Dunai, Dolpa, Jestha 28, Schools of Himalayan district Dolapa is closed annually from Jestha first week to Ashadh first week with the beginning of “Yarsha Season.”
Children often join their parents in the journey to pick Yarsha with an aim to earn the annual fees for their schools.
Since the schools in Dolpa will remain closed for a month a sum of 33 lakh Rupees provided by the government for lunch to the schools will be returned.
The grant given to schools for lunch for 20 days in a month by the government through Education Office will be stopped during the vacation.Under the lunch programme, the government is providing Rs 400 monthly to each student up to grade five.
85 percent of the schools which were closed since Jestha 1 with the beginning of Yarsha Season have not opened yet. According to Education Development and Coordination Unit out of 112 schools of the district, only 18 schools are open.
Four schools namely Taapiricha Secondary School of Shey Phoksundo Rural Municipality, Deurali Primary School of Tripura Sundari Rural Municipality, Kanjirowa Primary School, Dapu and Himjyoti Primary School were open during the Yarsha picking season.Chief of Education Development and Coordination Unit, Mr. Singha Raj Dangi says only these four schools will get the grant for daily lunch.
Apart from Dolpa, schools from neighboring districts Rukum, Jajarkot, Jumla etc. were also closed during Yarsha picking season. The main income generating source of the people living in these areas is Yarsa. People from Dolpa go to the mountainous Upper Patan area to pick Yarsha risking their life.
Chairperson of Jagdulla Rural Municipality, Nara Singh Rokaya said that the authorities are not interested to close the schools but are compelled to do so. He said, “This year the schools were closed for 20 days, we will try to open the schools next year if possible. The children will not be deprived of education.”
Similarly a local resident of Dolpa, Yogendra Budha said, “Schools have winter vacations on the months of Poush and Magh, due to admission campaign in Falgun classes are hampered, schools remain closed in Jestha due to Yarsha season and in different festivals and public holidays.”
Mr. Budha also questioned how the students studied for 1000 hours in school as the schools of Dolpa, are not even running continuous classes for five months. “Due to this reason the quality of education in Dolpa is decreasing and the concerned authority should manage this issue on time.”
Education Development and Coordination Unit said the schools will open from last week of Jestha but according to the locals, many schools will be opened only from Ashadh second week.