45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 93

Challenges: Training masons and inspectors in safe school construction In 2005, the MoE and MoPW organised a massive cascading training program to teach hazard-resistant construction techniques to their government engineers. These engineers then taught or supervised thousands of contractors and masons at the district level. Amid other DRMP activities, it took a few years to complete the training. In the process, the state government had to deal with a lack of knowledge and the staggering breadth of construction. TRAINING Consultant groups Orissa Development Technocrat’s Forum and PK Das hold workshop at the state headquarters. TRAINING Train approximately 300 engineers, architects and department staff at the state government level. DISPATCH OVERSIGHT 10,000 masons were then trained to in seismic-resistant construction techniques Two trained engineers and primary education officers from the workshop are dispatched to each district where schools are planned to act as master trainers. TRAINING Master trainers train about 800 engineers and other education officers at the district level to perform construction oversight. was only constructed to the window level and was left in the community as a reference for masons to recall what they had learnt. During the training, masons were paid their daily wages. Because of the scope of the project, only one or two masons were trained for each school construction site. However, they were able to pass their newly acquired knowledge to other masons working with them. Tight quality control Construction was overseen by trained engineers and implemented by the trained masons. Masons and a school oversight committee knew the stages that required engineering inspection, the criteria for approval, and the tests that would be conducted to ensure quality. Engineers monitored the masons as they poured the foundation, casted earthquake ring beams and placed the roof. Yet with so much knowledge transfer over such short time, the Uttar Pradesh Government knew the application of the new techniques would be inconsistent and would need further oversight. To solve this problem, the team created a wordless manual with very simple pictorials to show villagers what should be present at the foundation and sill levels. The manuals also showed community members how to determine the quality of cement. Then, the village head was issued pre-stamped postcards with a checklist of poor construction practices. If there was no problem, the village head would send nothing back. But if the government received a postcard, it would immediately send a trained inspector to determine whether a mistake had been made. When Uttar Pradesh changed its school design to incorporate seismic-resistant features, the state needed to train masons in the new practices. Five-day trainings that included practice on a mock building taught one or two masons for each new school site how to construct earthquake ring beams in the walls. These trained masons then spread the knowledge to other masons on the construction site. Photo: Sanjaya Bhatia. UNDP hired the consultants ODFT and PK Das to lead fiveday trainings for masons in communities where new schools were to be constructed. The first portion of the training was a lecture to introduce masons to hazard-resistant construction and show them new techniques for earthquake safety. The latter portion of the training was the application of all-new, hazard-resistant construction techniques on a mock building, giving the masons a chance to translate the abstract theory into tangible practice. The mock building By 2007, the state government had constructed 6,500 seismically safer schools and 40,000 additional classrooms. Programs of this scale only manifest when countries are attempting to fill large gaps in access to education. Even though programs on this scale are rare, they can be an opportunity to infuse new knowledge about hazard-resistant construction principles into communities and government agencies. Key takeaways • Countries addressing education gaps can institutionalise hazard-resistant construction into their rollout. • Cascading training is an effective model for spreading new, hazard-resistant construction techniques to skilled tradespeople. SECTION III: CONSTRUCTION Through this method, many errors were caught early, and several buildings were actually torn down after finding irreversible mistakes. If the constructor simply made a mistake, it was corrected. However, if the responsible party was corrupt, the constructor was blacklisted from future government construction projects. • During training, new construction techniques need to be tuned to the literacy level of skilled tradespeople • Training programs should include hands-on practice so skilled tradespeople can apply new concepts. • Postcard monitoring systems can supplement traditional construction inspection in rural and remote school communities. 84