Villagers forced to pay for teachers’ salaries
18 Oct, Palpa:
The villagers of a remote locality of the district have been fundraising to provide salaries to the teachers of Gothan Secondary School.
Around 170 families living in this far-flung Juthapauwa VDC – 6 and 7 collect Rs 250 on a monthly basis to provide for the salaries and perks to the teachers. This invariably means that the villagers are running the school, at least, on economical ground.
The locality is so remote and virtually untouched by modern development infrastructure that the children are forced to trudge for at least two to three hours daily to head to other locations for attending schools. Three years ago, the villagers decided it was enough and started to run secondary level school curriculum, but immediately were faced with the economic backlash.
The children have been spared the daily toil for sake of education and are happy to receive the facility at their doorsteps, but it is a different story with their parents, who are visibly struggling to provide for the teachers’ salaries.
In this community, which titters on the brink from falling into unsustainable poverty, the villagers make a living by selling their crops and livestock. They are forced to lead a niggardly life to save money to buy salt and oil.
Local resident, Lila Bahadur Raskoti, of Juthapauwa VDC – 6 said the villagers are collecting a monthly Rs 250 from each family to run the school. They are now facing a problem to raise the money on a regular basis.
Another local resident and a teacher, Chintamani Raskoti, said the villagers started collecting money so that they could run school curriculums up to Grade 10. He added that now the locals are facing problems in raising the money on regular basis. “Like before we are unable to raise the money, in the last month the villagers collected Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000,” Raskoti shared. The school has 250 students from Magar and Dalit communities.
School Principal, Mahesh Pokharel, said they are compelled to raise money from the households in the two wards to provide salaries to six teachers.
Pokharel added that the villagers are finding it difficult to provide salaries for teachers in secondary and lower secondary levels because the official status has designated teachers’ posts only in primary or elementary level. The villagers have fixed the salary of a single teacher in secondary level at Rs 17,500 per month whereas the lower secondary level teachers receive salaries ranging from Rs 7,000 to 8,000.
The Mahakali Secondary School at Mehaldhap and Gauri Secondary School of Juthapauwa are the other two schools lying closest to the village, but the children have to walk for three hours through a jungle to get there. The villagers decided to open the school in their own village as 12 to 13 year old students cannot always tread the dangerous path through the wilderness.
Meanwhile, the School Principal has appealed to the government and the non-governmental organizations for financial support. RSS