Colegio New Horizons S.R.L.
Colegio New Horizons is a private school headquartered in Santo Domingo that offers early childhood, primary, and secondary education – from preschool to the last year of secondary school. The school, which also operates in Santiago, offers bilingual education and continuing education programs for adults at its main campus in Santo Domingo.
The IIC loan will support investment programs to improve and expand educational facilities at the Santo Domingo campus. The investments will increase classroom capacity and expand laboratories and athletic facilities. These investments are expected to lay the foundation for the school to develop university education programs in the medium term, around 2017 or 2018.
In addition to offering bilingual education, the school has a good reputation in math and science. It has received many math and science awards in the Dominican Republic, the Ibero-American Mathematics Olympiad, and competitions in other countries. Colegio students have traditionally performed outstandingly in national and international math and science competitions. With more than 30 years of experience, Colegio New Horizons is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Environmental and Labor Issues:
This is a category B project according to the IIC’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy because it could produce certain effects that may be avoided or mitigated by following generally recognized performance standards, guidelines, or design criteria. The principal environmental and labor considerations related to the project are assessment and management of environmental and social risks and impacts, workplace and labor conditions, efficient resource use, and pollution prevention.
Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts: The Borrower agrees to obtain all permits associated with this project, including, inter alia, the construction permit and the no objection and land use certificates. The Borrower is currently arranging for the construction permit for the expansion of its facilities and expects to receive it in the coming months. The project does not require an environmental permit under Dominican regulations, as it consists of expanding an existing building. Colegio New Horizons operates with the authorization of the Ministry of Education.
The school’s current facilities have safety measures in place that include signage and evacuation routes, as well as fire extinguishers. There is an emergency response plan. The design for the school expansion project includes a fire prevention system as per the applicable national regulations. The IIC will also require that the project facilities be inspected to ensure compliance with the fire safety and prevention measures spelled out in international regulation NFPA 101 Human Life Code. The inspection and compliance certificate must be issued by the fire department, competent civil defense authorities, or an accredited expert.
Workplace and Labor Conditions: The department of human resources has a policy manual that was reviewed and updated in March 2014 to guarantee the observance of national labor laws. The manual covers hiring procedures and working conditions for Colegio employees. The school also has an occupational safety and health training program that all Colegio employees must attend; the training includes first-aid, accident prevention, evacuation drills, and fire-fighting.
At the IIC’s request, the Borrower will ensure that the construction workers hired by project contractors receive the labor benefits required by law, including enrollment in the Dominican Social Security Institute. The Borrower will also see to it that the basic principles of the International Labour Organization are observed, among them freedom of association and the prohibition of child labor and forced labor, especially with regard to workers hired by project contractors. The Borrower will ensure that contractors employ the applicable occupational safety and security practices and that workers are provided with and use personal protection equipment while on the job.
Efficient Resource Use and Pollution Prevention: Approximately 90% of the electricity for operating the project installations is supplied by four electric generators (one 400 kW, two 350 kW, and one 135 kW) that are fueled by bunker oil. These generators are currently the main source of air emissions, which are kept under control by filters in the generators, which reduce the emissions by approximately 40%. These emissions will be eliminated in the short term, however, as the Borrower will begin replacing the generators with solar panels in late 2014. The water comes from the municipal supply. Wastewater is disposed of through the municipal sewerage system; during the construction phase, portable toilets will be provided for the construction workers. Usable materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and wood are recycled. Solid waste is disposed of through the municipal trash collection service.
Supervision: The Borrower will agree on an environmental and social action plan with the IIC and submit an annual report containing information from the monitoring of the issues included in this summary. Throughout the project, the IIC will monitor compliance with its own environmental and labor review guidelines, evaluating the reports submitted by the Borrower each year and making periodic visits to the facilities as part of the project supervision process.