Final exams are just a month away but a Siraha school has yet to teach three subjectsThe then district education office in 2012 allowed the school to run classes till grade eight but didn’t appoint teachers.
“The final examination is coming near. But the teachers have not even started teaching Moral Science. The classes for Occupation and Health started recently, but we don’t know anything about these subjects. How can we pass the exam?” said Shrawan Kumar Ram, a seventh-grader at Pidarboni Aadharbhut Bidhyalaya, a basic-level school in Lahan Municipality-11.
The school administration admitted its delay in teaching the subjects to its students.
“We could not teach a few subjects from grades six to eight due to a lack of teachers. The school has only four teachers for all students of grades one to eight,” said Bilat Chaudhary, the school headmaster. According to him, the then district education office in 2012 allowed the school to run classes till grade eight but did not appoint teachers.
In the absence of teachers, the four current teachers who were hired to teach the primary level (grades one to five) have been teaching classes up to the eight standards.
“I have repeatedly urged the authorities concerned to hire additional teachers but to no avail,” said Bilat.
The students are worried about the upcoming exams, as they have not been taught three subjects.
“We are not sure if we will pass the annual examination or not. Especially the students of grade eight will be hit hardest as they have to sit for the board examinations—Basic Level Examination—conducted by the local government,” said Puja Kumari Chaudhari, an eighth-grader.
The final examination in all community schools in the district has been scheduled from March 29.
The teachers in Pidarboni Aadharbhut Bidhyalaya argue that quality education cannot be imparted until the authorities allocate more teachers to the school.
“We are primary level teachers but we have to teach students of grades six, seven and eight as well,” said one of the four teachers at the school.
The school management claimed that the municipality has paid no heed to the school’s issues.
“The authorities are ruining the future of our students—85 percent of whom come from the Dalit community,” said Surya Narayan Ram, a member of the school management committee.
Like Pidarboni Aadharbhut Bidhyalaya, there are altogether 59 community schools in Lahan Municipality. Most of the schools lack the required subject teachers. Khemananda Bhusal, chief executive officer of the municipality, admitted that the community schools in the municipality suffer from a staff shortage.
“In the lack of subject teachers, the community schools have failed to provide quality education. We are preparing to assign more teachers to these schools from the new academic session,” said Bhusal.
The new academic session in the hills and Tarai districts begins from mid-April each year.