Schools have opened after the long holidays of Dasain, Tihar and Chhath.
At the same time, Jan Vikas Secondary School located at Athabiscot Municipality-14 in Rukumpaschim also opened from Monday. 14-year-old Krishna Malla of class 8, who came to school with the excitement of meeting friends, studying in the classroom and playing in the school yard, found today’s school day overwhelming. Neither she could speak openly to anyone, nor did she dare to enter the classroom.
Krishna’s face was saddened by the news of the death of his classmates Viraj Malla and Prema Malla who were studying in the same class in the night earthquake on November 17th. Seeing that the school building was destroyed, her heart was also broken. An emotional Krishna said, “Prema and I always sat on the same bench, Viraj was my best friend in class, I couldn’t believe it at first when I heard the news of his death.”
The eyes of the teachers and students present during the silent program held by the school during the prayer could not remain silent. The collapsed building and the pain of losing three students have left the school silent. As much as Krishna feels the pain of losing a friend who has been studying with him since class 4, other friends are also in the same pain.
Vinod Mahtara, who studies in class 8 in the same school, said that the school itself was deserted. Narrating that his house was destroyed by the earthquake, Vinod said, “My books are also lost, my friends are also lost.” Vinod, who came with an old copy, hopes that the school will arrange books again. Vinod said that out of 36 friends of Class 8, only five came to school today and sat in the school yard. Seeing that the classroom is cracking, their hearts are also cracking.
School principal Deepak Sangam Thapa said three students of his school had lost their lives due to the earthquake. Vinod and Prema studying in class 8 and 11-year-old Chandrakala Malla studying in class 5 died in the earthquake. Few students came to the school that opened after the holidays. Principal Thapa informed that there are 315 students from infant to class 10, but only 70 students came today.
Two buildings of the school were completely damaged while the remaining three buildings were cracked. Thapa said that the counselors from Sosek Nepal are motivating the students in various ways to reduce the psychological impact.
11 students died in Athabiscot alone due to the earthquake. Indra Bahadur Bista, head of the education branch of the municipality, said that 11 students and one office assistant were missing. The head of the branch, Bista, said that 1,441 sets of books from classes 1 to 10 have been requested from various schools. 18 students have died due to the earthquake in Rukum Paschim. The news has been published in today’s Gorkhapatra.