Kathmandu, Nepal (BBN)-Thousands of schools damaged during April’s devastating earthquake in Nepal have begun to re-open.
More than 25,000 classrooms were destroyed in the 7.8 magnitude quake and its aftershocks, and more than 8,000 people died, reports BBC.
Many have only been rebuilt on a temporary basis using materials such as bamboo, wood and tarpaulin.
Classes will initially focus on group activities to help children recover from the trauma of the disaster.
The Nepalese government closed all schools in the earthquake-affected areas of Kathmandu and its surrounding districts for the month of May, as families struggled to rebuild their lives.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless.
In the worst-hit districts of Gorkha, Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot, it is estimated that more than 90% of schools were destroyed.
Ministry of Education official, Lavadeo Awasthi, told the Times of India that the temporary classroom structures “will have to do for the next two years, in which time the buildings should be restored”.
School days will be short and focus on game playing and cultural activities – the United Nations has distributed educational kits which include puzzles and picture books aimed at having a positive impact on children’s psychology.
“The children are very happy here to engage themselves with different kinds of playing materials, recreational materials,” said Unicef early childhood development specialist, Shiva Bhusal.
According to Unicef, Nepal’s high-school dropout rate was already a major concern before April’s earthquake.
Around 1.2 million Nepalese children between the ages 5 and 16 have either never attended school or have dropped out.