They were shifted after the principal and a teacher of Sertena PS were detained in P/ling 

Ten students of classes V and VI from Sertena Primary School in Gakiling gewog in Haa were moved to Jyenkana Lower Secondary School, a full-fledged boarding school.

The six boys and four girls joined the school yesterday. The students were moved after the principal and a teacher of Sertena School was detained in Phuentsholing for allegedly throwing a newborn out of a hotel window on April 15.

Following the arrest of the two teachers, two other teachers and a non-formal education (NFE) instructor looked after Sertena School, which has 43 students.

Sertena village tshogpa, Somdhan Rai, said that these students were enrolled into Jyenkana School following a consultation with the parents who agreed to send their children to a boarding school.

Somdhan Rai who came to drop the students, said that following the incident, the dzongkhag education officer informed villagers that it would not be possible to send other teachers immediately to Sertena to teach students of classes V and VI.

“Since the principal and a teacher who were detained used to teach classes V and VI, the dzongkhag education sector made this arrangement,” he said. “The other teachers in the school had to look after other classes and we thought this arrangement was practical.”

Somdhan, who also has his 14-year old son studying in class V, said that after much discussion among the parents, they decided to send their children to Jyenkana School even if it is far from Sertena. The students travelled for almost an hour to Denchukha gewog in Samtse and another three hours to Gakiling gewog in Haa. From Gakiling, it took them another five hours to reach Haa. Jyenkana is about 19km from Haa.

“Although children would be far from us, we’re happy as long as they get to study since this would benefit them only,” the tshogpa said. “It would be a waste for the children to continue in the same school without a teacher or spend time waiting for a new teacher.”

Sertena School now has 33 students from class PP-IV and three teachers including an NFE instructor.

The dzongkhag administration and dzongkhag education sector arranged two Boleros to transport the students and provide them free uniforms along with utensils.

Yesterday, the tshogpa was buying clothes and other items for the children. He said the other parents decided to stay in the village and send the children with him so that they could save money for their children.

“The new school has a washing machine to wash clothes and are provided free plates and mugs, which is good for the children,” he said.

Haa dzongdag Kinzang  Dorji said the decision was taken after the parents agreed to send their children following an assessment to provide better facilities.

He said that this was for children’s welfare and better opportunity where children can learn in a specific class instead of attending multi-grade classes. “However, Sertena School wouldn’t be downgraded or closed and it would remain a primary school,” he said.

Yangchen C Rinzin