Tshering Namgyal| Lhuentse  

As academic session begins, Gangzur gewog residents have to take their children to Khoma, Tangmachu, Minjey and Autsho central schools although Thimyul Lower Secondary School is located right above their gewog centre.

Lack of boarding facility in Thimyul is forcing parents from enrolling their children, some as young as pre-primary students, in central schools away from their homes.

A parent, Namgay Dorji, from Tsholing village said his two daughters, one is pre-primary and the other one in class VII are studying in Khoma Lower Secondary School.

Reserving a bolero from the village to the school costs him Nu 2,500 to 3000. “Transportation charges alone costs over Nu 10,000 a year to drop and pick up the children.”

He said it is difficult when the children fall sick. The village has 17 households with about 11 students studying in different schools.

Villagers of Shawa, Rodpa and Zhamling also face the same problem.

Parents say that a boarding facility in Thimyul lower secondary school (LSS) would benefit them.

Namgay Dorji said he could meet and guide his children on the way to gewog meeting and dzong if there is boarding facility at Thimyul LSS.

Shawa tshogpa, Sonam Tshering, said boarding facility at Thimyul would ease the financial burden of parents, as they will not have to send their children to faraway places.

He said he raised the issue many times in gewog tshogde but nothing was done so far.

With surrounding campus of about 12 acres, Thimyul LSS has facilities like classrooms, kitchen and dining hall, two multi-purpose (MP) halls, one of which is contributed by public, football ground, volleyball and basketball courts. It only requires hostels.

Sources said the school also has day students walking from Rodpa and Amtse, which takes around two hours for students to reach the school. Thimyul has about 200 students as of last year and breakfast and lunch are served from the school.

Gangzur gewog mangmi, Tshewang Thinley said they raised the issue at the dzongkhag tshogdu but was done.

Chief dzongkhag education officer, Ugyen Pem, said there is a high rate of poverty in the area and given the need, a proposal was submitted to the ministry for approval but couldn’t be prioritised in this plan as relocation of Dungkar primary school had to be prioritised based on urgency.

She, however, said Thimyul is the next priority and it could be materialized into large primary boarding school after downgrading in the 13th FYP. “All the nine boarding schools in the dzongkhag have not reached their capacity and absorbing all the students is not a problem.”