Kathmandu, June 27
Reconstruction of the school buildings that were destroyed by the quakes will be done according to the building code, a government official says.
All schools buildings that were damaged — partially or fully — will be reconstructed or retrofitted in compliance with the National Building Code, 1994, said Lav Deo Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, at an interaction in the capital. “The government in partnership with internal, external and community partnership will start reconstructing school infrastructures by following the building code as per the suggestions of our international donors,” he added.
According to Awasthi, the government had made arrangement of temporary structures to carry out teaching-learning activities in the schools whose infrastructures were damaged in the quakes.
According to MoE, as many as 575 schools were destroyed in 36 districts across the country in the quakes. Awasthi also said that there was a need to bring about positive changes in the education system of Nepal to improve its quality.
Awasthi also warned that the MoE would act tough against schools which fail to implement the government decision to waive 50 per cent tuition fee for a month when the schools were closed after the first quake hit the country on April 25.
Constituent Assembly member Ranjit Karna demanded that the government accord high priority to the reconstruction of physical infrastructure of schools as it was a challenging job to continue educational activities in open air and tents. He also said that the government should focus its attention on the establishment of ‘Children Education and Health Counselling Fund’ for the schoolchildren. He also urged all concerned to strictly implement the decision to waive 50 per cent tuition fee.
Educationists Tirtha Khaniya and Bhim Dev Bhatta stressed that the government should effectively utilise the assistance of international donors as an opportunity to improve quality of school education.
Ramesh Malla, president of the All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary, student wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist, said that internal labour and skills should be used to rebuild schools and urged the government to take the responsibility of earthquake affected students.
A version of this article appears in print on June 28, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.