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Safe schools bring hope to communities

Following the April 2015 earthquake which destroyed 35,000 classrooms, Plan International Nepal is supporting the rebuilding of schools with funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign affairs and Trade (DFAT). Twelve schools in six districts are now under construction, built to be resilient against earthquakes.

Children are waiting for a new school rooms

Once the construction of these schools is complete around 3,200 children will have access to new classrooms with improved education facilities. The schools will be ready for the new academic term which begins in April 2017.

Local people in Dolakha, one of the districts most affected by 2015 quake, are actively engaged in the construction of the new school buildings. Among them, 10 families dependent on farming for their livelihood, donated around 66,000 square feet of land for the construction of one of the safe schools.

When the earthquake damaged the previous school building, members of the School Management Committee (SMC) and parents were concerned about their children’s future.

Once we have our new school, it will be a good building for us as it will be safer and stronger. Our children are eagerly waiting for their new classrooms

Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha, the Principal of the school recalls, “Most of the parents had concerns over their children’s education, and asked us to build a safe school, but we were unable to reassure them.” The previous school building was built on weak foundations and made of poor quality materials.

After the SMC approached Plan International, we agreed to rebuild the new school. Shrestha says, "Once we have our new school, this will be a good building for all of us as it will be safer and stronger. Our children are eagerly waiting for their new classrooms."

The SMC, parents and students feel confident that the new building will be resilient against future earthquakes as it has been constructed with deep foundations using strong building materials. 

Although the SMC were unable to pay to purchase the land to relocate the school, 10 families provided their land for the school construction as their contribution to their children’s education.

We are working hard to finish constrouction by March 2017, so that children can start the new academic year in a new school building - Ramesh Lama, President of a School Management Committee

One of the land providers, Dambar Bahadur Magar explains, “I provided my land to the school for the better education of our children.” The grounds of the new school will be larger than the old school, giving the children more space to play and learn.

In order to complete all the school buildings by March 2017, members of the School Management Committees, teachers and parents are working together. Ramesh Lama, President of one of the SMCs, says, “We are working hard to have our building ready by March 2017, so that from the new academic year all the children will be studying at the new building.”

Lama explains that it is not just the school construction that has received Plan International’s support, “Enhancing the capacity and managerial skills of committee members is another part of the project. We have now gained the confidence to manage additional projects for our school, which would not have been possible if we had not worked with Plan International.”

Trained mason working for school constructions in Dolakha

The twelve model schools will be accessible to all children, with particular thought given to disabled access. The toilets, classrooms and playground have been constructed to give access to all children, regardless of their mobility. The previous schools had no facilities for children with disabilities.

One of the secondary schools in Sindhupalchok is also constructing a dormitory as well as two classrooms for 14 students with learning difficulties. This will be the only school in the area for children with disabilities.

Nirmala, a grade 3 student, says, “My parents sent me to this school as my previous school was very difficult for me to get to and from. I am now eagerly waiting for new dormitory to be built.” 

Plan International Nepal is supporting the rebuilding of schools with funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign affairs and Trade (DFAT).