With people of Merak in Trashigang spending almost nine months in their pasturelands, local leaders have proposed for a boarding facility in the school.

This, the local leaders reasoned at the Trashigang dzongkhag tshogdu held yesterday, was because when the highlanders move to the pastureland, the children drop out of school.

Merak gup, Lama Rinchen, said that besides the increase in number of school dropouts, the practice also has other problems, as the children have to endure harsh weather.

He said that if the government provides boarding facility in Merak Primary School, it would benefit the children in the locality and also help them receive good education. “The boarding facility will also encourage parents to keep their children in school.”

Chief dzongkhag education officer, Phuntsho, said that given the proximity of the school from the community, providing a boarding facility might not be possible.

He, however, said that if the local leaders could highlight how the nomadic practice of the community has affected the children’s education, concerned authorities could look into the matter.

Officials, during the tshogdu, said that since Merak is located at the border, establishing a boarding facility in the community could help retain people in the long run.

Gup Lama Rinchen said that since the establishment of the school in 1987 to improve the livelihood of the highlanders, the school still lacks basic facility like playgrounds. “We still don’t have a football ground at our school. With the kind of enthusiasm displayed by students for games and sports, having a football ground could further encourage children to attend school.”

Officials said that since the current road condition in Merak is not feasible for carrying machines to the gewog, work on constructing a playground has not begun.

The tshogdu unanimously decided that the request for a boarding facility and construction of a playground in Merak school be submitted to the education ministry for further discussion.

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang