Life is starting to return to normal in Nepal after two earthquakes ripped through the Himalayan country on April 25 and May 12. One of the most important steps in returning to normalcy is reopening schools for the roughly one million children who were affected by the earthquakes.
Unfortunately, many schools around the country were destroyed, and rebuilding efforts won’t get to them for a while. In the meantime, the government is constructing temporary education centers for children who lost their schools. As of May 31 they’ve built 137 such centers, serving 14,000 children, but they estimate that they’ll need another 4,500 centers.
Classes are set to start in a couple of weeks, but children are being urged to visit the centers beforehand to get used to them and to adapt to the new, albeit temporary, learning spaces. The recovery effort is very concerned with the psychosocial affects of the earthquakes, the rebuilding process, and the new education centers. They don’t want children to fall behind because they don’t have schools or because they can’t learn in the temporary structures.
The return to relative normalcy helps put children at ease, as at least one aspect of their lives is under control. It also gives those children somewhere to be during the day, allowing their parents to go back to work without having to worry about where their children are or what they’re up to. In keeping children off the streets, they are kept out of harm’s way during the upheaval the country is still facing. Educators and officials want to keep children away from street violence and human trafficking, which are significant threats in a place as recently devastated as Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal.