The government has decided to provide up to Rs300,000 for earthquake-hit public schools to make temporary arrangements for classes.
Schools in 15 worst-affected districts will get the funds. Records at the Department of Education (DoE) show that around 11,500 classrooms of 5,726 public schools have been destroyed by the Great Earthquake. The government has decided to reopen schools from May 15.
DoE spokesman Joint-secretary Khagendra Nepal said schools running 12 grades that were destroyed by the magnitude 7.9 quake will get Rs 300,000 to set up temporary classrooms while those with partially damaged buildings will get Rs 150,000. Fully damaged secondary schools running classes up to the tenth grade will get Rs250,000 while those partially destroyed will get Rs 135,000.
The assistance for fully destroyed and partially damaged lower secondary schools is Rs200,000 and Rs 100,000, respectively, while collapsed primary schools will get Rs 125,000 and those with partially destroyed buildings are entitled to Rs 60,000.
The Education Ministry has already released Rs2.88 billion in the first phase. “This is for a temporary arrangement,” said Nepal, adding that the government will come up with a reconstruction package after full assessment of the damage.
According to the DoE, schools from 44 districts have suffered some kind of destruction with the loss amounting to billions of rupees. Similarly, over 500 private schools in the region have suffered destruction while an equal number of buildings sustain major damage. Lachhe Bahadur KC, chairman of the Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal, said the government should provide assistance to private schools too since scores of them are not in a position to resume classes.
A report released by Unicef on Friday shows at least 950,000 children have been deprived of education and a majority of them are unlikely to return to school unless urgent measures are taken to provide temporary learning spaces and repair damaged buildings. The new academic session scheduled to commence three weeks ago has yet to start due to the devastation.
Unicef has launched a $50 million appeal to support its humanitarian response to the earthquake in Nepal over the next three months, as part of a wider inter-agency flash appeal.