‘We used to be a well-equipped school. Now we don’t even have a library’
06 Apr 2016

‘We used to be a well-equipped school. Now we don’t even have a library’

Akhilesh Azad | Vice Principal, Durbar High School, Kathmandu

“Six students were with me in the library when it happened. I told  everyone to hold each other tight. ‘Don’t panic! Be calm! Pray to god  this will be over soon’, I said. I closed my eyes, I could not look. It  lasted 2.5 long minutes.

“We used to be a well-equipped school. The students were always excited to use our facilities. But now we don’t even have a library. We don’t have a computer lab. We don’t have a science lab. And it’s School Leaving exams. We are hopeful the students’ results won’t be affected by the earthquake. The teachers are working a lot. But these exams are very tough.

“The students are not allowed to enter the school. It is not safe. There are cracks everywhere. The parents asked us: ‘How can we still bring our children here? It’s not safe!’ We had trauma session with psychologists and we built temporary classrooms, right next to the ruin. And a small zinc hut that serves as a canteen.

“We have written to the government. Some ministries want to help with the finances. We have the manpower. We could start building a new school right away. Sure, it will take a few years. We just need the government  to give us the land so we can start.”

Photo: Sven Wolters