Changbangdu Primary School (CPS) has been closed since 2013 due to mainly safety reasons. It was demolished so that a better and safer school building structure could be built.
The Thimphu Thrompon said, “It was a very old structure, we could see cracks here and there around the buildings. If earthquake comes, it is very risky, and it may kill teachers and students.”
CPS was started as an expansion to Changzamtog Lower Secondary School (CLSS). However, CPS lacked of the basic civic amenities and safety norms required in school buildings. Also, CPS could not cope up with the rise in the number of students.
According to the Thromde Education Officer (TEO), even though CPS was relocated at Kuenselphodrang, many parents have admitted their children to the already crowded CLSS instead of Kuenselphodrang Primary School (KPS).
TEO pointed out that the parents prefer to admit their children in CLSS due to its close proximity to town, whereas KPS is located 1-2 km uphill from Changzamtog, which makes it difficult for students to walk to school and back home.
A resident of Changzamtog, Dema, said her son who studied at KPS last year complained about the walking distance to school. Therefore, Dema decided to get her son enrolled in CLSS, which is just 200 meters walk from her house.
“It is fine for those parents who have a car to drop their children in the morning and pick up in the evening, but it is very difficult for those students who have to walk a long way,” Dema said.
A 5th grader at KPS, Karma said, “Everyday, I have to walk a long way to reach school, often I get late to school, and by the time I reach school, I feel very exhausted and could not concentrate on my studies.”
Officiating principal of CLSS said the school has not admitted a big number of students from CPS. “We given admission to only two students on medical grounds as they were kidney and asthma patients,” said the officiating principal.
Meantime, to help reduce the congestion at CLSS, the thromde committee has decided to build a four-storied building at CPS site to accommodate students from class PP to VI.
The cost of building the new school is estimated at about Nu 9 mn, which is yet to be released by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Thimphu Thrompon said, “We have started to demolish the old structure, but when to rebuild the new school has not yet been decided. We will rebuild as soon as we receive the budget.” He also said MoE did not allow construction of any new school in the urban premises.
MoE pointed out that the rebuilding of school is a huge project and the ministry has a budget constraint. “We have to see whether it is well planned,” said a MoE official.
KPS has 10 women and 7 men teachers, and has 307 students – 159 male and 148 female.
CLSS now has 1513 students – 714 male, 799 female, and 61 teachers including IT Teachers on contract basis.