Schools reopen amid uncertainty in quake-battered Nepal

Nepalese authorities said children were likely to remain out of school, even as the term resumed on Sunday for the first time since the April 25 earthquake.

The authorities confirmed on Sunday in Kathmandu that there were 34,000 government schools and 8,000 private schools in Nepal, and more than 7,800 of the schools had been damaged by the earthquake, affecting studies of over 800,000 children.

The government said it had invited parents to inspect school buildings before sending their children to classes.

The government said it had directed schools to conduct entertaining classes for children in the first few days before resuming regular teaching, as many children were severely affected psychologically.

The Education Ministry said schools should resume classes only if their buildings were declared safe, following inspection by experts.

Prajana KC, one of the parents whose son goes to Erudite Academy in Bhaktapur’s Lokanthali, said the school buildings have some cracks.

He said the school said that the engineers had inspected the buildings and it was safe for use.

Meanwhile, some parents believed that for many schools to re-open, it would take time because they needed to rebuild the infrastructure.

Prem Dai, the guard at Tribhuvan Trishuli High School, the biggest government school in Nuwakot district, said the school building was completely gone.

He said it was not safe for children to come near the school to avoid collapse and further danger.

“People who were displaced are all camping on the school ground, so we can’t ask them to leave.

“Besides, it is too hot to run classes under the sun and the weather is unpredictable these days.

“Our school doesn’t have the means to even build makeshift classrooms right now,’’ he said.

Police report indicated that 8,691 people died in the earthquakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12.

(dpa/NAN)

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