Laya Central School will take in the first batch of class nine students in the academic year 2019. The school does not have proper infrastructure and facilities.

Laya lower secondary school was upgraded to central school in April last year with an objective to encourage and enable students from Laya to complete basic education in their community.

The current infrastructure that caters to the classes up to eighth was built more than two decades ago when a community primary school was established in Laya. The school was upgraded to secondary level without any new infrastructure in 2013.

Principal Khedrupla said that infrastructures in the school were old and risky. “Staffs share the available compartments and we also don’t have enough classrooms,” he said.

He said that the school did not face much problem while it was upgraded to secondary level.

“However, we need to have adequate structures to set up laboratories and libraries when we start to take class nine students in. Central schools have certain requirement of staffs and facilities,” said Khedrupla.

Laya CS will receive three more staff next year. Today, there are more than 140 students studying in Laya CS.

The school had been struggling to retain students in the school. Most students discontinue schooling during cordyceps collection season and some after completing their secondary classes.

Laya’s Mangmi, Tshewang, said the upgradation of Laya School would benefit not only Laya gewog but also the nearby highland communities of Lunana and Lingzhi.

“The children of Laya used to move far from the community to study until this year. This was inconvenient and they fell sick while adapting to lower altitude weather situations,” he said.  “With the upgradation of school, they will not face this inconveniences now. We hope this would help students continue their studies.”

However, inadequate infrastructure and absence of proper facilities are the concerns to both the school and gewog administration with only few months left to begin new academic session.

The school staff and locals said that it was also challenging to rent an apartment in the remote community because the residents of Laya live away from home most of the time in the year.

Tshewang said that the school had been facing infrastructure problem for a long time.

Until the reconstruction of the school in the new fiscal year, gewog and school administration plan to use some vacant quarters in the gewog centre. The school also plans to build temporary classrooms.

Sonam Chophel, a Laya resident, said that it was worrying to see students perform. “Teachers coming here to work would face difficulty in adapting the circumstances of the place. This might result in some unhealthy compromise.”