A school that shuts down when someone in the settlement diesTeaching/learning activities in Nepal Rastriya Basic School get halted when bereaved families and villagers perform funeral rites in the village crematorium.
A community school at Prashurampur in Kalikamai Rural Municipality, Parsa, gets closed when someone in the settlement dies. It is shut down not to observe mourning but due to fear.
Teaching/learning activities in Nepal Rastriya Basic School get halted when bereaved families and villagers perform funeral rites in the village crematorium, which lies right next to the school.
“The school children get scared and flee to their homes when funeral rites are observed in the crematorium. The school remains unofficially closed when someone dies in the settlement,” said Indradev Prasad Kurmi, the school headmaster.
A total of 597 students are enrolled at the school in the current academic year. The children, according to Kurmi, are distressed upon seeing dead bodies being burnt near the school.
“We are scared when bodies are burnt. Smokes from the pyre engulf the school, and we have difficulty breathing,” said Sandip Kushwaha, a student of grade eight. “We are unable to go to school for a few days due to fear.”
There are around 600 families in the area who use the crematorium ground near the school building. The school headmaster said at least a dozen people are cremated there in a year.
“We have been facing this problem for a long time. The school administration has repeatedly urged the ward office and the rural municipal office to address the issue but to no avail,” said Kurmi.
Kurmi admitted that there had been efforts to shift the crematorium to a different location. But some locals stand against the decision, stating that it is against the age-old tradition, he added.
Nathuni Kushwaha, the rural municipality chairman, said he would address the problem soon.
“I have been informed about the issue at hand. I am coordinating with the ward chief for a possible solution. The issue will be resolved soon,” Kushwaha said.