‘Begin school reconstruction on priority basis’

Kathmandu, June 1

The Development Committee of the Parliament today directed all concerned to collect the details of schools damaged or destroyed in the earthquakes last year and immediately begin their reconstruction on priority basis by preparing a concrete action plan.

The committee meeting chaired by Rabindra Adhikari also directed the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and National Reconstruction Authority to make sure that implementation of action plan is not affected due to lack of funds.

Meanwhile, a progress report presented by Chief Executive Officer of NRA Sushil Gyawali stated that they had begun reconstruction of five schools Mahakali Devi Higher Secondary School-Bhattedanda, Kalidevi Higher Secondary School-Pyutar, Bidheshwori Higher Secondary School-Aashram, Jwaladevi Primary School-Thulo Durlung and Pathpradarshak Secondary School-Badikhel in Lalitpur with financial support from Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The report also states that the bidding process for reconstruction of 28 schools in Gorkha district had already begun. NRA has also initiated the tender process for reconstruction of 11 schools in Kavre district with financial support from the Asian Development Bank.

Gyawali further said they have approved the proposals submitted by non-government organisations for reconstruction of 234 schools. The estimated cost of reconstructing these schools is Rs 1.72 billion.

“We have forwarded the programmes of school reconstruction, which is estimated to cost a total of Rs 10 billion, to the Ministry of Finance for approval,” he added.

According to Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Education, the devastating earthquakes in April and May last year damaged 9,353 schools in 59 districts across the country.

While 22,401 classrooms were completely destroyed, 14,024 classrooms suffered major damage and 18,942 classrooms minor damage. Similarly, around 1,200 students and 68 teachers died in the quake.

The education ministry set up 8,000 Transitional Learning Centres (16,000 classrooms) in 31 districts to resume teaching-learning activities affected by the earthquakes.

Various national and international non-governmental organisations set up 4,000 TLCs in various districts. Similarly, various organisations, student unions, entrepreneurs and others set up an additional 24,000 classrooms in various parts of the country.

A few months ago, the ministry also started works to upgrade 125 TLCs in 14 districts worst affected by the earthquakes.