This project will build the first Early Childhood Development (ECD) center serving 80 children of ages 2-6 years in the high altitude valley (4200 m) of Dho Tarap, Dolpo in western Nepal. The earthquake resistant classrooms will be built using passive solar technology to withstand the cold harsh winters, enabling the ECD center to operate for the full calendar year and tackle the challenge of 6 month gap in early education for young children.
In Dolpo, schools close for 6 months during the winters due to lack of warm classrooms for students. Crystal Mountain School (CMS) is a rare example with a passive solar building, enabling it to run winter classes for older students for the last few years. But school remains closed for students in lower grades, hampering learning achievements and development of young children due to large gaps between academic sessions. This project will enable 80 young children to study throughout the year.
This project will build passive solar heated classrooms to run pre-primary classes throughout the year. These classrooms will be sufficiently warm during the cold winter nights, without any need for fossil fuel burning or use of electric heaters. The design of the classrooms will incorporate best practices for earthquake safety and adaptation to changing climate patterns in the Himalayas, and follow basic Universal Design Principles for early childhood education.
This project will enable continuous operation of early childhood education classes, regardless of the weather or season. Young children, who are most affected by large gaps in schooling, will be engaged in developmental activities throughout the year. Teachers will be able to complete the assigned curriculum and start new academic sessions without having to forcefully revise previous year's classes in a short time. This project will also help promote passive solar buildings in the community.