Ginde Beret Higher Secondary School

The school is ready!

A secondary school for more than 3,000 pupils

After completion of the construction work and furnishing of the Ginde Beret Higher Secondary School teaching has started in January. Class rooms are now in full use.

The video shows the schoolyard and gives an insight into ongoing lessons. The class rooms provide a bright and friendly atmosphere well suited for studying. The chemistry class shown in the video is held in English, the language of instruction. In this context Menschen für Menschen provides English training for teachers to ensure a good level of instruction.

As Meseret Atomsa, headmaster of the Ginde Beret HSS explains on the basis of a tabular overview, 3,114 pupils currently attend this school. With 1,552 female pupils and 1,562 male pupils the gender ratio is largely balanced. In accordance to this kind of school (where grades 9 and 10 are taught) the majority of pupils is between 15 and 18 years of age. But there are a few older pupils who completed the first eight grades of the Ethiopian education system, required for access to a secondary school, with some delay. Furthermore, a total of 186 dropouts of previous years have resumed lessons to further their education.

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Retrospect: initial situation and requirements

In Ethiopia access to schooling is still one of the lowest in all of Africa. Currently about 40 percent of school aged children do not have access to an age-appropriate school. In the rural highlands access to education is restricted even further. For most children (particularly for girls) who are involved in their families’ work cycle by fetching water on a daily basis, the kilometre long way to school often represents a insurmountable obstacle.
Education is the prerequisite for development! For this reason Menschen für Menschen has built more than 300 schools in rural areas of Ethiopia since 1982. The objective is to provide the younger generation with opportunities for independent development and a better future.
In the project region of Ginde Beret (about 113,000 inhabitants) Menschen für Menschen built a new higher secondary school in the regional capital of Kachisi (approx. 180 km from Addis Ababa). The previous one, built in 1985 out of wood and clay, was in a poor state of repair, and especially its size and equipment were completely insufficient for current and future requirements. The former school served as secondary school for about 3,500 pupils. In addition, the same school buildings were used in a shift system for the courses of a secondary school preparing for college attendance (known as preparatory school).

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All of the school’s pupils graduated from one of the surrounding elementary and middle schools, and thereby successfully completed the first 8 grades. Within the scope of our development measures in the project region of Ginde Beret Menschen für Menschen also constructs and renovates middle schools, and thus provides the region’s young generation with access to comprehensive education.

With the construction of the new Ginde Beret HSS Menschen für Menschen also guarantees future access to high-quality secondary schooling in the region. This is of outmost importance for the development of the entire region. Graduation from a secondary school is a basic requirement to train for jobs urgently needed in Ethiopia. Especially in remote regions such as Ginde Beret there is a great lack of doctors and teachers. Better training opportunities for the young generation are therefore an important contribution to the sustainable development of the entire region.

For many children only additional accompanying development measures from Menschen für Menschen provide the chance to regularly attend school. The construction of wells and tapped springs to provide clean drinking water in the proximity of the villages, access roads to remote areas to provide a safe way to school even during the rainy season, or agricultural measures to increase farmers’ yields (and reduce the amount of work for children within the family household) are all examples of important prerequisites for attending school.

The 5 elements for our development approach in Ethiopia

Individual construction phases in detail

From the first cut of the spade for the Ginde Beret Higher Secondary School in 2012 building operations were planned to be completed by the end of 2013, this deadline was optimally met. The school is built in a campus style with seven blocks of four classrooms each – consequently, a total of 28 new classrooms will be available. Apart from the classrooms there will be a library, two waterless toilet facilities as well as an additional block for staff and administration. Upon completion the new school building will offer sufficient room for about 3,400 pupils in two shifts. The old school buildings will be used as needed.

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The new school buildings will be built at this area. It is provided free of charge by the municipality. (Photo: October 2011)

Since spring 2012 construction work is in full swing (as shown below). Prior to this and following a tender procedure, a contractual agreement for the construction of the school building was concluded with an Ethiopian building firm.

 

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A firm foundation made of concrete, steel and stones is built for all structures.

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The foundation is of particular importance for the school’s long stability and durability. Everything is anchored firmly into the ground so that the school construction will remain for many years to come.

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After the long rainy season in the Ethiopian highland (between July and September), during which no works can be carried out due to weather conditions, they are fully underway again in autumn 2012. These photos were taken in October 2012.

Here supporting pilasters are concreted:

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This photo shows the finished foundations of the class rooms:

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This photo shows the planking with which the pillars supporting the roof are concreted.

