Establishing a school in this remote part of the country was not an easy task for our community leaders. So, to campaign for it, they formed the School Establishment Committee in 1978-1983. After hard fought campaigning for nearly 5 years, their dream to give primary education to their children at home realized on 17th February 1983 when government approved their application to run primary school in the village. They are our heroes:
School Establishment Committee in 1978-1983:
Out of those children, at least 2% of them made it all the way to universities. More than three decades later, the community is proud to have its own sons and daughters as an architect, accountant, sub-civil engineers, community medical assistants, pharmacists, nurse, teachers, journalist, businessmen and women, and a human rights lawyer.Now, implementing sustainability-based development in our community is an idea of the generation which, first time in the village’s history, was privileged enough to go to a school in 1980s.
This is the generation which has joined hands with those who envisioned to see them to be educated. We have been working hard together to build up a network of diaspora communities, and like-minded people from around the world with a mission to make our village a “Role Model Village” in the field of sustainability-based development.
Primary School Jhumlawang
Today, the school welcomes more than 200 children from our community- ranging from pre-schooling to class five. Three decades later, there are just three permanent teachers and one community-funded assistant teacher who have to cover all teachings. That leaves at least two classes without any teacher at any given time. Furthermore, the building does not meet very basic standards of school infrastructures like good natural light in classrooms, tables and benches to sit comfortably for students during their studies.
Then, after completing their primary level of studies, these children have no other options but to undertake a two-hour treacherous journey every day to go to Higher Secondary School, Sima to continue their further study.
The community joined hands with Foghlaim Ireland through Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ Concern Centre (HURINPECC), Kathmandu to establish a ‘Mini Library’ in 2010. Now, students and teachers have an access to more than 150 books in various subjects such as children’s literature, children’s monthly magazines, daily newspapers, environment, health and science.
Similarly, through Act Alliance Nepal, France-based organisation- Association Partages provided a steel cupboard and a few blackboards in 2009. In addition to this, Association Partage has been offering scholarship (stationary) 4 times a year to 30 students who come from economically disadvantaged family background.
School Building Extension Project-2013/2014:
We are determined to gradually build up good infrastructures, and put system in a place to address those issues that are preventing our children to get better access to education. School Building Extension Project (SBEP) is one of those steps towards that direction. Once it is completed, this extension building will:
- Facilitate us to run classes up to 8. Recently, the Ministry of Education has brought up a new plan and policy which allows upgrading primary school to class 8.
- Small children will not have to make 2 hours journey every day to Sima School to continue their further education. It will not only give a relief to their worrying parents, but more time to study after school or offer helping hands to their parents.
- Office and Library: Mini Library supported by Foghlaim is in office steel drawer at the moment due to lack of available room. This project will provide separate room for office and library. Library will have more books, and other educational materials.
It is more than three years that we have been preparing for this project. The fund we needed to buy a plot of land were raised by Kuwait based diaspora community of Jhumlawang.
The community will contribute 25% of total budget working in the project site. For additional budget, we have formed a partnership with Association Partages France, Foghlaim Ireland, and GRC Solidarity, ITALY.
Diaspora member, architect Ajay Magar designed the building. He will lead and oversee construction work of the building with support of Technical Field Coordinator, sub-civil engineer Laxman Budha Magar.
Applying Earthbag Construction Technology:
The previous construction experience in Community Health Centre and Community Centre Buildings became a great source of learning for JVF-Nepal. It was from these construction experiences that the architect started exploring best-suited technology for the site location and opted for Earthbag Technology instead of the traditional construction method. Ar. Magar utilized his Australian stay in 2013 to learn the environment-friendly, fast construction and low-cost building technique, Earth-Bag technology that seemed appropriate for the new school building in Jhumlawang.
It is a pride for JVF-Nepal to introduce and implement new building technique which is natural building type, and also best suited for the project site. The Earthbag technology was specifically suitable for the project due to following site conditions:
- There is no stone-query close to the project site that would increase the cost of the project if carried from a long distance; however this technology does not involve mason work.
- Soil excavation was required in the site thus the technology would use the on-site soil for construction in spite of stones.
- This technology would complete the school building in lesser time than traditional technique that would minimize the cost of the project and also lessen the burden of the community contribution.
- Since the community members would be engaged in the work, this technology is simple, flexible to modify and easy to learn which would easily involve any member in the construction work.
- This technology is resistant to harsh climatic condition which would be able to resist the chilly weather of the village.
The new technology introduced in the community has fascinated and inspired the locals in construction technique. The same effect has reached the neighboring villages and even district authorities who are enthusiastic to visit the building and learn about the new technology. During the construction of the school building, Ar. Magar not only supervised the building construction but also trained the community people about the technical know-how and the benefits of the new technology.
Building is almost Completed:
The two-story school building under SBEP is almost completed which will be in operation from up-coming Education Year 2072 (April 2015). Superstructure (foundation, wall, roof, doors’ and windows’ frame) of the new building is completed and currently interior-outer plaster works are in progress. The outer plaster work is cement work however the interior plaster will be mud-plaster.