KATHMANDU, Dec 18: The newly reconstructed, earthquake-resistant building of Shree Kali Devi Primary School in Kavre District was handed over to the community on Monday. The project was jointly completed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Nepal.
The April 2015 earthquake had badly damaged the school, destroying five classrooms and other school facilities. The newly reconstructed school has seven classrooms and a library in three buildings as well as separate toilet blocks for girls and boys, according to a statement issued by ADB on Monday. The buildings are made of modern structures resistant to earthquakes and designed with disabled-friendly features.
Prior to the construction of the new buildings, students were taking classes at temporary makeshift classrooms. “If the new building were not constructed, the school would have to be closed as the number of students was dwindling,” says Prem Lal Shrestha, the school's head teacher. “But now, we are confident students will come back as parents also feel the new buildings are safe.”
“The reconstruction of the school was an opportunity to build back better, and now the school is not only rebuilt to earthquake-resistant standards but also provides an improved learning environment for children,” said Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, ADB's Country Director for Nepal. “We hope this new building will inspire teachers and students to do their best.”
The school was reconstructed under the Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project (EEAP) jointly financed by ADB, which provided $200 million, and the Government of Nepal, which provided $33.4 million. The United States Agency for International Development provided $10 million in co-financing.
The EEAP is rebuilding 154 schools damaged by the earthquake that would enable thousands of children to return to school. Eleven schools are ready to be handed over to the community. The schools include stronger construction and engineering specifications that are designed to help the structures withstand future earthquakes. The EEAP-supported school reconstruction program is scheduled for completion in early 2019.
The hand-over program was also attended by Madhu Prasad Regmi, Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Dhruba Prasad Sharma, executive member of National Reconstruction Authority, local community, and members of the media.