DHANGADHI, May 22: Even after two months into this year´s academic session, most children in Bajura district go to school without textbooks as very few of over 300 schools have provided textbooks to their students.
Textbooks are yet to be sent to extremely remote VDCs such as Rugeen, Sappata, Jukot, Bandhu, Gotri, Dahakot and Bichya, among others. The children are forced to attend classes with empty satchels though the government had planned to avail the books to the students by the first week of the new session.
District education officer Krinsha Kunwar, however, has put all the blame on the schools for the failure to furnish the textbooks to students.
“We provided the fund for textbooks to the schools much before the session started,” he said. "The problem might also be due to the regular bandas enforced by various groups," he added.
There are more than 300 schools in the district but only the students in and around the headquarters have received books. According to a school principal Shuva Raj Paudel, the book stores they contacted did not provide them the books even though they asked for it 2 months in advance. “This is not a new problem. This happens each year, particularly, due to the negligence of book depots, distributors and transporters,” said the principal of Malika Higher Secondary School.
“There is no record of the books reaching to this place on time ever. The books typically arrive mid-session every year,” added a schoolteacher. “Sometimes the books don´t reach even by the end of session,” he added.
With the transportation coming to a complete halt since the last 25 days, people in Bajura and Accham, among other hilly districts in the far-west, are facing acute shortage of even the most essential food items and medicines.
There is acute shortage of salt, pulse, rice and wheat and medicines in the market and even if they are available at some places, the prices are simply beyond common man´s reach.
Similarly, lack of medicines and closure of clinics and hospitals have given tough time to patients. They have been deprived of even basic medical services.
Though the supporters of an undivided far-west called off banda in the region after 21 days, those demanding separate Tharuhat province have continued their strikes.
The strikers have not allowed any vehicle, including trucks carrying essential commodities, to pass through Kailali and Kanchanpur, forcing people to suffer extreme hardships.