Specifically built to prevent students from dropping out after completing primary education, the only high school at Mogban union, Rangamati has remained closed since 2017 as there are no teachers.
Although the school has a two-story building and students ready to enrol at it, academic activities cannot be resumed. As a result, local students are dropping out after passing their Primary Education Certificate exams.
Guardians demand immediate appointment of teachers to resume classes at Mogban which is more than an hour away from the district town.
However, the authorities concerned could not say when teachers would be appointed.
The Education Engineering Department began constructing the high school in 2011 at a cost of Tk2 crore. The building was handed over to upazila higher education office in 2012.
As many as 380 Tanchangya families live at seven villages surrounding the school. Most of the locals live on fishing and agriculture. The locality has three primary schools.
The high school began in 2013 with three part-time teachers and continued till 2015. It later resumed in 2017 with two part-timers.
After a disastrous landslide, however, the school closed for the second time.
Mogban Union Parishad Member Sukhi Kumar Tanchangya said the school began with more than 70 students, but there will be more students when it resumes.
Local students mostly drop out after primary level, Sukhi said, as the high school remains closed.
Bhagyadhan Tanchangya, a local, has two sons and a girl. He sent one of the boys to Rangamati town to study.
"The landslide damaged the cropland. I am struggling to pay the education fees of my son at the district town," he said.
Romati Tanchangya, like Bhagyadhan, also fears his daughter will drop out as she has appeared for the Primary Education Certificate examination. "She needs to go to the district town to continue studying. But I do not have the financial ability to send her there."
The high school was built with special consideration to prevent dropouts, according to the upazila education office. The government issued special instruction to run the school, even relaxing some terms.
Swapan Chakma, secondary education officer at Rangamati Sadar upazila education office, said other high schools built under the same project got listed in government's Monthly Payment Order.
"We did everything possible. But the process got stuck at the district level."
Ratan Chakma, academic supervisor at upazila secondary education office, said, "A recruitment advertisement for the school received many applications. However, the recruitment could not progress as the district secondary education officer did not make any move."
Dismissing the claim, District Secondary Education Officer Uttam Khisa said he did not move to recruit teachers as they would not get paid and subsequently file lawsuits against him.
"I would have acted otherwise if there were clear instructions from the higher authorities."
According to the school organogram, the upazila nirbahi officer is the president of the school.
Rangamati Sadar upazila Nirbahi Officer Fatama Tuz Zahura said, "I have come here recently and do not know about the school. I will try to resume academic activities."