EAST MEETS WEST
1. Summary of Project :
| Donor Name || Lycee Blaise Pascal |
|Project Name, Description and Location|| Construction of Hoa Phat two-story, four-room Primary School at Hoa Phat Commune, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City, Central Vietnam|
| Project Manager || Hoang Thi Hang Tam (Vietnam)|
| Project Category || Community Development |
| EMW Contact Person || Dee Dee Nguyen (Oakland)|
| Project Timeline || Start Date : September 25, 2004
Completion Date School Building March 2005 |
| Total Project Cost || $ 22,983 in which $5,200 funded by Lycee Blaise Pascal to support the construction of a classroom, and $17,783 funded by EMWF |
| Number of individuals served || 120 students per year |
| Average cost per individual served || $191 per student for the first year, decreasing over time for new and continuing student`|
2. Description of Project :
Hoa Phat is one of the poorest communes of Hoa Vang District with a population of 19,000 people. Most of the local people work as farmers or stone- cutters, and their average income is very low, about $19 per month. The few rich families in the school district send their children to a boarding school in a nearby commune, leaving this school only for the poor families who pay $2 per month for tuition, some pay nothing. Their contribution to rebuild a safer and better school is limited. Meanwhile, demand for infrastructure investment in schools is increasing and the Vietnamese government can afford to build only some main schools each year.
Hoa Phat 5-room Primary school – Branch #2 was built before 1975. It is a satellite school of Hoa Phat Primary School. The ceilings were low, with small windows letting in very little air and light for studying and the rooms had no lights or fans to keep the students cool during the hot weather days. The building was slowly degrading with the roof leaking during every rain, the walls cracking and beginning to fall down. The building was structurally unsound and in danger of collapsing creating a safety hazard for the students.
At the time, students were attending one session a day at the school from early morning to late afternoon with a short break to return home for meals.
After receiving the project proposal from the Da Nang People’s Committee and approving the project for implementation, EMW received the construction drawings. The drawings were screened for design flaws and modifications were made where necessary to meet EMW’s high quality standards. For example, the original drawings and bid from the People’s Committee called for low-quality materials ; EMW modified the bid to construct the school with higher-grade materials to meet our requirements and to ensure the longevity of the building’s life. When this was completed EMW placed the project out to tender and selected a contractor.
Construction started on time, but was delayed because of bad weather. During the wet season it is difficult to lay the foundation and cement to dry. Inclement weather can also impact the installation of walls and painting. All and all, the contractor did good work and cooperated well with our construction team.
The 2-story 4-room primary school was completed following Tet with a total area of 3,000 square feet. It includes :
A stone foundation, brick walls with cement mortar at a specific level, reinforced concrete ceiling, tile floor, glass windows and doors improving the amount of natural light in each classroom. The whole school is painted with high quality paint meant to protect the building from the wet season. Additionally, a red tin roof was installed to ensure that water would not penetrate into the concrete ceiling. Eight neon lights and two fans were installed and four non-reflective blackboards were provided to the school to replace the old ones. The older ones were broken and so worn, causing lots of difficulties for the teachers and students to write clearly on it without a glare and as it was unstable for writing and lecturing from.
With the new school, students attend two sessions a day, regular class in the morning and tutoring in the afternoon.
3. Community Involvement :
The People’s Committee and Education-Training Department of Hoa Vang District, and the People’s Committee of Hoa Phat commune are :
Responsible for the arrangements to provide design, demolition of the old building, land-leveling of the site to make it ready for construction, turning the site over to the contractor and completing governmental approvals and other local procedures.
Responsible for bringing electricity to the site and other related necessities for the implementation of the construction.
Responsible for paying other costs of the project, which was not paid by EMW including costs for site land leveling, construction of the fence, gate, landscape, latrine, and following turn-over of the site to local authorities, maintenance of the school and site.
Responsible for sending a qualified supervisor to the construction site to work during the project implementation process together with EMW supervisor.
Encouraging the use of local, capable contractors and construction workers to promote local economies which EMW may consider and invite for construction bid.
4. Outcomes Analysis :
After completion, the new school replaced the degraded classrooms with a well-built high-quality facility, enabling students and teachers to learn and teach in a comfortable and safe educational environment.
Parents feel secure in sending their children to the new school, especially in the rainy and flood season knowing they will be safe, warm, dry, and in a much improved learning environment. The new school contributes to the pride of the local community by providing a modern educational facility that will help enhance the quality of education for generations of families.
With the new school providing two sessions a day, all of the children can attend tutoring class, which enhances their education.
5. Recommendations/Learning’s :
Hoa Phat School is located within the boundaries of Da Nang city and near the EMW office. Thus, EMW could easily supervise and transport equipment and materials during project implementation process.
The school being located nearby the railroad disrupted the delivery of materials and equipment for school construction. It took more time for the workers to carry materials from the high way crossing the railway to the site.
Unlike other projects, the local community did not contribute their labor to carry materials or assist during project implementation. In some instances, this delayed construction.
Project construction carried out during the rainy season caused adverse effects on the progress of construction.
The cost of materials (in particular, steel) and construction increased since the original proposed draft, and additional funds were needed to support the overall construction of the school.
Because of the unexpected spike in materials and construction costs, EMW requested the landscaping and purchasing of furniture of the proposal be paid for by the local government. Both parties agreed upon this arrangement ; this opens the opportunity of how we can engage local authorities and the communities with our programs.
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