Community schools in Dasharathchand run with minimum number of students


The Kathmandu Post

Gyaneshwor Basic School in Dasharathchand, Baitadi, has three teachers but no students. The 28-year-old school had 12 students in the last academic year, but none of them sought admission this year. 

Maya Bista, head of the school, said the teachers come to school in the morning, mark their attendance and leave for the day. “We don’t run classes because there are no students,” said Bista.

With the introduction of private schools in the district, there are hardly any students who are interested to study in government schools. “We might soon have to merge the school with other public schools in the area. These days, parents prefer to send their wards to private schools instead of government ones,” Bista said. 

There are two private schools--Green Heaven and Saraswati Boarding School--in the Shahilek area with around 450 students in total. Meanwhile, Dasharathchand-4 has two government-run secondary schools and two basic schools, all of which run with the minimum number of students or no students at all. 

Shanti Basic School in the municipality has only three students this academic session. Harka Singh Bista, headmaster of Daneshwor Nagarjun Secondary School, said that there are only 150 students in his school as opposed to 450 last year. “The number of students has decreased in all government schools of the municipality. The basic schools with a negligible number of students are preparing to merge,” said Bista.

Narendra Prasad Awasthi, chief at the Education Development and Coordination Unit, said that the number of teachers in a government school should be adjusted as per the students’ number. “We have no other option but to merge schools that have few students. Declining number of students at government schools has been a long-standing problem,” Awasthi said.

Meena Chand, deputy chief at Dasharathchand Municipality, said that the decrease in the number of students in government schools is a matter of concern. Chand stands to question the quality of education imparted at these institutions. 

“We have been conducting awareness campaigns in the communities to bring in more students in government schools. The municipal office has also launched programmes to turn these schools into model community schools,” said Chand, “However, what matters the most is the standard of education the students can receive in these schools.”