Over the weekend of 29th & 30th August, 10 TBS (The British School Kathmandu) staff and our engineer visited 3 schools in the Dhading province. These schools have been the focus of our Sixth form charity project for the last 5 years and TBS charities has committed the funds to the rebuilding of all 3 schools. During the weekend our team visited all 3 schools as well as meeting with the Dhading educational authority. (Right - A temporary classroom at Gayetri Devi Primary School).
Our meeting with the educational authority was to gain final approval of our classroom plans and to obtain permission to start construction. Our engineer has drawn up detailed plans that exceed the size and safety requirements of the educational authority. The educational authority was appreciative of our efforts towards the rebuilding of three schools and we reaffirmed our commitment to the rebuilding process. (This is Shree Rudrakanya school where additional land will site the new building).
We shared our plans with the Principals and community leaders at each of the three schools (Our engineer is pictured - right - with the Chair of Governors at Gayatri Devi Primary school) . They were impressed with the detail and practicality of the classroom designs and they are using this opportunity to change the layout of their schools to make the utilisation of space more practical and to give the children more outside space to play. One school has been able to level some disused land that a set of four classrooms will now be built on.
We were impressed with how resilient all of the communities have been. All of the schools that we are working with have established temporary classrooms (see left for an example) so that school can continue without any disruption. At Shree Rudrakanya Primary school, one of the local landowners has donated an extra plot of land for the temporary classrooms to be built upon so that the disruption to construction work is minimal. (Left - A temporary classroom at Shree Khanigau Primary school).
We have now completed the relatively time-consuming and complicated planning stage and are moving forward. We have received a final bill of quantities from our construction contractor and after this weekend when we were able to finalise the plans we are optimistic that the construction will start within the next 3 weeks. The schools themselves are sourcing construction material where possible, with some of the stone used in the construction coming from the original buildings. As we will use local material and labor where possible, this will allow us to save on transportation costs as well as being able to support the local construction industry. By helping to teach the local builders how to engineer the most earthquake resilient buildings possible we hope to share expertise that will be used in all buildings in Dhading as a matter of course.
We wish to thank all our donors around the world. Without your support we would not have been able to get to this
stage. We have been able to meet with local communities and ensure that their children will be able to soon return to
more permanent classrooms. We met children at one of the schools on the Sunday of our visit and to see them make so much of so little is humbling to those of us who are used to teaching and learning in spaces which are luxurious in
comparison. (Left- The start of a school day at Shree Khanigan Primary school). Thank you once again to everyone who is contributing to the TBS charity efforts. We are seeing progress in Dhading and look forward to being able to report still more progress in the coming weeks!
The British School Kathmandu