay a huge amount of money to run schools in the district.
There are 86,523 students studying at 438 schools in Rolpa.