Students in huts as bank occupies school building


Himalayan News Service

Dolakha: Students at Bhim Secondary School are compelled to continue their studies from temporary structures roofed with Zinc sheets after the newly constructed school building was given on rent to open a bank in Melung Rural Municipality, Dolakha. 

The school management committee and head teacher Sachin Thokar provided the newly constructed school building to Sanima Development Bank on rent for Rs 15,000 per month. The students are now taking classes in temporary structures. 

As many as 150 students study at the school from Grade I to X. The students looked very sad knowing that their school building had been given to the bank. 

People's representatives and locals protested the decision of the school administration. Ward-4 member Nabin Kumar Gole said the decision made by the school administration without any consent of the people's representatives was not acceptable. “Nobody has accepted the decision as the teaching-learning activities at the school have been badly affected.” Gole said the school building was necessary for students. 

 A local guardian, Deb Bahadur Gole, said the school administration should not keep students in temporary structures to get some money by renting the building. “The school management committee and school head teacher do not have the right to such things.” He also said the school was run by the community and would not tolerate any random decision taken by the school administration. 

Meanwhile, head teacher Thokar said the school administration and the bank representatives signed the agreement as there was no alternative to the school building for opening a bank in the area. 

Ward-4 Chair Chhatra Bahadur Tamang said he had given permission because of the pressure of ward members and school administration. “I was not willing to give the school building to the bank on rent, but other members did not agree with me,” he said. 

District Education Implementation Unit Chief Govinda Sedain clarified the government did not construct the school building to earn money by giving the building on rent. He said action would be taken against the authority concerned. “The school building was built to improve academics of the school,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Sanima Bank has inaugurated its branch and started operation as per the government policy from today. Bank Manager Arjun Sapkota said the branch was opened at the school building as per the agreement between the bank's central office and the school management committee. “I am not aware about legal procedures and the agreement, I came here just as a bank employee,” he said. 

School Management Committee Chair Ambika Gole said the school building was given to the bank as there was no suitable building to open the bank in the rural municipality. “There is no point in protesting against it as the bank is also for the people and teaching-learning activities will not be affected by this decision.”