Building new schools

Classes are often taught in poorly built structures that are not conducive to learning. That is the consequence of the government only paying for the wages of the teachers, not for classrooms, furniture, books. That’s things that the villagers have to provide, and they cannot afford that.

That’s why we would like to support some schools financially, in order to improve these conditions.

Our contractor agreed to build a fully constructed classroom with a concrete floor and ceiling according to the directives from the government for only $ 5000. At many places in Laos this would cost double the amount of money. We will donate $ 2500 per classroom. The rest will be paid for by the villagers as they will provide sand, gravel, wood, labour and some money if needed. The villages considered to get new classrooms were selected by the district authorities. The schools comply with all the requirements set by the Laotian government.

To make sure the schools are constructed according to the plans there are three kinds of inspection:

  1. Our local committee KCDA
  2. The district authorities (they also write an official report)
  3. Volunteers working in the Khong District

Afterwards the bill is paid in 4 terms. Only after one year and after the last inspection the fourth term will be paid.

These are the three schools that we will support:

1. Phondaeng elementary school and kindergarten, in Kadanh village, Champasak (Khong District).

This school needs a completely new building and a space for the toddlers. The toddlers are now being taught in the teachers’ office. Often classes cannot take place during the rainy season because only half of the school building has wooden walls. The school needs 4 to 5 classrooms and toilets. Another problem is the water pump that does not function during the dry season.

2. Narxeuak school primary+ secondary school in Phon Saat, Narxeuak village, Champasak (Khong District).

The secondary school buildings were recently finished, but 3 more classrooms are needed. The children sit outside under a rough-and-ready roof. The primary school needs complete renovation. It has 2 classrooms, both without floor and with a leaky roof. Here there are no walls either, because of a lack of wood. They do have a water pump and toilets.

3. Barncharn primary school, in Barcharn village, Champasak (Khong District).

This school is the one in the poorest conditions. It’s a small building with three classrooms in the same room, without separation walls. Often the classes are cancelled because of holes in the roof and the wind that enters the room from the sides. The supporting beams are hosting termites and are therefore in a very bad condition as well. There is a second building at the other side of the street with possibly two more classrooms, but that building is not well maintained either. There is a water pump, but there are no toilets.

The construction committees in all three villages have decided, together with the villagers, to build three more classrooms (for now). Some villages need more classrooms. That would involve more support from the local people, and they are not ready to make that extra effort.