The earthquake hampered the education of many children. PIN helps to reconstruct the schools in Nepal
The sky is cloudy and drizzling when I reach the top of the hill in Baruwa where construction of a new school is rolling. Beside it is a temporary learning center, which is a classroom used by the students until the new building will be finished. On my way towards the school, I am imagining children running around the premises shouting, laughing and screaming, children pushing each other for sitting space under tin roof trying to read their textbooks. Moreover, I am expecting their curious eyes following me, which usually happens when they see outsiders.
However, to my surprise the area is unexpectedly quiet. I question myself, if it is a public holiday. As I get closer, I ask the local workers if there is anyone at the school. They point out to a tiny tin shelter and say the principle is there in the class. I am thankful to hear that. I enter the place and see four students with the principle.
“Where are the students?” is my first question.
“There is a wedding in the village so the students went early,” replies the school principle Jay Narayan Singh.
The April 2015 earthquake destroyed all the five schools in the area and Shree Ganesh Basic School was one of them. The earthquake not only ruined the building but also hampered the education of many children. Many parents migrated to Kathmandu, the capital, which consequently dropped the number of students in the village. Many parents send their children to the cities for quality education and many are forced to walk 1-2 hours daily to reach the nearest school.
With the support from Czech Radio Foundation and facilitation of People in Need, a local NGO Phase Nepal is constructing Ganesh School and providing furniture and materials for the classrooms. After the completion of the school, it will be handed over to the community and the government will take charge of its operation. The school committee will hold a program during its handover to inform villagers about its new start. Jay Narayan is confident that the children will start enrolling back to the same school, as it will be near compared to where they are going now. “Furthermore, many locals who migrated to cities after the earthquake are returning to rebuild their houses, which means more children will be back to their school”, says Jay Narayan Singh.
With the re-establishment of the school, the ward chairperson of Paanchpokhari, Pasang Lama, states that the ward is planning to introduce some improved education programs to motivate teachers as well as parents. They have a plan to create a child friendly environment and encourage children to actively participate in school activities, making education fun and joyful to children.