The teachers were struggling to educate over 300 children without textbooks and there were only two books in the library. In addition there were no sporting facilities, buildings were in disrepair, there was no water, no power and only two working toilets
Muravah Foundation has now adopted the school and the school classrooms, roofs and windows have been re-built and painted. All blocks of rooms are now connected by a covered walkway and we have installed a new toilet block.
Muravah Foundation has already supplied educational books, shelving and furniture for the library, and security windows for the office and library. We supplied the best available English coaching manuals which were introduced into the curriculum in June 2011.
Current average class sizes at Tumpa school are 50 children per class and as funds allow we are building new classrooms (the latest was completed in October 2012). Our target is 30 children per class, and with the many proposed additional facilities this will give the children a learning experience on par with the private schools.
The plans for our second phase were to build a canteen and install an electric pump on the new well, build a water tank and have water gravity feeding into the toilets, washbasins, drinking fountains and canteen. We also planned to fence the school grounds to ensure security. We have installed power, lighting and fans to all classrooms and the second phase is now complete.
We have also refurbished the playground with basketball/netball facilities and a special playground for Grades 1 and 2 and pre-schoolers.
UPDATE November 2012:
In February, consultation with the school principal unearthed the fact that 88 children, out of the 320 students were malnourished. The students came to school without breakfast and lunch. They went to sleep at their desks and were impossible to teach and tend not to come to school on Thursdays and Fridays.
Since June 2012, the numbers at the school have increased to 370 and the number of malnourished children has been revised to 150. These children are being fed daily and as a bonus, every child in the school receives a banana for morning tea every day.
We also discovered half of the students weren't returning to school after lunch because it was too far to walk from home, so from June 2012 every student was given a personalised lunch box. It has taken several months of training, but parents are now sending their children to school with lunch. At the school gate we provide security and children must have a gate pass to leave school, this ensures they complete a full day at school.
Third Phase - 2013
We plan to build a new computer room, assembly/music room and add more classrooms to get the class sizes down. During all of the re-building phases, Muravah Foundation will continue to upgrade the library, supply extra school books, and install computers as cash becomes available.
The cost of sending 370 students to a private school is prohibitive, our aim is to upgrade Tumpa Elementary School to a private school standard, at a fraction of the cost of private school tuition fees.
Since July 2011 the children have re-established the vegetable gardens. Muravah Foundation supplies seeds and fertilizer and in the future, we will establish an aquaponics plant (www.aquaponics.net.au) to help feed the students. We have completed a nursery where the children can propagate their seedlings.
The increase in attendance from 308 children to over 370 children has increased the overcrowding in the classrooms so we have built one new classroom and we currently require financing for two additional classrooms. We are expecting another increase in students in June 2013.
When Muravah Foundation arrived in Barangay Sua, nobody had a bank account. We decided to introduce bank accounts at the Tumpa Elementary school for students in grades 5 and 6. Based on attendance and behaviour at school, each eligible student was given a bank account with 100 pesos (approximately $2.30).
These children are also involved in tending to the school vegetable gardens and their bank account is part of their reward.
What we have noticed over several weeks is that the students have started making regular deposits (it may only be 10 pesos) but they are so excited at watching their bank balance grow, that their parents also want to become involved.
We plan to extend the banking program to parents during 2013.