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SIMULTANEOUS MULTIPLE CLASSES IN A ROOM - situation in Nepali school in Phattepur VDC

Three teachers divide the blackboard among themselves by drawing boundary lines on it. Students of class two, three, four and five are seated in the same row with pens and notebooks. They struggle to make out which portion of the blackboard is actually meant for them.

After scribbling on the board, teachers move from one corner to another as, in a merry-go-round, asking students not to trespass the boundary line they have drawn while taking down notes. They are trying to solve problems. But the children hardly listen.

Can anyone guess the quality and relevance of government school education when four classes are taught in a single room at a time? Shri Nepal Rastriya Madhyamik Bidhyalaya (SNRMB) of Phattepur VDC Amdanda, Bara; conduct four classes in one room simultaneously, and have only one black board for use.

It has been seven years since students of SNRMB were taught this way. The authorities are however least bothered about changing this state of affairs.

“There are four classes to be handled in one room by three teachers at a time and there is only one blackboard. We divide the blackboard between three of us by drawing lines and tutor the children, said Kaushila Chaudhary, a school teacher.

“Very often, students are confused regarding which portion of the blackboard is actually meant for them and to which boundary line they should confine themselves as they copy,” she added.

“This has severely marred the learning of children,” said Laxmi Gautam, another school teacher.

“The din in the classroom is too much for my ears. On the other hand, children don’t grasp the lesson taught because they can’t hear unless a microphone is used,” she added.

Teachers have repeatedly explained their difficulties to the authorities, but in to no avail.

The school requires six class rooms but has only two, including one for the pre-primary section. There are 150 students. Pre-primary and primary students are taught in one room and four other classes are held in another room.

“It’s like a fish market where everybody shouts at everybody, we don’t hear what teachers say,” said Lok Nath Sedhai, a fifth grader.

“I feel like staying at home and studying rather than coming to school,” said Parbati Sedhai, a fourth grader who shares the same class with Lok Nath.

Source: The Kathmandu Post, March 10, 2005

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