#EU4Schools: Quality education for present and future generations
€65 million contribution from the European Union towards reconstruction efforts
“I am so happy. The new school that we wanted so much even before the earthquake is finally becoming a reality. It is exactly how we imagined it. It will have a new library, a gym and a room for our drama courses. It seems that our ‘dream school’ is taking shape,” says Mirela, a student of the “Korb Muça” Primary School in Qereke.
“The new school will have central heating, large sunny classrooms, full access for students with special needs, science labs equipped with didactic tools and will be closer to Qereke center. It is really beyond our expectations. The school’s sports facilities and library will also serve the community. The school will not only provide the village a livelier environment — it also represents a precious property that will serve future generations,” said the school director Shira.
“The school will also have a library and modern laboratories, which allow for an efficient teaching and learning process. This will make a difference in our work as teachers: through experiments we will be able to encourage critical thinking and help students build skills. Students will be more motivated to learn,” said Egla, an eighth grade schoolteacher at “Korb Muca.”
“Now, we do not need to spend extra money on securing a transportation to send our children to school, as they will be safe and able to study close to home,” said Agim, a parent, who has two children enrolled at “Korb Muca.”
“We are putting our hearts and hard work into the schools, knowing that our efforts will contribute to a better education for the children of this area,” said an engineer working at the site.
These are but a few voices coming from the small community of people living in Qereke, which was heavily affected by the 26th of November 2019 earthquake that hit Albania, leaving behind destruction and despair in this little village and other parts of the country. Due to severe damages to their school, the community’s children had to go to a makeshift schools rather far from their village.
The previous school was located in the old barracks of a former military unit and did not meet the necessary conditions for teaching and learning. Rain often flooded it and students could only cross the school entrance by walking over an improvised gravel path, put together by parents.
The new school, which serves 180 students and 30 kindergarten children, is being built in a beautiful area of 8000 m2 offered by the local government, amid greenery and trees. The “Korb Muca” Primary School and Kindergarten in Qereke, is one out of 58 education facilities — part of the EU4Schools Programme, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Albania, that has also contributed to the Programme — that will be reconstructed or repaired.
20.000 school students and kindergarten children will benefit from renovated or reconstructed education facilities. 440.000 community members will also benefit from this intervention. Education facilities will be repaired or rebuilt combining the #BuildBackBetter and #BuildBetterTogether approaches offering a unique opportunity to involve the beneficiaries in the reconstruction process. New schools will be repaired and built according to the best European standards of safety, low carbon emission, renewable energy (including central heating), lighting, high accessibility, green spaces as well as in adherence to Eurocode 8.
Over 22 consultation sessions have so far brought together over 700 community members to discuss proposed rehabilitation and reconstruction models for the schools giving space for affected communities to voice their concerns, desires and wishes for the education facilities to be repaired and reconstructed in their neighborhoods.
And when communities have a say, things are off to a good start!