EU4Schools programme was created as a response to the devastating impact of the November 2019 earthquake in Albania. Its overall objective is to further support central and local governments in reducing social and economic losses from the earthquake, and to accelerate the recovery process through repairs and reconstruction of 60+ education facilities in eleven affected municipalities, namely: Kruja, Durrës, Kurbin, Kamza, Kavaja, Tirana, Mirdita, Lezha, Rrogozhina, Shijak, and Vora.
According to the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA), a total of 321 public Crèches, Pre-Schools, Basic Schools and Secondary Schools were fully destroyed, partially damaged or lightly damaged by the earthquake in all affected municipalities in Albania. About 20% of them will be repaired/reconstructed and retrofitted by EU4Schools, thanks to a European Union donation of about 75 million EUR and UNDP’s contribution of 765,000 EUR. The programme is implemented by UNDP Albania in collaboration with the Albanian Government.
EU4schools started on April 2020: once completed the programme will impact directly or indirectly more than one million Albanians. Better education conditions are being created for 25,000 students, children, and teachers. This is being fulfilled by achieving these specific objectives:
- To support repairing and reconstruction, including basic furnishing, of education facilities in municipalities affected by the earthquake according to the EU standards.
- To provide increased transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness to the recovery process; and
- To improve capacities of central and local governments in accelerating the recovery processes according to the highest EU international standards.
The programme’s implementation is based on two main principles: (i) Build Back Better (BBB) and (ii) Build Back Together (BBT).
BBB ensures the education facilities fit to the education needs of new generations. It gives the impacted communities a unique opportunity to sustainably reduce current and future risks. It also offers the opportunity to rebuild stronger, safer, more disaster-resilient infrastructure and systems and with higher standards.
BBT ensures inclusiveness and transparency throughout the implementation of all programme’s cycles. Working together with local governments, local public institutions, and communities to design and implement recovery activities rapidly with a participatory approach and a transparent and accountable system, is core to EU4Schools programme.
The EU4Schools is not just a reconstruction project. It contributes to supporting communities in restoring social capital in the affected areas and mitigate the trauma from the devastating earthquake of November 2019.
Before & After reconstruction by “EU4Schools” Programme.
Joint High School “Ismet Nanushi” in Kullë, Sukth, Durrës Municipality
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Albania on 26 November 2019 left 51 people dead and at least, 913 others injured. For the first time in recent history, the Government of Albania announced a State of Natural Emergency in the three prefectures. According to the findings of the PDNA, the total effect of the disaster in the 11 municipalities amounts to 985.1 million EUR (121.21 billion ALL).
The programme commenced on April 2020, a time when due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albanian Government had declared the state of natural disaster and enforced a very strict lockdown.
As the entire education system was interrupted physically, around 572,000 children and students were impacted from the COVID-19 lockdown only few months after the earthquake. In the 11 Municipalities where EU4Schools is being implemented, the education suffered from two consecutive crises, the earthquake, and COVID-19, causing impatience to return into classes and raising expectations on the speed and quality of the post-earthquake recovery process.
Despite these external situations, the EU4Schools implementation is progressing in a steady pace. The list of education facilities to be repaired or reconstructed was determined in partnership with the Albanian Government.
To determine the level of intervention, each education facility was inspected as part of the programme commencement phase and is reviewed as part of the technical design preparation. Two drafts of the technical design are consulted with direct and indirect beneficiaries, and the final technical design encompasses suggestions from teachers, students, parents and members of the community.
The technical design is also reviewed and approved by the Institute of Construction of Albania and only thereafter the construction permit is requested from the respective communities.
A strong partnership was formed to expedite the implementation of the EU4Schools: the Programme Steering Committee gathers representatives from European Union Delegation in Albania, the Albanian Government, UNDP and 11 impacted Municipalities.
Towards the end of the construction works, Place Checks are organized: Place Checks are meetings with participants of the initial consultations, to verify progress of the civil works as well as to monitor how their ideas, comments and requests are implemented (whenever possible). To quantify and analyze the satisfaction of beneficiaries from the repair/reconstruction process, an anonymous satisfaction is carried.
The programme progress is transparently presented in the EU4schools portal (eu4schoolsportal.al) which provides real time data on each of the 60+ education facilities. Visibility of the EU4Schools is ensured based on a joint EU-UNDP communication and visibility strategy, aiming to promote and highlight the support of the European Union to the education sector recovery.
- Collaboration established through Memorandums of Understanding with 11 Municipalities
- 41 education facilities completed so far
- 2,425 participants in 65 Consultation Meetings and 40 Place Checks
- 62 technical designs finalized so far
- 58 civil works contracts signed so far
- 17 education facilities under construction currently
- 25 Information Technology laboratories installed so far
- 44 Health and Safety Executive trainings organized in which 618 participants are trained so far
- 310 Health and Safety Executive inspections carried so far
Impact of the earthquake damages mitigated through 60+ education facilities repaired/reconstructed and retrofitted in 11 Municipalities.
Quality of teaching improved for 25,000 students and teachers by ensuring better education conditions in all education facilities part of the programme’s scope.
Future-ready education facilities through the installation of up to 43 IT laboratories, environmentally friendly facilities, improved accessibility, and indoor/outdoor sport facilities.
Transparency and inclusiveness guaranteed through the consultation, participation, and collaboration with up to 2,000 beneficiaries.
Readiness of the local and central administration ensured through sustainability and maintenance manuals prepared by EU4Schools team and delivered to the Municipalities.
Collaboration established through Memorandums of Understanding with 11 Municipalities
40 education facilities completed so far
17 education facilities under construction currently
Students and teachers
25,000 Students and teachers benefiting
2,425 participants in 64 Consultation Meetings and 40 Place Checks so far
25 Information Technology laboratories installed so far
United Nations Development Programme
DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS