Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay heard yet again the need to upgrade another school to central school during his visit to Silambi gewog, Mongar on October 26.

Silambi Gup Dorji Wangchuk said upgrading Nagor Lower Secondary School to a middle secondary school this year has benefited the communities of Gongdue and Silambi under Weringla drungkhag.

A villager from Gyelgong, Yeshey Gonpo said, “Even children from neighbouring Saling gewog and of some other villages of Zhemgang can go to school closer to home.”

Gup Dorji Wangchuk said that their children have to go to far away places such as Drametse and Kidheykhar central Schools to continue their studies.

“This is becoming expensive for us, and many find it difficult to send their children to school,” the gup said.

Yeshi Gyempo said that Silambi and Gongdue gewogs, two most remote gewogs in Mongar, has access to basic amenities including proper shelter  with the help from Tarayana Foundation. He said farmers practice subsistence farming and that they have no means of income.

The gup said that the two gewogs have four primary schools and three extended classrooms and that there will be enough students for the central school. “The NMSS has plenty of space for expansion,” he said.

A dzongkha teacher in Nagor MSS, Kinley Gyem said if the school is upgraded to a central school, the remote villagers will benefit since the government provide everything to students. “The communities can make income through setting up other business enterprises,” she said.

Nagor MSS has 336 students from classes PP to IX with 19 teachers including two temporary teachers.

Lyonchhen said that while it seems necessary to upgrade the school to a central school he will discuss with the education minister on the matter.

Meanwhile, villagers of Silambi asked the Prime Minister to black-top the gewog centre (GC) road from Menchugang, in Lingmethang which is more than 70km.

Lyonchhen said that it has not been decided yet whether or not to  blacktop the GC road. Blacktopping has not begun, the prime minister said because the road is newly constructed and its base course is not settled yet.

Lyonchhen said the other option is to black-top the 43km gewog centre road from Yangbari to Silambi through Gongdue and Weringla drungkhag centre.

Lyonchhen said the government would try to black-topped within this fiscal year, if not it’d be done in the first year of the 12th Plan as a priority.

With Silambi, Lyonchhen has completed visiting all the gewogs in the eastern dzongkhags 192 gewogs.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar