Print Edition - 2015-06-12 | Earthquake Relief
Model schools in Gorkha
Jun 11, 2015-Classes might have begun in Gorkha, but most of the schools here do not have classrooms yet. Against this backdrop, two classrooms are being set up as model schools by a group of civil engineers who have been using various materials to construct semi-permanent structures that could last for at least two decades.
The first school, Phinam Primary School, has been completed and the engineers are now working towards the completion of Surya Jyoti Secondary School in Jaubari VDC.
Speaking at the inauguration of the school, where he handed over the keys to the school authorities, opposition leader and former deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that while it was important to urge the government to take action, it was equally important that the people not stay idle. “Yes it is the government’s responsibility to build schools, but we can’t stay idle waiting for the government,” he said. “It is important to take action,” said Shrestha, thanking Japan’s Shinnyo-En organisation, which is funding the buildings.
The schools, which have a metal structure, are completed with prefab walls and cost around Rs 1 million. “It was amazing to see the work being done so quickly. One day there was nothing and the second day we could see the structure,” said Ain Maiya Thapa Magar, mother of two boys who go to the school. “It looks durable and I feel safe for now,” she said. Magar, along with hundreds of other parents, had gathered at Phinam to attend the inauguration.
Roshan Shah, a civil engineer who is heading the group of volunteers, said they have also been teaching the locals how to build the structures. While it was difficult in the beginning, Shah said the locals have caught on and now know the basics.
Volunteerism and help is coming in different forms. Every day, some of the households bring food for the volunteers as a gesture of gratitude. “The welcome we have been given is remarkable. Every day, the villagers are willing to help in one way or the other,” he said. “They are so amazed by how quickly we can build prefab structures that they’ve asked us to stay behind for the next six months, to help build the entire village.”
While the plan is to finish building the two schools for now, Shah hopes the villagers have gained the expertise to construct such structures by themselves in the future.
Published: 12-06-2015 07:37