The up-gradation of Tshangkha Lower Secondary School in Dagana to a middle secondary school has come as a blessing to the community.
Locals of Tshangkha say that while there are communities in other parts of the country that is fast losing lower grade schools to establish central schools, an up gradation was unexpected.
According to Cheki, 54 of Pateykha village, upgrading the school means that his son and daughter will not have to go too far from home even if they study as boarders.
He added that without a hostel, his children started for school as early as 5am to reach after time for breakfast. It took them at least three hours to reach home after school. Instead of doing their homework on reaching home, the children complained of backache because of the load of books they had to carry. “Upgrading a school with hostel facilities is indeed a blessing,” he said.
“My children are in hostel but they come home often. That way they don’t forget the hard work parents put in to educate them,” he said.
Another resident Chandra Bahadur Chuwan said there are parents in villages that can’t afford to change school uniform often. They also can’t afford to send them away from the village. Upgrading a school would ease their expenses.
Tshangkha Lower Secondary School was upgraded to a middle secondary school this year. It has 440 students, 220 of them are girls. 128 girls and 152 boys stay in the hostel. With 19 teaching staff including the vice principal and the principal, the school has enough teachers.
Principal Tshultrim said that although congested, the school is managing to accommodate students in the existing hostel facility. At least 30 students occupy one room. Once academic session for class X begins next year, there won’t be enough space for the hostel.
The school would have run short of classrooms had there been no old structures. At the moment at least two classes are conducted in its old structures located below the academic block. “The school should have been upgraded long time ago but some problems held it,” he said.
One of the reasons for upgrading the school, the principal cited was because of admission and accommodation pressure at Drujyegang Central School. Drujyegang CS was upgraded into a central school last year.
Tshangkha also hosts students who complete class VI from Largyab PS, Khebisa PS and Zinchila PS.
To address the space issue at the hostel, the gewog administration has plans. Tshangkha gup Tawla said that the gewog tshogdu endorsed the construction of a temporary hostel.
“After consulting the parents, it has been agreed that the gewog office will procure material and the community will contribute labor,” he said. With this agreement, a semi-permanent hostel block will be constructed this summer vacation.
The gup added that although the gewog office does not have money in hand to procure materials, arrangements would be made before school breaks for summer.
Nirmala Pokhrel | Dagana