Public schools remain closed; students going India for elementary education

Ilam, Feb 28: Nim Lamu, 68, of Sandakpur Rural Municipality-5, Kalpokhari, is on verge of going to India for her granddaughter’s education.

“I have already searched for a room near Ribs School in Manebhanjyang, India to educate my granddaughter”, he said.

With the closure of public schools in lack of students, children from Indian border villages of Ilam are compelled to go to study in Indian schools.

Children in Lekali village of northern Ilam, bordering India, are forced to go to Indian schools due to lack of schools. Sonam Sherpa, a resident of Jaubari said, parents have been forced to go to the Indian soil to educate their kids from primary level due to closure of schools in Jaubari, Meghma, Kalpokhari and other places of Lekali area having low population density and settlement.

It has been over eight years since the National Primary School in Jaubari remained shut. The school operating class 1 to 5 remained closed in 2072 BS, reportedly due to inadequate number of students.

“After sending many children from the border areas to study in Indian schools, there was a shortage of students in the schools here, up to 80 children used to come to study in the school. Since then, no initiative has been taken to resume the school operations”, he commented.

At present, around 15 children from this area are studying at Ribs School in Manebhanjyang.

Doma Sherpa, who lives in Manebhanjyang to educate her child, said she spends 15,000 to 18,000 Indian Currency a month. Doma said, it would have been easier to teach children in our own country, there is no school, everything has been ruined.

Not only Jaubari, Saraswati primary school at Megma of Maijogmai-2, primary school at Kalpokhari of Sandakpur-5 and another primary school at Majuwa of Sandakpur-5 have been closed, said Pasang Tshiring Sherpa, former principal of Rastriya Primary School, Jaubari.

According to Sherpa, Nepali children do not even know about Nepal’s nationality and self-respect while taking students to India. The closed schools have become dilapidated. The Armed Police Force (APF) had been stationed at the National Primary School in Jaubari some time ago. The armed forces have constructed their own building near the school.

So far, the concerned bodies have not shown interest in running schools in the border areas.