Pakchanh school: Creating community ownership for sustainable development

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“I am Khonsy Vongchampa. I am the Head of Pakchanh village.  In our village, there over 90 children who are between three and five years old, but only the five-year-olds have been able to study in the one temporary classroom we had.
We want to have a proper place for all children to learn. Our community has limited funds to construct the three classrooms that are needed for this.
When the AEA team came to our village and met with the school principal and the Village Education Development Committee last year, I was glad to hear that through one of their projects, AEA would support the construction of a classroom, toilets and water supply.  Then this year, with the support of AEA, we have been able to add another classroom and toilets. Then, after discussions within the village, we have decided to allocate a part of the village funds and community labour to build the third classroom. Each household contributes 40,000 kip (about USD5) per year to the community as a whole.  Normally, those funds are used to support school maintenance and a pre-primary volunteer teacher.

The reality is that in our community funds are also limited. That’s why we appreciate the ongoing support from AEA. The result is that next year, we will have two newly trained volunteer teachers so children can be taught in the three classrooms in our kindergarten. We’re very grateful to AEA for supporting us with the construction of two new kindergarten classrooms and toilets. We hope that, in the future, the government will recruit our volunteer teachers so they are teachers with the status of civil servants.

This year, the school also received government funds to support the school’s operating costs – electricity, water supply, stationery, and travel costs for meetings – 70,000kip (about USD8.5) per student per year. Therefore, our school has a little more operating funds compared to the previous years. The budget is still not enough to cover our needs, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Khonsy is helping on the project: “Inclusive and Child-Friendly Pre and Primary School Environments (ICPSE) for Ethnic and Marginalized Children in Lao PDR”. For more information, please visit the project profile on the website of AEAI Southeast Asia.

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