The second home for our children
School is not just a place that provides a day care service for our children but it is of course also a crucial factor in their physical and mental development from the early stages of their lives. Quality infrastructure is one of the important criteria directly affecting the quality of teaching and learning, as well as in the guiding of our children’s interactions with their surrounding environment. However, it is not enough to just build four walls – even if they are high quality walls! We need to go beyond that and create a place where teachers are happy to teach and children are happy to play and learn.
The old school
So SCC has taken the initiative to improve school buildings even further than we have before and provide schools that aim to accommodate all the important and practical needs of the children, teachers, and the local community too. SCC focuses on fresh ideas and improved construction methods so that these also add to children’s development and the teaching environment. Current schools built by SCC are always founded on the feedback from local people as well as the children’s input - all designed to try and create a safe, suitable environment for them –wherever they are. We take time to talk to each child and ask about their favourite games, what patterns they want their second home to be painted with or simply their favourite colours. More than anyone, these children are the ones who will directly benefit and so we should try and listen to what they like and feel they need. It does sometime mean that schools are painted in every colour of the rainbow though!
|The new school
During the entire construction process, the project is supervised by a Community Management Unit (CMU), including teachers, local authorities and parents. This is set up specifically to oversee the school project and the participants undergo training with SCC, to ensure the quality of the final building. Other natural factors such as the direction of sunlight and the wind, for instance, are factored in to ensure the school works with its environment rather than against it.
The old classroom
Apart from growing trees to provide natural shade, SCC is concerned about the overall environment of the school and will often build a “green” naturally growing fence surrounding the school or a playground lined with pebbles or vegetable and flower strips. In addition, SCC also focuses on designing and providing suitable toilets and washrooms for all of the schools and children we work with. This is a common concern among parents about the sanitary conditions as their children spend a long time at school and they remember how schools used to be when they were children (if they existed at all!). Once the construction process ends, SCC then organises and delivers training sessions about school and classroom maintenance and school sanitation programmes for teachers and parents to ensure that the school will be maintained in the best condition it can.
The new classroom
With all of this effort, we believe that the school will become the children’s second home. We hope that there will be even more second homes like this for the children from remote areas of Vietnam, with all the support and care from benefactors to the children and SCC.