Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) finalized its School Reconstruction Project in Nepal

Report
from Polish Humanitarian Action - Polska Akcja Humanitarna
Published on 29 Dec 2016

About PAH

Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) is one of the largest and most active non-governmental, non-profit humanitarian organizations in Poland. For almost 25 years PAH has been implementing comprehensive WASH, FSL, NFI, Education, Shelter and Protection solutions in hard to reach areas around the world. We are currently responding to humanitarian crises in Syria, Somalia, Ukraine and South Sudan.

Crisis situation in Nepal – Education Cluster

On 25 April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck just northwest of Kathmandu followed by a second one on 12 May 2015 measuring 7.3 magnitude. The earthquakes and the series of aftershocks (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000. It affected the lives of 8 million people, including 3.2 million children. It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since 1934

The earthquakes have had a devastating impact on the school sector in the affected areas. An estimated 1,109,000 children aged 3 to 18 years have been unable to return to their permanent classrooms, after the earthquakes destroyed a total of 35,986 of them. A further 16,761 classrooms require repair, affecting 480,000 children.

The government of Nepal, as well as National and International Agencies designated fourteen Priority Affected Districts. Among them Dhading, where 115,121 children were enrolled in ECD and schools pre-earthquake. According to Government and NSET lead assessments in Dhading 3,656, or 70%, of the 5,221 classrooms assessed are in blocks classified as unsafe. According to the assessor 53% of classrooms are in blocks flagged as red and need to be demolished and rebuilt.

Humanitarian assistance provided by Polish Humanitarian Action in Nepal.

After initial emergency response in other parts of the country (distributing temporary shelter, NFIs and food packages), PAH began to assess the needs in the school infrastructure in Dhading District. PAH identified Gumdi VDC, Dhading as prioritized for intervention with no coverage for permanent school buildings reconstruction and rehabilitation from National or International Agencies support.

Now, after 14 months from the initial assessment PAH finalized its school reconstruction project in Nepal. Together with Village Nepal, local project partner, PAH has reconstructed 6 schools in rural, hard-to-reach areas of Nepal: Salmetar, Kalyan, Saraswoti, Netrawoti, Pancha Kanya (primary schools) and Tamangharka (higher secondary school).

Through the reconstruction of these schools PAH ensures equal access to primary and secondary education in safe, protected, and well equipped learning spaces, as well as proper WASH facilities for almost 900 students from Gumdi VDC. All the buildings have been constructed in accordance with the Ministry of Education requirements, international standards for education (INEE, SPHERE), Nepal National Building Codes and safety measures, which ensure that the new structures are earthquake-resistant (Disaster Risk Reduction).

Moreover all the schools have been equipped with appropriate furniture (desk and benches for the students, office tables & chairs for the teachers), educational materials (maps, globes, educational posters, etc.) and books (all the primary schools have new libraries). During the opening celebrations 900 students from the reconstructed schools received student supplies (notebooks, pencil sets, erasers, rulers, etc.).

Additionally the cooperation between PAH and Village Nepal allowed for knowledge transfer between the organizations and helped Village Nepal to gain new experience in school construction work, needs assessment and general project management. Both organizations have been awarded by the District Education Office in Dhading Besi as the best partnership implementing school reconstruction projects in the entire Dhading district.

Currently, as a part of the project exit strategy PAH and Village Nepal are working on an additional training component for the teachers and students from all the schools in Gumdi VDC to address various skill gaps identified during the project evaluation. Based on the feedback from the teachers and principals gathered during the project evaluation the training component will include workshops on using new methods and techniques of teaching (measures to generally raise the quality of education) and natural disaster hazards and emergency/escape. The implementation of activities for teachers and trainers will be a good opportunity for Village Nepal to take over full responsibility and make use of these newly established capacities.

For more information about the work of Polish Humanitarian Action or if you would like to support our activities please visit our website: pah.org.pl