Norgaygang residents cry foul over central schools

The residents of Norgaygang (Bara) gewog in Samtse seem to be unhappy over the establishment and implementation of central schools in the country.

The people raised their concerns over central schools during the visit of Opposition Leader (OL) Dr. Pema Gyamtsho to the gewog last week.

A resident, during the meeting with the OL, said the establishment of central schools by the present government has caused disparities among schools. While the central schools receive all the facilities starting from plates to beddings, he said the parents of other schools still struggle to offer basic schooling facilities for their children.

“It could also increase regional misbalance in the education system in the country,” the farmer added.

Also, a few others say that the enormous facilities provided to the central schools are a major loss to the government’s coffer and that students misuse these facilities.

“We can see the books with the school’s name printed even used by shopkeepers, farmers and others; using them as diaries. This is an improper practice which is not meant for. The practice is everywhere and it’s really concerning,” a concerned farmer said, adding that more than 20 notebooks are issued to every student in central schools, while students in other schools still buy their books.

A few of the participants who had congregated for the meeting also requested equal development and provision of equal facilities for other schools like central schools, while a few others wanted the government to continue with the old ECRs and primary schools without closing them. A few said the central schools only favor the influential parents, thus neglecting the poor in getting admission to central schools.

Meanwhile, the government started turning recognized schools into central schools since 2015 by providing all the facilities to the students of central schools, including caregivers to the younger students. There are more than 60 central schools across the country today.

The participants also voice out that rural schools like extended classrooms and primary schools are at the losing end without much funds, while central school get most of the funds.

“These schools don’t even have enough fund to celebrate the national functions,” a farmer, Pema Gyelpo, said, adding that each student is provided Nu 16,000 annually, which is insufficient.

Meanwhile, another participant said that admitting children in hostels at a tender age could lose the bond between the parents and children.

The Opposition Leader, Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, informed the congregation that the decision which is still unwelcomed is still under implementation.

He added that the opposition had voiced against the system of central schools and it undermining the previous education policy of ‘Universal education for all’.

Dr. Pema Gyamtsho said the establishment of central schools has become biased as students in central schools receive all the facilities, but not by students of other schools.

He added that these students would lose the bond between the parents and children and would be deprived of the holistic education from home and the community.

“There is a chance that they may later think they do not owe anything to their parents,” he said.

Krishna Ghalley from Bara, Samtse