Give Children A Choice’s Ban Phonexay Preschool for Ban Hoy, Ban Phonexay, Ban Tham, Ban Thong Khoun District, Xieng Khouang Province, Lao PDR

A proposed Ban Phonexay Preschool would reside in Phonexay Village and serve as the focal point for preschool and primary education for four villages: Ban Hoy, Ban Phonexay, Ban Tham and Ban Thong. The preschool would be GCAC’s tenth preschool in Xieng Khouang Province and its first in Khoun District. The four villages are approximately 15 kilometers south of the provincial capital city Phonsavan.

There are 173 families, 1180 villagers and 57 children 3 to 5 years old. A one room preschool will be adequate for the coming years. Birth control educa@on and training in the last ten years has greatly influenced the reduction of large families.

Villagers from the four villages are primarily farmers. Their incomes range from 2.5MM to 15MM kips per annum, which is a wide range because of the rela@ve geographics of each village and the development programs that have been targeted for the villages. Ban Phonexay is a more established village (38 years old) and average incomes are higher. Ban Thong is a more recent village, founded by villagers who lived in Phaxai District, where conflicts resul@ng from the abandonment of the US-­‐ supported soldiers during the Secret War con@nued into the 1980s and 1990s. Villagers moved to Ban Thong where it was conflict-­‐free, yet their lands were still heavily tainted with UXO. It is quite poor where average incomes are as low as 2.5MM kips. Ban Hoy and Ban Tham are poor with li_le water access. The Korean government is in the process of building irriga@on systems for the villages to improve their food security and prosperity.

The provincial education department reinforced during our recent visit to their office that preschool children are performing better in primary school. Better performing children are helping the country address a key primary school education issue and that is student retention through fiah grade. A Phonexay Preschool will absolutely help the four villages’ children develop the necessary skills to perform better in primary school.

We secured approvals from the provincial and district education department as well as the village naibanes to build a preschool. The school grounds have been cleared of UXO by MAG last year.

We are hopeful that you will support our efforts to continue building preschools in Lao by building a preschool in Phonexay Village. We thank you graciously for your past support.

Note: The Phonexay Primary School is a half school, meaning they only have three classrooms for five grades of primary school. Recognizing that there is a need for a five-­‐room primary school, GCAC is working with Phu Bia Mining and the Korean Rural Community Corpora@on in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Irrigation Department to collaborate to build an expanded primary school.

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Xieng Khouang Provincial Education and Sports Department for the construction of the Phonexay Village Preschool on August 8, 2013.

The village naibane had requested the school grounds be cleared of UXO prior to the MOU signing on August 8, 2013. UXO clearance was completed and the cerMficate signed on August 22, 2013, no UXO were found on the school grounds. The site was immediately surveyed for school placement by educaMon department, village and construcMon company officials. Keomanyvanh ConstrucMon from Luang Prabang Province is the builder for the project.

On December 19, 2013. the school was inspected  by Construction Company, Education Department officials and GCAC representatives.

Final Preschool Inspection. February 10, 2014 Preschool completed, all furniture in place, upon arrival in Phonxay for the inspection the electrician was in the process of completing the installation. Officials from the Provincial and District Education Departments, Keomanyvanh Construction, the village naibane, the teachers, the principal and Thongchanh were present for the final inspection. Thongchanh returned to Phonxay later that afternoon to insure the electricity installaFon was complete and in working order.

The preschool has a one-­‐year warranty, when the school is approximately 11 months old there will be a pre-­warranty inspection, any defects beyond normal wear and tear are required to be repaired at that time.

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Other updates and pictures can be found at these links:

Phonxay Preschool MOU Signed

Phonxay Preschool