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This photo, taken in early 2013, shows the finished support structure. Parts of the roof truss are ready to be fitted:

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The roof trusses of all classroom blocks could be fitted in February 2013 already:

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The foundation is always constructed so that the buildings are raised above the ground. This way, even during heavy rains, no water can get into the buildings. In addition to this a rain gutter surrounds all buildings to ensure rainwater drainage. For this a solid, low enclosing wall is constructed around each block of classrooms.

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Work is also performed on the walls. The walls and enclosure of this block have already been completed:

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The roof constructions for all 7 classroom blocks are completed. Roof sheet metal has been fitted to the roof trusses. These prevent water from penetrating walls and interiors, especially during the rainy season. It is a small but significant detail that the roof sheet metal protrudes beyond the walls, and even the enclosing walls, to protect them from water damage. The low enclosing walls on their part protect the walls and foundation if, during the rainy season, water surrounding the building is not absorbed by the soil fast enough.

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During the summer construction proceeds quickly, and window frames and doors are installed in the classrooms.

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The floor has not been concreted at this time.

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At the end of October 2013 floors in the classrooms have been concreted. Moreover, final touches to the interior of the classrooms (such as painting and so on) are almost completed.

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(Photo: Andreas Heuberger, Austrian consul in Ethiopia, who visited the school and the project region of Ginde Beret in October 2013)

Final works will be completed until the end of 2013 (e.g. window panes will be fitted).

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Moreover, the water drain gutters surrounding the classroom blocks will be concreted. During the rainy season these are important for the runoff of rainwater. Consequently, nothing stands in the way of the school’s timely completion.

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After the scheduled completion of the construction works and furnishing of the Ginde Beret Higher Secondary School is ready for teaching in January. The beautiful, new class rooms are now in full use – to the great delight of pupils and teachers.

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The construction method – TÜV tested quality

Menschen für Menschen built the Ginde Beret HSS in accordance to our well proven construction method for school buildings. This method of construction has recently been assessed by TÜV Rheinland (German Technical Inspection Association). At the end of 2012 TÜV Rheinland randomly selected 29 of our schools and assessed them thoroughly. Fortunately, our own experiences and convictions have been fully confirmed, and the school constructions were awarded the top mark ‘GOOD’.

What sets this particular construction method apart? The base of all buildings is a solid foundation made of concrete, steel and stones. As a basic principle the foundation is built so that all buildings are slightly raised from the ground. Consequently, water cannot get into the rooms even during heavy rains. In addition a gutter surrounds all buildings so that rainwater can run off immediately. Walls and floors are also made of concrete, which makes them easy to clean. All rooms are roofed with sheet metal. A special steel construction enables the roofs to withstand strong winds and heavy rains. Thanks to this professional construction style schools from Menschen für Menschen last for many decades – they are earthquake- and fireproof. Solid louver windows create a light and welcoming learning environment for pupils and teachers. Upon completion of the building measures Menschen für Menschen equips the schools with desks, chairs and furniture for classrooms, library and the administration building. A basic set of essential reference books for the library and teaching is also provided.

 

Implementation, control and responsibility

Menschen für Menschen follows a participative approach that includes the local population as well as the regional administration right from the start. This is an important prerequisite to ensure sustainability of the project work. In connection with this secondary school Menschen für Menschen was responsible for the entire construction work, provided construction plans as well as part of the building materials, and assigned the building firm with the implementation of the construction works.

The Ethiopian building firm assigned with the construction work was selected among several applicants on the basis of a comprehensive tendering procedure generally used for all construction projects. From the start of the construction works in spring 2012 Menschen für Menschen, together with experts, regularly checked the work in terms of quality and compliance with the time schedule. This was optimally met, and the school was completed on schedule at the end of 2013, and ready for teaching in January 2014. Building firms assigned by Menschen für Menschen have to go into advance payment, and are only paid after successfully completed construction phases. All invoices paid by Menschen für Menschen undergo a strict and structured audit procedure in order to pre-empt misuse of donations.

The plot of land for the school construction has been provided by the municipality free of charge. Upon completion of the secondary school the Ethiopian regional government is contractually bound to assign teachers to the school, assume responsibility for the school’s current budget and ensure its maintenance.

 

Costs

Pure construction costs in Ethiopia for all sections of the new school building (7 classroom blocks, one library, one administrative building, two waterless toilet facilities) amount to the equivalent of about 390,000 Euro. In addition to this Menschen für Menschen imports some building materials that are not produced in Ethiopia from Germany (roof sheet metal and steel parts). These are placed at the disposal of the building firm for professional use.

Take a look at the cost report in our building contract. Please note: all amounts are stated in Birr, the national currency of Ethiopia.

Statement of Costs Ginde Beret HSS