The massive earthquakes in Nepal happened about 5 weeks ago, killing over 8,600 people and devastating the mountainous country. Nepal is still recovering and in need of massive amounts of aid from countries around the world, aid which is being provided. Even though the country is still reeling and trying to rebuild both infrastructure and the shattered lives of its citizens, life must go on and people must continue to rebuild and move forward. There is no clearer example of this desire to move forward and improve than that of Nepalese children finally going back to school all over the country. Even though there are still schools that need to be rebuilt, the fact that children are beginning to learn and be educated means that Nepal is now starting to look towards the future again.
Over 32,000 classrooms and educational facilities were destroyed in Nepal during the earthquake. With the sheer amount of destruction the country sustained, rebuilding schools wasn’t a priority; hospitals, roads, and other emergency facilities were much higher on the list. The Nepalese children that are finally returning to school are going to be learning in tents and makeshift cottages and shacks until their proper schools are rebuilt (who knows how long this might take). However, even though the actual facilities are rough, an education minister in the Nepalese government made the point that the opening of schools, no matter how ramshackle they may be, is a sign that life is slowly returning to normal.
The government and various aid organizations have built 137 temporary learning facilities for over 14,000 children across the country. Aid workers are saying that a total of 4,500 education centers are estimated to be needed to accommodate students who have been forced to move by the earthquakes; nearly a million have been severely affected by the quakes. The opening of these temporary schools is important for a variety of reasons. The first is that it helps prevent against a lost generation of children who are poorly educated and scarred from the quakes; this would’ve been terrible for Nepal’s future. It also allows the children to have a safe space that will take their minds off the stress that the quakes and being displaced has caused. School allows children to be children and at this point in time, that’s what the Nepalese children need.
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