Reconstruction of Durbar High School beginsReconstruction of the historic Durbar High School, which was heavily damaged by the 2015 earthquake, formally began on Friday.
Reconstruction of the historic Durbar High School, which was heavily damaged by the 2015 earthquake, formally began on Friday.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokhrel and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong made the formal announcement amid a function held on the school’s premises in Kathmandu.
The reconstruction of school building will be funded by China and is one of the 25 China Aid post-disaster reconstruction projects in Nepal.
According to China’s mission in Kathmandu, the four-storey school building with more than 40 classrooms will be built in an area of 4,200 square metres. The project is estimated to cost RMB 55 million.
The design of the new building is developed by China Aviation Planning and Design Institute, while the construction works will be helmed by Shanghai Construction Group Co Limited.
The project is expected to be completed within 20 months.
Pokhrel lauded the Chinese government for its assistance in the school building reconstruction.
“I have taken the initiative of converting all public schools into a complete school with all essential resources. The Durbar School too will be guided by the same policy after it is rebuilt,” the minister said.
Ambassador Yu informed that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s recent visit to China has opened a new chapter for China-Nepal comprehensive partnership of cooperation.
She added that the Chinese government will continue to assist in Nepal’s economic and social development, promote post-disaster reconstruction projects, provide more government scholarships and training opportunities for Nepalis, strengthen exchanges and cooperation in education and people-to-people relations.
“We hope the school construction will be supported and cooperated by all related sides,” Yu said, urging the project contractor to complete the construction with high quality so that the students can learn and grow in a safe and comfortable environment.
According to the Department of Archaeology (DoA), the design pitched by Chinese company has been approved with a condition that the aesthetics and façade of the historic building remains the same.
“We will monitor the reconstruction process to ensure that there is no alteration in its original design,” DoA Spokesperson Ram Bahadur Kunwar said.
Established during the Rana regime, Durbar High School is the country’s first school.
The school building features British architecture and was originally an elementary English school set up by Jung Bahadur Rana at his residence in 1853 with two teachers imported from England to teach children of the ruling families.
The school was later shifted to Thapathali Durbar. Named Durbar School (palace school), it marked the beginning of modern education in Nepal, but only the ruling Ranas and their sons could attend it. In 1876, the school began admitting children of high class government officers too.