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Schools lack open space to setup makeshift classroom

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, May 25
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Hundreds of schools in Kathmandu Valley are either littered with debris of damaged infrastructure or on the verge of collapse, posing risk to human movement around the school premises. This has created a challenge for the school authorities to din open space to erect tents or setup cottages for running classes from Friday as per the government plan.

With just five days remaining to reopen the schools more than a dozen government schools of Bhaktapur have no idea where to erect tents, said Ramakanta Sharma, Bhatapur District Education Officer. The private schools here face the same predicament.

In Kathmandu, Durbar High School is struggling to create space for more than 200 students. The authorities cleared the rubble from the premises on Sunday but the government’s technical team is yet to ascertain whether or not classes could be conducted at the open space within the school premises, the headmaster of the country’s oldest school Hemchandra Mahato told Republica.

“As the team of engineers is yet to inspect our premises, we are likely to miss the government given deadline for resuming the classes,” said Mahato.

Reports point out that around 300 valley-based schools, both government and private, have been affected by the quake, with 625 classrooms completely destroyed. As many as 904 classrooms still stand but are at the risk of giving way anytime. Likewise, 503 classrooms have suffered minor damages.

In Kathmandu alone, 64 community schools turned into rubble in the devastating quake of April 25. As many as 151 have been marked red to signify that they can’t be used, whereas 100 schools have been marked safe, according to Kathmandu DEO Dinesh Shrestha.

The technical team is yet to produce the final data on the safety of 1,000 private schools in Kathmandu, said Shrestha. However, out of those inspected, over 165 private schools have been marked red, requiring them to be razed to the ground.

CLASSES TO BE RUN IN SHIFTS

The valley-based districts education offices are planning to use school buildings to run classes in shifts as the temporary means. Kathmandu DEO Shrestha said that the schools marked safe by the technical team would be used to run classes in shifts.

Published on 25 May 2015 in Republica Daily
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About nirjanasharma

Journalist.

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