To encourage and enable students from Laya to complete basic education in their community, the Laya Lower secondary school (LSS) became a Central School starting this academic session.

“The school will function in line with the guideline for school autonomy and the operational guidelines for central school respectively and shall implement the programmes as per strategic plan of Delivery Performance Agreement signed among the respective stakeholders,” stated an April 16 letter from the Gasa dzongkhag administration.

The dzongkhag education sector is in the process of tendering to procure supplies of central school facilities. The facilities are expected by June.

Dzongkhag education officer Sherub Gyeltshen said up-gradation of school would make teaching-learning process efficient. “It would help the school retain dropouts and make education attractive. It is also aimed at enabling the students from Laya to get basic education,” he said.

He added that the initiative would shorten the process of school plans and programmes. “The school can plan and utilise budget on their own and set their own priorities.”

Despite change and development in the community, the practice of students leaving school, some before completing basic education was observed with concern in Laya annually.   

In 2016 and 2017, there were 17 students who completed Laya LSS and were enrolled in Bjishong Central School. The year saw three students leave school after the midterm break.

However, the dzongkhag education official claimed that the trend has improved compared to the past.

With the up-gradation of Laya LSS to a central school, Gasa has two central schools now.

Laya LSS was the only school in the gewog, which has five chiwogs with more than 200 households. The gewog also has one ECR in Loong-go chiwog.

In an earlier interview with Kuensel, Laya LSS’s principal Khedrup La said many students chose to stay home, as the central school is located far from Laya. “It’s not because their parents can’t afford,” he said. “They don’t feel happy and secure to send children to far flung places.”

Sherub Gyeltshen said students leave school after reaching Bjishong CS because of unfavorable weather conditions and also because of the lure of cordyceps.

Today, Laya LSS has 99 students availing hostel facilities. There are 146 students in the school.

The school in collaboration with gewog administration is planning to build a temporary classroom for classes IX until the school receives the infrastructural facelift in the 12th Plan.