Boarding students are occupying classrooms since the new school buildings are still under construction

Almost a month after the academic session begun, Tsirangtoed Central School in Tsirang is yet to begin its regular classes.

With the construction of new school buildings incomplete, boarding students are occupying all the classrooms.

There are six new buildings under construction, including an integrated academic building catering to 18 classrooms, two staff quarters with eight units each, two 180-bed hostels and a multipurpose hall.

Dzongkhag’s chief education officer, Sangay Chophel, said that the construction got delayed because it could not begin as soon as the contract was awarded in 2016.

He said there were few old buildings that needed to be demolished for the new construction. “Before demolishing that, few semi-permanent structures had to be constructed to cater as hostels.”

He however, assured that the school would be able to begin classes in the new building by the coming week. “While construction is almost over, the school waited for a good zakar to conduct the Lhabsang ritual.” The ritual was conducted yesterday.

There are 603 students, of which 328 stay as boarders. “Among the boarders, 208 are girls who occupy four classrooms.  At least 15 students occupy one classroom.

Officials say that after the school was upgraded to a central school this year, 64 new students were admitted from three schools of Gosarling Primary School (PS), Pemathang PS and Semjong PS.

Tsirangtoed catered to students of Phungtenchu PS, Sergithang PS and Dauthaey ECR in the past. However, it admitted another 30 informal boarders of Phungtenchu PS. The Dauthaey ECR that had 24 students is also closed now because of the central school.

The chief DEO said that by the end of this month, all new structures, including site development works would be completed and handed over to the school.

Some teachers in the schools said that by now at least two to three chapters should have been complete and they hope to make it up in the coming months.

School principal, Yeshi, said that in terms of academic teaching, the school has not lost much because the students were occupied with activities that are otherwise conducted between classes through the academic year.

The school conducts weeklong session on value orientation, driglam namzha, career counselling, traditional songs and dances, and life skills.

“The activities that otherwise would be conducted later on have all been done and we can now seriously focus on academic classes and cover the syllabus,” he said.

Meanwhile, school authorities said seven additional teachers were deployed in the school to function as a central school. The school will soon receive two additional cooks, two caregivers, a washerman and a caretaker.

The school is, however, yet to call for tender to procure uniform for the students. The students wear their former school uniforms today.

Nirmala Pokhrel  | Tsirang