Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Jajarkot’s terrible schools

Mahinarayan Yadav teaches Sanskrit at Laxmi Middle School in Khurpa, Jajarkot. He cannot even speak Nepali properly, is from Saptari and is actually a maths teacher. Besides Sanskrit and maths, he teaches science too. There are only eight teachers in the school. There are not sufficient teachers and therefore each teacher teaches more than one subject. Since most teachers are not qualified to teach more than one subject, students do not understand what they are taught. Karna Bahadur Singh, the Class 10 topper, says that although they do not understand anything the teacher teaches, they are forced to tell the teachers they understand everything. Man Bahadur Khadka of Class 9 says, "How do you expect us to understand, when the teacher himself cannot speak Nepali properly. We come to school, spend two to four hours in class, play volleyball and then return home." Only a few students attend class, the rest spend their time playing volleyball. Most of the students at Laxmi School do that now. Fewer than 50 percent of the students enrolled attend school. Besides, only half the syllabus is taught in any given year. No one is bothered, students do not understand what they are taught and they don't do their homework. No one cares, neither the teachers nor the students. Headmaster Mishri Lal Choudhary spends more than 15 days a month in Khalanga. He is not interested in getting more teachers for his school or in providing quality education. He just wants to complete his tenure and then pack his bags. Students complain that most of the time Choudhary is not present in school. He teaches English and he has not completed even half the course for the SLC exams. Last year, no one from this school passed their SLC exams in the first division. Singh the top student in Class 10, was the only one to pass Class 9, and he too got only 32 in maths.

Most schools in Jajarkot suffer from this disease called "lack of teachers". Most of the teachers present are not properly qualified and they have become teachers through political connections only.

Another problem the schools face is that they don't have chairs or tables. The chairman of the managing committee of the school, Prithvi Bahadur Singh, says they have never given this any thought. Students are forced to sit on grass, mud and dust and continue with their classes. Students return home around three every evening. There are seven periods a day, meaning seven subjects should be taught, but this has never happened here. In most cases this is so because of the lack of teachers.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)