Education: Six male teachers from Orong Lower Secondary School (OLSS) volunteered to teach on a rotation basis for a year at Pheluma Extended Classroom (ECR) that was reopened a few days ago after ministry’s instruction.

The 22 students of the extended classroom returned to their village to continue their education on April 17 after spending more than two months in OLSS.

The students were shifted to OLSS at the beginning of the academic session after a miscommunication between parents and the school officials.

Pheluma tshogpa Rinzin said that parents of the 22 students went to Orong school on April 13 to bring back their children, but they couldn’t because the principal was in a meeting. On April 17, the parents again went to the school.

“It was a great relief for parents as the students were very young to adjust in the school,” said tshogpa.

“We are happy that we could bring back our children to our school,” said a mother. “We wouldn’t have sent our kids to OLSS if the information shared to us by the mangmi and vice principal weren’t true.”

The tshogpa said after the parents learnt that the promise made by mangmi and vice principal to upgrade OLSS to a central were not true, parents refused to pay fee and to buy dress for their kids. Parents paid Nu 35 for school development fund.

Ugyen Dorji, the only teacher at Pheluma ECR, said that the teachers who volunteered to teach at the ECR were selected based on a lucky draw to teach for 35 days.

The parent school may face problems if teachers have to go for certain days in year to teach at the ECR. The six teachers who will do the teaching rounds will not be entitled for transfer grant.

OLSS is about four hours’ walk from Philuma.  When a plan to upgrade the school to a central school was announced, parents readily agreed with authorities to close down the extended classroom in the village.

The Dzongkhag Education Officer had said in an earlier interview that there was a miscommunication.  When the news of school upgradation was announced, parents thought that OLSS would be upgraded, which was not the only reason for closing the ECR to central school.

Tshogpa accompanies the teachers to the ECR at night.

By Tashi Tenzin