Bezawit Primary School
Bezawit is a rural village in the outskirts of Bahir Dar and the project is a partnership between FGCF, the Bezawit community/Bahir Dar City Education Department and the Bahir Dar University. The existing school does not have water, latrines or a play ground. The awful classroom conditions and lack of basic services has resulted in: a declining student population - in 2017/18, the total student population decreased by over 10% and the number of females by 20% from what they were in 2015/16; high student absenteeism - in 2017/18, 26.7% had more than 6 school days of unexcused absences and 17.2% had more than 10 days; loss of learning times - 36 classes/year to spread fresh cow dung on the floor to keep the dust down for the next three days or so; and, poor sanitation due to open deification.
A new school (2 classrooms, a library, a science lab, and an admin block with a teacher resource centre, IT room and offices, and separate latrines for boys and girls) is being built in a new location on a 2 hectare piece of land donated by the community. The furniture is ordered.
With funds secured from the Kalamalka Rotary Club in Vernon, BC, we are piloting a new environment friendly “rammed earth” wall material for the new latrines. Instead of digging pits, we will use collection boxes and use the feces as natural fertilizer for non-edible trees. All the new facilities will be completed by Sept 2019 so that the children will begin the new academic year in the new school. The school will upgrade its level from Grade 4 to Grade 6, and will increase its enrolment capacity from the present 370 to 800. Parents have started digging holes around the property to plant trees, which will serve as a fence. Baseline learning assessments will be conducted in June 2019, and teachers will be trained in Sept 2019.