Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

The four schools in Wangdue and Punakha are set to welcome 1,111 students from Phuentsholing and their teachers and supporting staff.

The students will arrive on September 14 and 15.

The preparations began immediately after the government announced the relocation of 1,580 students from Phuentsholing to schools in Punakha, Wangdue, and Samtse.

In Punakha, Thinleygang Primary School, Shengana LSS, and Khuruthang MSS were identified to accommodate 986 students, teachers, and supporting staff from Phuentsholing MSS, Phuentsholing HSS and Sonamgang MSS in Phuentsholing.

Of 986, Thinleygang PS will accommodate 353, Shengana LSS 242 and Khuruthang MSS 391. Family members of a few teachers and supporting staff accompanying them to Punakha and Wangdue will also be provided accommodation.

Punakha’s Chief Dzongkhag Education Officer (CDEO) Lemo said that while the teachers, supporting staff and students could be accommodated in the Thinleygang PS and Shengana LSS as classes haven’t begun for lower grades, around 120 class IX and X students from Khuruthang MSS would resume their classes at Punakha Central School.

She added that the students from Khuruthang MSS would continue to be day-scholars and would be provided bus services.

“It’s to provide comfortable space for the students from Phuentsholing and also for their safety.”

Since the dzongkhag received the information to relocate the students, mattress, pillows and cooking utensils were collected from schools with boarding facilities.

Thinleygang PS and Shengana LSS didn’t require these items as they have boarding facilities.

Until yesterday, teachers, supporting staff of the schools and dzongkhag staff were preparing kitchens, securing essential items, and doing electrical and plumbing work at Khuruthang MSS.

Without boarding facilities, showerheads in bathrooms and electrification of certain areas were required in the school.

Lemo said that cooks were also identified to cook for those coming from Phuentsholing. “Many students coming from Phuentsholing might not have stayed in boarding school in the past, they are leaving behind their families, their comfort zone, and they are coming from urban areas, so we trying to provide our best.”

In Wangdue, Wangdue Primary School will accommodate 202 class IX and X students and 12 teachers and supporting staff from Phuentsholing HSS.

Wangdue’s CDEO Pema Dorji said that cooking utensils, mattress and pillows were collected from schools with boarding facilities in Wangdue.

Apart from gathering these items, teachers and supporting staff in Wangdue built a kitchen in Wangdue PS as the school only caters to day-scholars.

Pema Dorji said that the dzongkhag had been notified to use the budget from the school-feeding programmes to buy perishable items for those coming from Phuentsholing.

Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) will provide the essential items.

All students and teachers are expected to follow at least a week’s quarantine period for safety.