Manang schools reopen classes amid snowfall

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By Yadu Prasad Bhatta, Manang, Feb. 26: With the arrival of spring, schools in Manang, which were closed for the winter break, have started resuming classes. 

After remaining closed for 45 days, three schools of the district have reopened, considering the upcoming Secondary Education Examination (SEE).

Prakashjyoti Residential Higher Secondary School in Thonche of Nason Rural Municipality-5 resumed classes on February 13 while Gauri Shankar Residental Higher Secondary School in Chame Rural Municipality reopened on February 6, and Lokpriya Higher Secondary School of Chame resumed classes on February 11.

 This year, a total of 40 students from the three schools are appearing in the SEE, said Mati Lal Chapai, Chief of the Education Development and Coordination Unit.

Kamal Jung Gurung, the headmaster of Gauri Shankar Residential School in Timang, Chame Rural Municipality, said that the school resumed operations without considering the potential snowfall.

 Unfortunately, heavy snowfall occurred in the area immediately after the schools began classes.  

Despite the cold weather resulting from the heavy snowfall, we are conducting the morning prayer on the snow-covered ground, headmaster Gurung informed.

Chhupi Gurung, a seventh grader, expressed joy at being able to study while playing in the snow. Similarly, Bibek Gurung, an eighth grader, mentioned that despite the cold weather, he enjoyed studying while playing in the snow. 

He said, “Even though it is snowing, we can play and study with enjoyment.”

Headmaster Gurung said that despite the cold weather caused by the delayed snowfall, the teaching and learning activities were running smoothly in the school.

Padma Raj Panthi, the headmaster of Prakashjyoti Higher Secondary School, said that despite the winter conditions, the school reopened focusing on the fast-approaching SEE. He added that during the winter holidays, he ensured that the students remained at their homes in Chamche, Lamjung.

Panthi said, “Our residential school welcomes students from Lamjung, including a dozen from Chamche near the Manang border. During the winter break, we rented a house in Chamche to continue the teaching activities. We taught science, math, English and optional math for two hours each morning and evening considering the upcoming SEE.”

He mentioned that time management was not an issue as theirs was a residential school. The municipality supports the school with an annual budget of Rs. 5 million. They charge Rs. 1,500 per student per month for residential services. Moreover, the school provides free accommodation to a dozen students. 

Panthi has called teachers of non-operational schools to work in his school.

The remaining schools in Manang will resume their classes after February 27. However, the schools of Narpabhumi Rural Municipality are running classes in Kathmandu. 

Manisha BK, head of the education branch of Narpabhumi Rural Municipality, said that the students would return to Narpabhumi for the new academic year in mid-April after conducting final examinations and publishing results. 

“We have no option as our local level lies far away from the district headquarters, it is not connected by road, and it takes two days to reach Narpabhumi from district headquarters Chame. Moreover, Narpabhumi is now buried under thick snow,” she said.  

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