The Xieng Nga Preschool will be built next to the Xieng Nga primary school. The school grounds will be cleared of UXO prior to preschool construction. Give Children A Choice’s best-in-class preschool is fully equipped, fully furnished, fully supplied to enable school to commence upon construction completion and final inspection completion.
The Xieng Nga Preschool total cost is $20.964.02 USD. Community support from the villagers is $3,158.28 USD.
Children’s formative years, from birth to five years of age, are the most critical years of their lives. The preponderance of children’s brain development, intellect, personality and social skills occurs within that timeframe. It is also a critical time for a child to build the foundation for literacy. The investment in a child’s education during his/her formative years in preschool will benefit a child for life.
Give Children A Choice believes that formative year education is particularly important for girls. As adults, they play a critical role in the family as the family caretaker for the family financials and household, let alone, giving birth to and caring for her children. Formative year education helps girls develop self-esteem and self-confidence.
Thus, GCAC established a mission to build and fill preschools with children. It began to build preschools in Lao PDR in 2002. The first preschool was completed in 2003. 30 preschools have been built in Luang Prabang and Xieng Khouang Provinces.
GCAC is a small NGO with limited resources. GCAC’s operating model is to use its limited resources to build best practice preschools to empower the provincial education department to promote preschool education to the larger NGOs with extensive resources to build larger numbers of preschools. This model proved successful in Luang Prabang Province and is in process in Xieng Khouang.
The Luang Prabang Education and Sports Department helped GCAC get started in Lao PDR. They exclaimed that GCAC’s model worked. They found that preschools were particularly helpful to ethnic children whose family were relocated from the higher mountains and needed to learn the national language Pasa Lao before going to primary school.
While the Ministry of Education has made excellent progress with its primary school enrollment, it is still working hard to improve its primary school student retention rates. The Xieng Khouang Education Department claimed that preschool graduates perform better in primary school.
Xieng Nga Village Needs
Xieng Nga Village shares its recently built primary, which supports four villages. Currently, preschool children share a primary school classroom. A Xieng Nga preschool would not only obviate the classroom sharing, it will also serve as a model school for the Xieng Khouang Provincial Education Department to promote the importance of preschool education. They shared with Give Children A Choice that children who attend preschool perform better in primary school.
Xieng Nga Preschool Budget
Give Children A Choice preschools are fully-equipped, fully furnished, fully-supplied to enable the school to open upon completion of the preschool and final inspection. Total budgeted cost for the Xieng Nga preschool is $20,964.02 USD.
The school design is provided by the Education Department, including one classroom, two closed-door toilets and sinks. The school has a water supply already. Electricity for lights and fans are provided. The classroom is furnished with desks for the students and teachers, mats, learning toys and books, playground equipment.
Once Give Children A Choice receives the certification letter, certifying that the school grounds has been surveyed and cleared of UXO, and thus safe for the children to learn and play, construction commences. Give Children A Choice’s construction company has been identified and selected. Construction is done in three phases: (1) school placement and measurement, (2) half way completion inspection, (3) completion. The provincial and district Education and Sports Departments, builder, naibane, school principal and Give Children A Choice are present during each phase and checkpoint.
The new construction has a one-year holdback of 10% of the construction cost. 11-months after the completion of a preschool, there is a final inspection, attended by the same players outlined above. Upon passing the final inspection, the 10% holdback is forwarded to the construction company.
A handover ceremony passes responsibilities for the school from Give Children A Choice to the villagers. The village/community contribution assists Give Children A Choice and its donors to feel comfortable that the school will be maintained over time.
See an article about the Handover Ceremony at the link below: