Between a BHU and the Pangna primary school

Chimi Dema | Dagana

The education ministry will send a consultation team to Drujyegang gewog in Dagana to study the possibility of swapping campus of Pangna primary school with the Grade II Basic Health Unit.

The possibility is being explored to upgrade the BHU to a 10-bedded hospital.

Although a research team was ready for the study, the ministry halted it in the wake of the new coronavirus issue, which restricted movements of officials.

The decision to exchange campus came following the health ministry’s decision to the construct the hospital included in the 12th Plan flagship programme.

In the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT), Drujyegang Gup Karma Tshering said that although the exchange of locations between the school and BHU has been proposed, the education ministry issued an order to keep the Pangna School as it is.

“This halted the decision to start the hospital construction and to shift the students,” he said.

While the community doesn’t have problem with the construction of a hospital and school on either location, the main concern, gup Karma Tshering said was the budget- it would be diverted if no work could be initiated soon.

He therefore urged the DT to help resolve the issue.

Local leaders first proposed campus exchange for convenience of students during the DT in September, 2017.

In 2016, after Drujyegang Middle Secondary School was upgraded to a Central School, it was merged with the nearby Pangna Primary School.

While the Pangna Primary School’s two structures (12 units) were converted into hostels to cater to students from class PP and VI, the hostel in the central school campus was used as classrooms. The school had no option but to function from two locations, two kilometres apart.

Considering the inconvenience facing the school then, the dzongkhag proposed to the health and education ministries to exchange locations, Dagana Dzongdag Phintsho Choeden said. “However, the health ministry did not approve stating that they were good with the present location”, she said.

But now with the ministry coming up with a 10-bedded hospital as included in the 12th Plan flagship programme, they have been proposing for the location exchange. However, education ministry refused now, the dzongdag said.

Chief dzongkhag education officer, Tshewang Penjor said that without approval for campus exchange from the health ministry when the initial proposal was submitted, the education ministry then issued a directive on segregating the lower classes from preprimary to class VI from Central school and coming up with fully fledged boarding primary school in Pangna.

“The segregation plan is ready and the budget of Nu 33.474 million has been secured for constructing additional structures in school,” he said.

But the segregation plan is withheld, currently on the orders of the ministry, Tshewang Penjor said.

He assured that the decision, however hasn’t affected in catering educational facilities to the students.

Dzongdag Phintsho Choeden said there is nothing the DT could do now as the decision has to be taken by the ministries.

She said that the recent email from the education ministry indicates some conversations between the ministries. “It was stated the team would be sent and the students would also be shuffled accordingly if the locations are to be exchanged.”

Meanwhile, dzongkhag health officer, Dorji Wangchuk said that the health sector would be convenient with either location.

The sector, he said would go by any decision that the ministries would come up with.

The DT came to consensus that both the gewog and dzongkhag administration would go by the decision from the ministries.