Improving the School Environment in Sanankoroba, Kati, Mali

Improving the School Environment in Sanankoroba, Kati, Mali

Final Report: August 2010

Project Goals
The overall aim of the project is to give children in Sanankoroba village, Kati easier access to a good quality education by June 30, 2010.
The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To reduce the number of pupils per class by constructing new classrooms
  • To improve the school environment by planting trees for shade
  • Allow children the opportunity to study in better conditions
  • To facilitate the establishment of a school management committee which children can actively take part in, helping to implement a ‘child friendly’ school concept

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over 72% of the population living on less than $1 a day. Children in Mali are faced with one of the worst chances of survival and have extremely low school enrolment rates. A staggering 60% of all children do not attend primary school and one quarter of 15 – 24 year olds are unable to read or write. One of the key problems is the poor quality of education and educational facilities.

In the project area, the school facilities were insufficient and classrooms were over-crowded with more than 100 students per class. Most children have, therefore, been unable to complete school and fulfill their potential. Among children enrolled in Grade One, only 40% reach Grade Ten or secondary school. It has therefore been necessary to improve the quality of education so that more children can complete Grade Six and have the opportunity to continue their education.

Children at the school in Sanankoroba
Children at the school in Sanankoroba

Activities Achieved
No major difficulties were encountered during implementation. The following activities (shown as separate posts), which were outlined in the initial project plan has now been achieved:

Utilising the new facilities and celebrating success

March 10 – June 2010: Utilising the new facilities and celebrating success
For the duration of the last term, children have been studying in the three new fully equipped classrooms. The teachers are delighted with the new classrooms which have halved class sizes and given students a better learning environment. Now lessons are delivered with more ease and students have increased levels of concentration. Year Nine pupils were celebrating their successful exam results, of which there was an 85% pass rate; a great improvement on previous years.

This project has had a positive and profound impact on the local community and there have been significant advancements in creating a dramatically improved school environment and enhancing educational access. The activities undertaken as part of this project have enabled students at Sanankoroba to learn and grow in a safe and engaging environment. By improving quality of education the project will help to increase the percentage of children that complete their primary education in future years.

The construction of three new classrooms has directly benefited 1,008 children. It has enabled the school to reduce class sizes in the 10 existing classrooms. Where 95 to 100 pupils were sharing a class room, it has now been minimised to 50 pupils per class.

The purchase and planting of seedlings, when grown, will enable students to stay in shaded areas during their breaks from class. By learning how to care for the trees under guidance of the Forestry Service, the children have also developed skills and demonstrated team work and responsibility.

The training sessions of the School Management Committee has and will continue to build capacity to manage their school in the long run. The committee is now in charge of maintaining the school infrastructure.

Contracts have been put into place where support from the Ministry of Education and the rural communal councils have agreed to pay for long term maintenance of the new classrooms, along with costs of the school including teachers’ salaries and learning materials.

Community Involvement, Sustainability and Integration
Throughout this project there was a high level of community participation. The following groups were involved in the implementation of the project; The Ministry of Education, The Forestry Service, the Mayor, village councils and the school authorities. They maintained a regular presence at the school construction site.

The Ministry of Education’s representatives, the Mayor and his councillors have overseen and given training to the school management committee and the children’s government committee to ensure that they know how to look after and maintain the school grounds. The Mayor also assisted in supplying the raw materials for the building work. The community have matched Devon Contract Waste’s donation of 600,000 FCFA for the school maintenance account. The account will be managed by the School Management Committee.

The Forestry Service gave training to the pupils on how to look after the seedlings and young trees.

SalimataSalimata, Year Nine pupil
“The project of building three new classrooms and equipping them was welcome, for it helped us. We were too many pupils sharing the same classroom. We had difficulties in following what the teachers were saying. The teachers also had problems to coach each pupil because of the large number in the same room. From the training sessions we were offered, we know now what our roles and responsibilities are at school. I thank Devon Contract Waste and Plan for the assistance they gave to us.”

DrissaDrissa T, Member of the School Management Committee
“We are very happy for the implementation of this project that will allow our children to have good quality education. The classrooms won’t be too crowded and teachers will be better able to deliver lessons. The School Management Committee are showing what they learnt in training by ensuring that the Child Friendly School Concept is developed. We thank Devon Contract Waste and Plan for the important
assistance they have given our community.”

Monitoring and Evaluation
The commitment to the regulatory and monitoring processes has ensured that this project is completed to a high standard. During the reporting period, representatives from the local government, the Mayor and the community visited the construction site regularly, to review the activities taking place and to ensure that all standards that were set, have been met. Plan staff, as with all Plan projects, were also involved in the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the project and will continue to do so even after completion.

Problems Encountered
No major problems occurred during the project period, although a small number of trees did not survive once planted and plan to be replaced.

Budget Breakdown
Since the last report money has been spent on establishing an ongoing maintainance fund for the school (which the community has also contributed to) and for the official inauguration ceremony, totalling £1,479. Please see the budget breakdown on the following page for more details. The total expenditure on the project has been £24,742 of the total of £25,450 that was initially donated. We propose to Devon Contract Waste that the remaining £708 goes forward to your next project.

ACTIVITIES Budget Expenditure Expenditure
1. Construct three classrooms
1.1 Digging (excavation and fill) 270,000
1.2 Reinforced concrete and masonries 5,700,000
1.3 Framework cover and roof 4,758,000
1.4 Carpentry work 1,400,000
1.5 Coating, roughcasting 1,100,000
1.6 Painting 900,000
Sub total 1 14,128,000 12,881,607 £17,319
2. Equipment
2.1 Equipment of three classrooms 4,000,000
Sub total 2 4,000,000 3,996,000 £5,373
4. Training on tree seedlings, School Maintain and Child friendly School Concept
4.1 Train children to plant and maintain seedlings in school yard 125,000
4.2 Training of School Government and school management committee on child friendly school concept 150,000
4.3 Purchase one hundred seedlings 150,000
Sub total 3 425,000 425,000 £571
4. Maintenance and Inauguration ceremony
Ongoing maintenance budget 600,000
Inauguration ceremony 500,000
Sub total 4 1,100,000 1,100,000 £1,479
TOTAL EXPENDITURE 19,653,000 18,402,607 £24,742
Total Income total (£) £25,450
Remaining £708

The classroom almost complete and trees planted

The classroom almost complete and trees planted Feb 10 – April 10: Inauguration Ceremony
Since January, children have been studying in the three new classrooms which are fully equipped with tables, benches, desk, and cupboards. From the training all committee members are aware of their roles and responsibilities. An inauguration ceremony was held and attended by the Mayor, State Representatives, members of the community, School Management Committee and students on 17th April 2010 in Sanankoroba.

Construction started on 3 classrooms

June 09 – October 09: Construction started on 3 classrooms
Village Committee and community members were elected. Contracts were signed between the Construction Company for the classroom construction, Environmental Services for the upkeep of the trees and the School Board for training for the school management committee members and children’s school government. Construction began under the management of the school and committee members. Furniture and equipment for the new classrooms were ordered.

Construction completed, tree seedlings planted, training began

October 09 – Feb 10: Construction completed, tree seedlings planted, training began
Successful completion of the construction of three classrooms, designed to accommodate 50 children. Each classroom equipped with 25 desks and benches for the children, a desk for the teacher, two chairs and a cupboard. Training sessions attended for maintenance of classrooms and seedlings by 12 members of the children’s’ government committee.