Today, the school is nearly in ruins: broken windows, peeling paint, missing doors, a leaking roof, no insulation, and no indoor plumbing. Hardly a place suitable for educating children.
And yet, young students fill the building - learning their first lessons.
“The number of students has not decreased over time. We have 240 children, and this is a large number for a mountain village. Despite emigration, families remain here even when the head of the family is abroad,” says Enver Pajaziti, Mayor of Brvenica.
“Thus, building a new school is our biggest priority. It will give optimism to the people living here. “
Mr. Afrim Emerllau, the school’s Principal, noted that children come to school every day in two shifts, regardless of the fact that the building is old and has not been renovated for decades.
Gurgurnica is difficult to access - especially in winter. Most of its teachers come from neighboring towns and villages, meaning that during winter they have to sleep in the school’s dormitory, which is also in bad shape.
This, however, is about to change.
With European Union funds accessed through from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance to support a Rural Investment Window, along with funds from the World Bank Municipal Services Improvement Project, students in Gurgurnica will soon be studying in a brand new school. This planned facility will be a fully functional elementary school, with children from grades 1-9 and pre-schoolers. The school will also be as energy efficient as possible. The new facility will be constructed near the existing school, which will be demolished once the new school is completed.
Once implemented, the project will provide better conditions for learning - increasing the quality of education for the town’s future generations. The students will learn in new, warmer classrooms, while their teachers will also have a warm place to stay on those cold winter nights when the snow does not allow them to return – meaning healthier and happier students to learn and healthier, happier teachers to teach them.