Nanong gewog has the honour to host the first central school, Yelchen, to open (Feb. 15)

Education: Yelchen central school, the first such institute in Nanong gewog, Pemagatshel will open as scheduled on February 15.

About 18 teachers, both new and old, including the central school’s new principal, who was transferred from Yurung middle secondary school, have already joined.  The school is expected to increase its teaching staff to 24, once the students return.

However, it could take some time for classes to begin.  The number of students that will enroll in the school is yet to be compiled, although the school education department targets to admit 471 students this year from pre-primary (PP) to class 10.  A budget of Nu 9.117M has been allocated for the 471 students to last until July.

Dzongkhag education officer (DEO), Pema Dorji, said that the budget was allocated for students’ stipend, stationaries, uniforms, utensils and beddings.

He added that the boarding students would be provided, free uniforms, plates, mugs, mattress, blankets, sports gear and pillows. “The budget is also allocated to procure washing machine to wash clothes for PP to class three students, firewood and electricity,” DEO said. “Stationaries would also be provided free to both boarding and day scholar students.”

The DEO also said, if the budget was enough, they might also provide free uniforms to the day scholar students.  The uniforms will be procured once school opens.

“The plan is to enroll 50 percent of the students in boarding and the rest as day scholars, based on the walking distance,” he said. “The school will provide boarding facility to 120 boys and girls each.”

Standing tall and magnificent, the only concrete structure in the gewog, besides the hostels, the central school has nine classrooms, a dining hall, kitchen, toilets, playground, four staff quarters, a principal’s quarter, and a science laboratory.

The school will benefit two other gewogs, Zobel and Shumar.  “Students from these three gewogs will be given priority to join the central school, since there is a good response from parents,” Pema Dorji said.

He said the school would also look into enrolling students recommended by schools from other gewogs, especially those who are from poor families and can’t afford stationary and uniforms.

Constructed in 2012, the school was handed over to the dzongkhag in October last year.  Indian President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the school.

By Yangchen C Rinzin, Pemagatshel