The 2015 earthquake damaged 7,923 schools and 49,681 classrooms in 14 districts in Central Nepal. Of these, 6,085 schools have been rebuilt and another 1,468 are under construction.
Among the ones that have been rebuilt is one of the oldest schools in the country, Patan Secondary School, which was handed over to school management on 19 April by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-backed Emergency Reconstruction Project.
Designed on a Japanese school architecture template, it is meant to be a model ‘complete school’ with multi-hazard resilient structures, the school has a concrete foundation raft designed to withstand magnitude 8 earthquakes, rainwater harvesting system and solar power.
The Rs 320 million building with its distinctive clock tower has already become a Patan landmark. Inside, it has classrooms for Early Childhood Development up to Grade 12, separate laboratories for computer science, physics, biology and chemistry, a retrofitted and restored Rana-era conference hall, and bathrooms and hand-washing stations with adequate water supply.
Despite the major face-lift, the school, like many other refurbished government schools across Nepal, has however, not seen a reshaping of the administrative and educational methods.