Kavre, Mahadevsthan – Honorable Minister of Education D. R. Poudel and the Country Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Nepal Resident Mission, Kenichi Yokoyama today laid the foundation for the reconstruction of Shree Kali Devi Primary School in Kavre District. 

This marks the launch of the reconstruction of schools destroyed and damaged by the April and May 2015 earthquakes in Nepal under the Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project (EEAP) jointly financed by ADB and the Government of Nepal. The earthquake damaged 7,923 public schools in 31 districts, rendering over 33,131 classrooms useless and leaving another 14,297 partially destroyed. 

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Poudel said, “The reconstruction of schools will provide an enabling environment in which students will be able to learn better with no fear in the back of their minds.”

Poudel added, “This government is committed to rebuilding all the schools by 2018, as this is linked directly to the future of students and the country.”   

Mr. Yokoyama said, “Under this project, the schools will be rebuilt to be earthquake-resilient should another similar tragedy occur. They will also have more learning space, furniture, and education materials so education facilities are also improved.” 

The reconstruction of schools under the ADB project in 8 of the 14 districts worst hit by the tremors will increase school attendance which fell after the earthquakes. 

The reconstruction of Shree Kali Devi Primary School is taking place under the $232.0 million EEAP to rebuild schools, strategic and district roads, and district government buildings. Out of that, $200.0 million comes from ADB and $32 million from the Government of Nepal.   

“We are prepared to provide more funds for school reconstruction once the implementation gains momentum at the field level,” Mr. Yokoyama said.

At Shree Kali Devi Primary School, established 28 years ago, the earthquakes destroyed five classrooms and the toilet block. The school will be rebuilt by November 2017 at a cost of NRs NRs28 million. 

The EEAP has already designed and completed bidding documents for 34 other primary and secondary schools (1-10 and 1-12). The preparation of designs for 100 more secondary schools is under way while designs for a further 200 secondary schools will start before the end of 2016. Similarly, six contracts for the reconstruction of 22 primary schools have been awarded, and two contracts for 13 primary, secondary schools are in procurement stage.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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