Thursday, January 28, 2016

How We Are Rebuilding Earthquake Ravaged Taltuleshwory Primary School

The powerful 7.8 Richter Scale earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015 and its recurrent aftershocks severely damaged Shree Taltuleshwory Primary School of Thangpalkot VDC, Sindupalchok District. Classes were disrupted for over a month affecting the 176 students of the school. With COMMITTED’s help the school is currently running as Temporary Learning Centers (TLC).

 The floor being laid
Moving forward, after the consolidation of the requisite funds, the construction of Shree Taltuleshwory School has been initiated and we are making steady progress. The permit process with the Department of Education, the District Education Office Sindupalchok, and the Social Welfare Council were also acquired before construction commencement. The new structure being built is earthquake resistant. The school buildings will be single storied with framed steel structures. This is because our assessment of many earthquake affected schools indicate steel framed structures to have handled the recent earthquake better, with minimal damage. 

The Site Plan of Taltuleshwory School
Also, pre fabricated material and light weight cement sandwich wall panels are being used which have proved to be earthquake resistant, upto a magnitude of 8.5. Not only is the structure designed to be earthquake proof but the use of  the wall panel material (EPS polystyrene grain) makes it sound proof and its calcium-silicon fire resistant quality makes it fire and water proof as well. The schools which were destroyed during the earthquake in Nepal were weak structurally and we see this as an opportunity to build stronger and better schools, to educate the students of Thangpalkot village.  
The pillars that have been set up
Construction in progress
The front elevation of Taltuleshwory Schol 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Inu Pakhrin shares her Star Writer Program Experience

Inu Pakhrin, a student of Taltuleshwory school shares her experience of the Star Writer Program

Inu Pakhrin, aged 12 studies in class five in Shree Taltuleshwory School, Thangpalkot VDC, Sindupalchok. There are five members in her family including her mother, father, and two sisters, one elder to her and the other younger than her. Her parents work as farmers in order to earn their livelihood. Inu shared her experience of participating in the Star Writer Program organized by COMMITTED. She expressed that she really enjoyed reading ‘Treasure Island’ the story book that their class had been assigned and that her favorite character in the book was Jim Hopkins. She shared that she found the program quite interesting as this was the first time that she had participated in such a program. She was happy that she got the opportunity to read a story book written in English guided by her English teacher as she used to read only Nepali story books earlier on. She said that from now on she would visit her school library more often and try to read other story books written in English.

Since before this she had not read an English story book completely, Inu shared that she found a lot of the words and the sentence structure in the book quite difficult to understand. She was advised to get a dictionary to help her find the meanings of the difficult words and now she has been continually using it.  She spends her spare time in learning the meanings of different words and its pronunciation. She feels that students get encouraged to develop the habit of reading through such a program and is glad to have been a part of it. The book report written by Inu after finishing reading Treasure Island was also chosen as one of the best book reports in the class by her teacher. Kudos to this star reader!