Lhakpa Quendren | Sarpang

Shortages in classrooms and administration blocks, and a lack of proper facilities are among the challenges that emerged prominently during the Sarpang Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) on March 17.

The DT endorsed submitting the proposal to develop school infrastructure for Choekhorling Middle Secondary School and Tareythang Primary School, and to provide free lunch to the students of Pelrithang Higher Secondary School.

Tareythang Gup Dhan Man Gurung said that classroom shortages are affecting the students learning at the Tareythang Primary School. “At least two units in the school are needed for now. Unlike in the past, the students from Dorjitse and Woongchhiloo also now enrol in Tareythang School.”

The Dekiling Gewog Administration spent Nu 1 million from the gewog budget to construct two units for the admission of the Pre-Primary (PP) classes in Choekhorling Middle Secondary School.

Dekiling Managmi Leki Gyeltshen said that the school initially did not accept the admission this year citing a classroom shortage. “The gewog also collected Nu 1,000 from each household to construct a classroom in the past.

Choekhorling MSS has about 800 students, but there is no school bus and a meeting hall, said the Mangmi.

Sarpang’s Deputy Chief Dzongkhag Education Officer, Kuenga, said that infrastructure development would be incorporated in the 13th Plan. “The education ministry reviewed it and submitted a budgetary proposal to the finance ministry.”

Gelephu Gup Prem Prasad Katel said that considering the long walking distance, many students of Pelrithang HSS face difficulties in bringing lunch. “They have to come to the school by 5 am. Providing lunch from the school will bring immense relief to the parents.”

Kuenga said that Pelrithang HSS was not considered for a feeding programme as it falls under a semi-urban area. “The gewog should support the construction of the kitchen and dining hall. Feeding programme alone cannot solve the problem without these facilities.”

There are 43 schools across the country requiring the feeding programme, he said. “To support the programme, the education ministry prepared a budgetary proposal to the finance ministry.”

He said additional teachers would be sent to Tareythang Primary School. “Five teachers would soon join the dzongkhag.”

He also informed that Gakidling and Retey Primary School in Jigmechhoeling Gewog would be merged due to a shortage of enrolment.

“Many school structures are being left without students after the huge investment,” he said. “It is difficult to get the facilities and teachers for the schools that do not meet enrollment requirements by the ministry.”