School construction guidelines Laos/Cambodia
Skat has been requested by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center to develop and formulate the technical part of the School Construction Guidelines in support of the strategy of the Ministry of Education in Laos to mainstream disaster risk reduction in the education sector.
Lao PDR is vulnerable to a number of hazards, particularly floods, drought, and windstorms. The country is also affected by landslides, fires, earthquakes, and unexploded ordinance (UXO). The Ministry of Education of Laos (MOE) recognises the negative impact of these hazards not only to the population, specifically to students and teachers, but also to the contribution of the education sector to the country’s economy. As such, the MOE has embarked on the critical task of developing National School Construction Guidelines in Lao PDR. This undertaking is part of the MOE’s programme of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) into the education sector, which started in 2007 in partnership with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and with the assistance of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).
The National School Construction Guidelines demonstrates the commitment of the MOE to make schools safe from disasters and child-friendly for students in Lao PDR. School construction in Laos has been guided by standards and guidelines of donor and development agencies such as the WB, ADB, JICA, AusAID, and UNICEF. It is then considered a good timing for the development of official school construction guidelines with due consideration to the natural hazards that beset the country.
The School Construction Guidelines cover all future school construction undertaken by the MOE from the national, provincial and district levels, and by any donor or development partner. The guidelines set the minimum standards that have to be met by anyone engaged in school construction in Lao PDR. They also cover the entire school construction process from site planning, design and construction to maintenance. They provide guidance on safety from natural hazards and child-friendly considerations bearing in mind the context of Lao PDR and its vision towards an education for all its citizens.