CITC is proud to announce that a further 6 new and 2 refurbished classrooms including gender friendly toilets have been completed at Shree Sagarmatha Secondary School in the village of Bung. Serving around 800 local students, the school is one of the largest in the Everest Region, however despite serving such a huge population of children, the school has previously lacked adequate infrastructure and resources to sustain the requirements necessary to provide a high quality education. When CITC first approached the school in 2012, the students were found studying in temporary learning shelters built of bamboo and many of the students were found playing in the grounds, as they didn’t have teachers inside their classrooms. There were no basic sanitary facilities or a clean drinking water system at the school.
The devastating earthquakes of 2015 added more sorrows to the school. Out of 21 classrooms, 14 were completely destroyed with the Early Years classes suffering the most damage. In response to the urgent need for rehabilitation, in 2017, CITC with significant funding from an International Rotary Grant and the British Foreign Schools Society were able to open 4 earthquake resistant classrooms along with gender specific toilets and clean, safe drinking water. The new classrooms made a significant impact to the school and community but more needed to be done and as part of an extended support plan, CITC in partnership with The International Rotary, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services, The British Foreign School Society and the Dudley Schools Partnership has coordinated the construction of 6 brand new high quality, earthquake resistant classrooms and 2 refurbished classrooms along with sanitary facilities for the new buildings. A team of 20 highly skilled construction team members worked tirelessly on the site, persevering to overcome a range of challenges not least due to the monsoon season and the inability to transport heavy machinery to prepare the site. Added to this, a huge rock the size of a classroom was discovered when preparing the foundations for the groundwork. Local labourers worked hard for a number of weeks to break down the rock with basic tools until finally an excavator was able to make it through the difficult terrain. After a further 2 days, the site was ready for the foundation work to continue, however the challenges didn’t end there as the workers had to drain water from the monsoons out of the pits dug for the foundations. The powerhouse had also been destroyed, cutting off electricity to the site, meaning that a generator had to be installed. The team however showed tremendous resilience and found ways to work around the demanding circumstances to continue with delivering the highest standard of construction possible, the school and community have expressed their pride in the team for their dedication.
Thanks to the efficient working of the construction team, the structural works were completed at the end of February 2019, a whole month ahead of schedule! The high quality of the build is plain to see and mirrors CITC’s Kharikhola School Project with classrooms joined by a shared covered area, offering a practical design to provide the necessary space for all weather child-centred activities. In March the team were able to concrete the floors before beginning the finishing work such as plastering, decorating and installing the glass windows. The Cheshire Fire Apprentices attended the first official opening ceremony in March, followed by a visit from representatives from the Dudley Schools partnership for the second ceremony in April. The building project is part of a wider vision to improve the Early Years education at Shree Secondary School. The school will not only receive new classrooms but will be equipped with the means to provide a high quality learning environment to benefit more than 200 Early Years students. Funding for learning resources has been kindly donated by the EU Revue. The new classrooms will be a hub for the training and development of teachers to provide the best possible learning outcomes for the children.