Jantanagar school, September 2008


Roof completed with 17 paid masons and 50 volunteers from the village

School completed, north side
Satprem Maïni, director of the Auroville Earth Institute has been invited to Nepal by BASE (Backward Society Education) www.base.org.np to build a two classroom school at Jantanagar, Bardiya district. The main features of the 97 m2 school are earthquake resistance, climate responsive and community participation.

The concept design of the school was done by Mr. Sonam Wangchuck wangchuk@secmol.org, who works for MS Nepal www.ms.dk/nepal and is an adviser to BASE. Sonam is the specialist and brain behind the climate responsive features of the building. The detailed design was done by Mr. Nirmal K. Tharu who works for BASE as a social worker, site manager and supervisor. Sonam and Nirmal were trained in Auroville in April 2008 for CSEB production and use, as well as ferrocement channel making. Sonam wished this school to be built in 20 days and Satprem’s experience with very efficient and fast construction process was needed for that.
” and they were extremely impressed with this technology.

Precasting of the school was done in about 5 weeks, a few months earlier under the supervision of Nirmal and Sonam. Foundations were done early September in about 2 days by Sonam and Nirmal with the community participation. The construction of the superstructure started on the 15th September. Satprem arrived on the third day of the construction, the 18th September, to coordinate the work and help for a speedy realization. After 16 working days the raw construction was over on the 2nd October with the roof plaster, one classroom painted and some finishes. A closing ceremony of the construction site was done on the 2nd October by various officials and engineers from the Ministry / Department of Education. Some finishes remained to be done, such as painting 1 classroom, and doing the flooring. This works would take about 2 days but it was not possible to do it now because of the festival of Dushain (equivalent to Christmas time), just starting at that time.

As a summary, 18 days were needed for the construction of this school (foundation, superstructure and some finishes) to which should be added 2 days for the last finishes.

On the 29th September, a press conference with about 17 journalists was given by Sonam and Satprem at Nepalgung. On the 3rd and 4th October Sonam, Nirmal and Satprem conducted a workshop in the freshly painted classroom of the school to 10 engineers from the department of Education on earthquake resistant and climatic responsive features. A construction dairy has been uploaded in this website: http://www.ms.dk/sw98936.asp

BASE coordinated the construction of this school in the framework of their project “Education for Freedom” (visit http://www.ms.dk/sw14581.asp) and mobilised the community participation. The school was funded by MS Nepal and it cost about 850,000 Nepalese Rs. (~8,500 Euros). The construction of this school was also done as a prototype, trying to convince the Ministry of Education to adopt the Auroville Earth Institute technology and the climate responsive features of Sonam to build 50,000 classrooms in the framework of their 5 years programme “Education for All”.

The construction of this school would not have been built without the endeavour of BASE and the active voluntarily participation of the Kamaya Community of Jantanagar. 17 paid masons, under training for this technology, and about 50 volunteers from the village worked on this construction site. It was a great time to work with these people who had joy, laughter and fun while building their school. It was amazing to see kids helping the construction of their own school and grand ma and grand pa working also for and with their grand children for building the school of futures generations to come.

Day 1, building the basement
Day 3, building the sill
Day 6, after a very heavy rain and flood in the area
Day 6 under heavy rain
Day 8, lifting the ferrocement overhangs
Day 8, building the arches
Day 11, casting in situ the side overhangs
Day 12, lifting the ferrocement channels
Day 13, filling the earth berm for the climate response
Completed school after 16 working days
Workshop on the 3rd October, presentation by Sonam
Workshop on the 3rd October, presentation by Nirmal
Workshop on the 4rd October, presentation by Satprem
Hands on workshop on the 4th October
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