REBUILDING OF A MADRASAH FOR ROHINGYAS IN KYAUKTAW
Madrasah Syed is located in Ranyfarah, a district in the State of Kyauktaw, Arakan. It was built in 1969 by the late General U Mong Mong Thein or also known by his Muslim name, General Syed. Unfortunately, on May 30th 2017, Cyclone Mora hit the village and has totally destroyed the madrasah. The students were then moved to the nearby masjid temporarily until a new building is built.
Since 1969, the madrasah has gone through several phases of expansion and by 2017, the total number of students has increased from 65 to 365 where 60% are girls.
The village elders have approached NGO Al-I’tisam for help to rebuild the madrasah as soon as possible because the existing location is not conducive and too small to accommodate all the students. To the elders, they do not want the next generations to be further deprived of their rights for education especially in religious knowledge.
|Project site||In 1965, a Bangladeshi businessman has agreed to give a piece of his land of about 3 hectares as wakaf for the villagers to build a masjid and a religious school.
|Masjid||The villagers managed to raise enough fund among them and a masjid was built in 1965 and completed in1966.
|Madrasah||General Syed took the initiative to call for a meeting and as a result of that meeting; they agreed to build the madrasah. It was completed on May 6th, 1971 at a cost of MMK110,000 fully financed through donations by the villagers.
|Student||The madrasah started with 65 students until it reached a total 365 students in 2017, 125 boys and 240 girls.
|Government school||In 1981, the government has directed the villagers to start an academic session in the same building. To accommodate that, the school sessions were divided into two, morning session for religious subjects and afternoon session for Myanmar national school syllabus and with that, a government school has started in Ranyfarah.
In 2004, the villagers appealed to the government to build a separate building to house the government school. They agreed and a new building for the government school was constructed in the same year.
|Teacher||The madrasah has a total of 5 teachers and the government school 11 teachers. The religious subject teachers’ salaries are paid from the school fees collected from the students.
|Cyclone||In May 30th 2017, cyclone Mora hit Ranyfarah and the strong wind hit the aging madrasah building and it collapsed. The villagers salvaged whatever possible and built temporary classrooms at the masjid and they have been using that as temporary madrasah until now.
|Location||Same location as the old madrasah.
|New building||1. The concrete building, 4 classes – 3 for religious subjects and 1 for tahfiz ul Quran.
2. The floor will be raised by about 1 meter to mitigate the annual flood from inundating the classroom during monsoon.
3. Measurement – whole building measurement is 28 meter x 9 meter . The classroom is 7-meter x 7 meter each. The balance 2 meter in width is for the corridor.
4. Each classroom will accommodate 48 students or 144 students in total excluding tahfiz ul Quran.
5. The madrasah will run in 2 shifts, morning and afternoon. Therefore, on the overall, the madrasah is designed to take in 288 students in total.
6. For the tahfiz ul Quran, we hope to accommodate about 30 to 50 students doing full time memorizing the Quran.
|Furniture and fittings||Requirement;
1. Ceiling fan
2. Double bulb fluorescent light
3. Low table for students
4. White board/black board
5. Teacher’s table and chair
6. Steel filing cupboard
· 4 classes x 4 units
· Classroom: 4 units x 4 classes
· Corridor: 4 units
· 4 tables x 3 rows x 4 rooms
· 1 for each room
· 1 set per room
· 1 unit per room
Hiring of contractor
Kyauktaw is a Muslim majority district in Rakhine State. It is a heavily militarized zone where free movement is very much restricted. No foreigners are allowed to enter this area without a special permit from the Burmese government. So far, foreigners are allowed into this area through G2G arrangement only.
Therefore, only local contractors are available for us to choose. All of them are self-taught contractors. The skills and knowledge they have been inherited from the generations before them. Most probably we will not be able to get a contractor that can read and understand building plan.
We depend on the recommendation of our volunteers in Kyauktaw to recommend the right contractors to us. However, they have been informed of the minimum criteria the contractors must have as follows;
- Good track record.
- Good character
- Competitive price
- They have the full capability to finish the job given to them
- Preferably someone that is able to read and understand simple building plan
We have no way to verify whatever the volunteers recommended to us. But the group of volunteers has worked for us for almost a year and they have a good track record to undertake a task satisfactorily. In a way, we have a reasonable basis to trust them.
Donation – We welcome any amount of contribution.