HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
BIRGUNJ: In a shocking revelation the District Education Office, Parsa, has apparently released Rs 2 lakh to a primary school that actually does not exist at Akubaniya tole of Madhuwan Mathwal VDC. The DEO has been similarly allocating grant amount to the Shree Banshakti Primary School at Madhuwan Mathawal on the basis of fake documents.
According to DEO, Rs 1,63,034 was released in the fiscal year 2011-2012 to a non-existent school. For the current fiscal year, Rs 1,26, 121 was allocated. The school was registered at the DEO in 2009.
Information Officer Rambinay Singh at the DEO admitted that Rs 1,26,121 had indeed been released under various themes including scholarship, Dalit scholarship, students evaluation, free textbooks, school activity improvement up to third allocation of the current fiscal year.
According to locals, the squatters’ settlement does not have more than 33 households, and there are around 10 children of school going age at Akubaniya tole. Gokul KC, a local, said half of the households have been displaced in search of opportunities from the village. “Only the elderly and children are at home,” he added.
However, data at the DEO show that school has 100 students in Grade I and 136 students in Grade II. Locals have different version to say: kids are gathered from nearby Banshakti Temple whenever the DEO inspection team comes to the village.
On the other hand, the DEO data reveal the Nepal National Lower Secondary at Siddapur of Madhuwan Mathwal, Janajati Primary School at Madhuwan Mathwal-1, Nepal National Secondary at Madhuwan Mathwal-4, Nepal National Lower Secondary School at Sakhuwaniya tole are operating.
An employee at the DEO on the condition of anonymity said, “The release of fund on different headings is not possible without the consent from District Education Officer and other officers. But for financial advantage, everyone is working as an accomplice.”
Parsa Loktantrik Teachers’ Union central chairman Harihar Sah said many paper schools are operating in connivance with DEO and source persons in the district.
Source person Pramod Tiwari, however, said community schools located at Madhuwan Mathwal are operating. “There are both good performing and bad performing schools at Madhuwan Mathawal. But there are no paper schools,” he clarified.
Balram KC and Ganesh Bhandari are the chairman and the head teacher at the Banshakti Primary School. Head teacher Bhandari is the teacher from PCF quota.
District Education Officer Hari Prasad Wasti expressed his ignorance about the paper schools operating in the district. “We are receiving suggestion to merge schools with low student numbers,” he added.
Reacting to the revelations, Chief District Officer Benimadhav Gyawali said, “Action will be taken against the guilty. No one will be spared.”