Flooded classrooms a fact of life for Sheni Kondala
At Sheni Kondala School, there are no earthquake drills or fire drills – but the students are well-practiced in what to do when it rains.
First comes the deafening noise of the rain bouncing off the corrugated-iron roof, drowning out all noise in the classroom.
“Usually, I am forced to quit teaching,” says Mathematics Teacher Ahmed Hussein. “If possible, I write on the board, and the students copy. Otherwise, we have to sit idly till it is over. It is boring for all of us.”
Then, the students start digging, as the rain seeps through the walls made of sticks and dirt and begins flooding the classroom.
“Some days when it rains, the room floods. We have to dig out the other side of the wall to let the water drain and reduce the flood level in the room.”
The rain often lasts for more than an hour at a time, significantly cutting into the four hour-long lessons. When it finally stops, children head to the fields, and dig up dry soil to scatter across the muddy floor of their makeshift classroom. Finally, lessons can resume.
12-year-old Meymuna, pictured above, hates it when it rains, but she is grateful the school exists at all.
“Had this school been not here, I would have to travel to Meti, which is one-and-a-half hours away from here. Especially as a girl, the journey of about three hours every day could have made it difficult for me to stay in, or even go to, school,” she says.
“This school is close to where I live, and it means I can get an education. I don’t want to be a farmer. I want to study up to college and become a language teacher.”
School Director Ibrahim Mama wants to make those dreams a reality: “I wish and hope that the situation of Sheni Kondala changes soon to provide quality education for its students and that all the out-of-school children in the community are enrolled in school.”
This year, in partnership with the community and our donors, we will transform Sheni Kondala. With the support of donors like you, we are building a brand new school, with proper, comfortable classrooms. No longer will children have their education interrupted by the rain.