Nepal Safer Schools Project /
- Support for 52 schools across 4 districts of Nepal provided to improve planning, facilities and practices to make schools safer and more resilient to disaster
- Earthquake safe retrofit and reconstruction of 93 classrooms completed, improving the safety of buildings for 4,135 students and school staff
- Support for 17 municipalities provided to develop education contingency plans for use in disasters
- Support for distance education during COVID-19 provided to reach 38,536 students across 17 municipalities
- Construction of school 104 handwashing stations and 52 child, gender, and disability-friendly toilets completed to improve hygiene and mitigate the spread of Covid-19
Making schools more resilient to disaster in Nepal
The Nepal Safer Schools Project (NSSP) was a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office-funded project that built the resilience of pupils, staff, local government, and the wider community to disasters in 4 districts of Nepal. This was achieved through rebuilding, retrofitting, and strengthening school buildings themselves; through providing training and education to pupils, staff, and community members on disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction, and disaster management; and through providing technical assistance and learning at a national level to support the countrywide development and implementation of safer schools and disaster risk reduction.
The NSSP operated between 2018 and 2021, and worked with 52 schools and 17 local governments to help plan for emergencies and implement a package of measures to make schools safer environments and meet new Government of Nepal guidelines for school safety. This included a pilot of earthquake safe retrofit and reconstruction of 93 classrooms across 4 of these schools, which resulted in 4,135 students and school staff occupying safer school buildings as a result. Schools also mapped and assessed risks, practiced earthquake and evacuation drills, developed complaint response mechanisms to respond to instances of bullying, harassment, or abuse, and implemented small-scale risk mitigation measures to address dangers of smaller problems on school grounds such as loose electrical wiring, unsecured white boards, or trip and fall hazards.
The Project also supported local municipal planning for education contingencies in emergencies, and the development of local and national-level curriculums relating to disaster risk reduction, and through the program trained masons, engineering professionals, school management, and local governments on various aspects of planning, managing, and implementing retrofitting and earthquake-safe construction.
In 2020, the NSSP incorporated added activities to support schools and local municipal governments in responding to Covid-19. This included support for messaging about Covid-19 to raise awareness in the early months of the pandemic; working with municipalities to provide masks and non-contact infrared thermometers to schools in their areas and support for distance education measures while schools were closed; helping 52 schools construct handwashing facilities and toilets to improve hygiene and help mitigate the spread of the virus; and training teachers in Psychosocial First Aid to help recognize signs of distress in students and other members of the community and link them to additional support as needed.
Watch the project video below:
For more information about the project please see the below tools. You can also view more project videos and learning sessions on YouTube here.