Arshad Public School
ADP is funding the reconstruction of Arshad Public School (APS), located 15km north of Muzaffarabad (Azad Jammu & Kashmir) in the village of Muslandy. This area has been fairly neglected by the EQ relief teams and even the roads from Muzaffarabad have been repaired on a self-help basis. The school building was completely destroyed as a result of the October 2005 earthquake. It is the only middle school in the immediate area and has approximately 300 students enrolled, both male and female. Most students pay Rs. 100 ($1.50) per month to study, while the poorer ones either pay a subsidized monthly fee or study for free. The school has been operating in tents and makeshift shelters since the earthquake.
The land for the school building has been donated by the school owner, Mr. Basharat Awan, to a new Trust called the Ali Asghar Foundation. The construction is going to be funded in 3-4 stages based on the achievement of construction milestones and is expected to be completed by March 2008. The building will have 4 large classrooms, a smaller classroom and separate toilets for girls and boys. The budget for the construction of the building is approximately $30,000 – $35,000.
Arshad Public School is the largest project undertaken by ADP to date. It has helped us build our knowledge base for due diligence on projects led by motivated individuals. A site visit to the village was completed to assess the need for the school, the quality and standard of education and to meet parents and community members.
The need for the school is critical. It is in a remote area and is not frequented by relief agencies which means that the school has a low probability of being funded otherwise. Also, since there are no other junior or high schools in the village, the school is the only option that families have for their children’s education.
- Successful completion of the planned school building
- Future student enrollment
Khizar Hayat and another volunteer in Muzaffardabad recently conducted a visit to Arshad Public school. They observed students studying in the building that was recently constructed with ADP’s support, and were pleased to find that they were engaged, motivated and confident. The Principal said the strength of the school had increased by 70 since the new building was constructed and the villagers were happy. As a next step, the school is very interested in getting a water supply for drinking and sanitation and in building a boundary wall for children’s safety. ADP will consider these as additional projects in the near future.
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