#EU4Schools brings children’s dreams to life

The first 15 education institutions to welcome children for the new school year

#EU4Schools kids

The 2019 earthquake that hit Albania destroyed their schools and kindergartens but not the dreams of 23,300 children in eleven most affected municipalities of Albania. EU4Schools is bringing children’s dreams to life.

‘’The new school year will begin in two months. Our new school is almost under completion. It looks so beautiful. It has a new chemistry lab. It is like the schools I see in movies”-says Entela, a 12-year-old from Fushe Kruje who aspires to be a chemical engineer one day.

Fiqiri Kurti School in Kavaja during the construction process

“The new school will bring a world of change to the community of children, pupils, and teachers. The teaching and learning process will take off in a new and enabling environment for pupils to learn, prosper and thrive. The school water supply will be part of the city’s network, avoiding the nearby well, which was contaminated with sewage. Children attending kindergarten will have a separate and safer entrance avoiding the crowds of pupils”-says the Director of Fiqiri Kurti School in Kavaja.

Ani a 5 year old attending 1 Qershori kindergarten in Durres

“My daughter has seen the design of the kindergarten advertised at the entrance of the building and every time we pass by the area she stops to look at it again and again. I am so happy. This is a precious investment for our children” says Drita, the parent of a five-year child attending kindergarten Dom Nikoll Kacorri in Laknas, Kamez Municipality.

These are but a few voices coming from the community of teachers and pupils who are set to benefit from the EU4Schools Programme-the biggest EU investment in the area of education in Albania.

With an amount of Euro 75 Million, 63 education institutions are being reconstructed or repaired benefitting 24,605 pupils, children, teachers. EU4School Programme is implemented by UNDP in Albania.

Public Consultations on #TheSChoolIWant stand at the heart of the programme

UNDP the programme implementer, deploys two key principles during the reconstruction process: #BuildBackBetter and #BuildBackTogether. #BuildBackBetter implies stronger structures which can resist earthquakes and natural disasters bearing the highest international standards of quality and safety. All 63 education institutions will have renewable energy sources, will be fully accessible for pupils and children with disabilities and will have dedicated spaces for medical care and psychological support.

#BuildBackTogether offers a unique opportunity to engage the beneficiaries in the reconstruction of their own education institutions and “tailor” the design as per their needs. Around 48 consultations organized so far have brought together around 1400 pupils, children, parents, representatives of the local government, and local institutions.

The first, 15 education facilities in Durres, Kamez, Kruja, Kavaja, and Kurbin, will be handed over to the authorities by the end of August 2021 thus enabling around 8000 pupils, children, and teachers to start the new school year in brand new and modern facilities-exactly like their peers in any EU member state.

“For more than one year, we attended classes in another school quite far from our neighborhood. We lost the sense of belonging to our own school. Moreover, we had to stop all cultural and sports activities, due to limited space in the hosting school. September seems so far away, yet I know it is “next door”-says Anduena, a student at Skenderbeu High School in Kruja.

EU4Schools Programme tailored for the young generation of Albanians is a tangible EU long-term social and human capital investment. An investment in education always “pays” the highest returns.

Children visiting #EU4Schools exhibition in Kavaja

Thanks to EU4Schools the 63 new education institutions will resemble the ones in any European Union Members States. The children of Albania deserve this.