Nepal | October 17, 2019

Over 46 pc quake-hit schools awaiting reconstruction

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 20

Almost four years have passed since the 2015 earthquakes.

However, of the 7,923 community schools that suffered serious damage in the devastating earthquakes, 3,707 (46.78 per cent) schools are yet be reconstructed.

Government record shows that of all the community schools destroyed in 32 districts, a total of 4,216 schools have been reconstructed so far. Similarly, 2,032 schools are under-construction, while the reconstruction of 398 schools has not even started.

Of the total 7,923 quake-hit schools, the government excluded 370 schools from the list of schools to be reconstructed stating that these schools were either merged with other schools or were shut down due to lack of students.

As per the post-disaster recovery framework issued in May 2016 by the Central Level Project Implementation Unit, all the earthquake damaged schools should have been reconstructed within three years. However, against the provision in the framework, a large number of quake-hit schools are yet to be reconstructed.

CLPIU, which started working from April 2016, is a body entrusted with reconstructing schools. It works under the Ministry of Education as per directives from the National Reconstruction Authority.

Due to lack of proper schools, thousands of students are still forced to study inside temporary learning centres that were constructed after the earthquake. The government has estimated that a total of 1.45 million students are studying in12,000 such TLCs after the earthquake.

The CLPIU-E, however, does not have any record of how many such TLCs are still in operation.

CLPIU Project Director Ima Narayan Shrestha said as most of the damaged school buildings had been reconstructed, only a few TLCs were functioning at present.

Shrestha said almost all the large school buildings with 15 or more classrooms were in the final phase of reconstruction.

CLPIU record shows that they have completed reconstructing 17 model schools as envisioned by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Various donor agencies and foreign embassies in Nepal had committed to building a total of 420 secondary schools under Complete School Approach programme. Asian Development Bank is constructing 137 schools, JICA 240, USAID 17 and JFPR eight schools.

CLPIU is largely taking the responsibility of constructing small schools with two to six classrooms. CLPIU Director Shrestha said the estimated cost of reconstructing quakehit schools was Rs 104 billion.

A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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