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Temporary Learning Centres; a boon for Schools hit by earthquake

© UNICEF Nepal/2011/KMPokhrel
classroom destroyed by earthquake in Ilam, Mechi

By-Kaustuv Mani Pokhrel

29 December 2011, Panchthar, Nepal
- Students inside the 15 by 20 feet room looked merry as smiling faces wished good morning to the visitors of Sumnima Primary School in Panchthar district. The classroom is a Temporary Learning Centre (TLC) which was built about 20 days back with the support from UNICEF and District Education Office . This school has some 270 students. "Many locals and guardians gathered in the school area as they found out that two classrooms were destroyed due to the earthquake." said principal IndraKala Rai. "Parents were worried that their children would be deprived of education unless we reconstruct the collapsed rooms" she added. Many schools in this area shares the similar stories. Reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure is not easy as it requires a lot of resources and time.

Many schools remained closed for days after the quake and schools had to merge classes or conduct classes out in the open to accommodate students. The establishment of the TLCs has really been a big sigh of relief for us explained Purna Bahadur Gurung, member of  school management committee of Shree Janachetana  Primary School in Silauti, Phidim. The Principal of the school himself volunteered in constructing TLC classrooms so that classes could be resumed as soon as possible.

© UNICEF Nepal/2011/KMPokhrel
grade one students studying in UNICEF supported TLC in Panchthar, Mechi

Bindu and Sunita, fifth graders in Sumnima Primary School expressed happiness regarding their new classroom which has good air circulation and enough light for studying.  Jayanti Rai, another student of the school says "my friends from other class also want to study in our TLC classroom as its new and we have made it beautiful with books and wall hangings."

While the students are being able to continue their study because of TLCs, the schools now have enough time to plan and reconstruct the destroyed classrooms. Teachers, school management and members of parents teacher association of all eleven schools visited in Panchthar shared that TLCs have been a very beneficial initiative for students to ensure uninterrupted education.



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