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EU to build 650 learning centres in quake-hit Nepal

Andreas Roettger, Head of Cooperation at Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, broke the ground of first of these centres amid a ceremony in central Makwanpur District.

“These transitional learning centres will provide a better environment for teaching and learning for students and school teachers,” said Roettger.

“At the same time, it will impart the need for safer learning spaces, and raise awareness in the communities for better disaster preparation in the future,” he said on Sunday.

The 4 million euro-worth project will assist in constructing these centres in nine quake-affected districts — Gorkha, Kavrepalanchowk, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25, last year, killed nearly 9,000 people and injured many more.

Once established, these learning centres, with their early childhood development centres, will be provided with essential learning materials, and training on psychosocial counselling for 1,300 school teachers.

“Following the devastating earthquakes in April last year that destroyed or severely damaged over 35,000 classrooms, tremendous amount of effort was made to bring children back to school as soon as possible to minimize disruption of their education by establishing temporary learning centres,” said Tomoo Hozumi, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative to Nepal.

“In view of the continuing need for vigilance and preparedness for disasters in the country, we need to ensure safe learning spaces for children.

“The initiation of this new construction project will further enable us to support the national education system to build back better.” 

These centres will bridge the gap for learning spaces until more permanent structures for schools can be built, according to a statement by the EU Nepal Office. 
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