One of collapse schools in Dhading, one of the worst affected areas. (Photo: Rajan Parajuli)

One of collapse schools in Dhading, one of the worst affected areas. (Photo: Rajan Parajuli)

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese children have returned to school for the first time since two earthquakes last month left thousands of classrooms badly damaged.

The Mahendra Devi Higher Secondary is now piles of rumble of bricks and stones. 

“We had pre-primary class rooms inside this rubble. The next building that we can see has gone from the base; we built it four years ago. Out of total 12 rooms, only 3 are standing. They are also damaged,” explained Principal Shrawan Kumar as he walks through the rubble.

400 students use to study here but now there are not enough safe rooms to put them in. 

The government says 9 out 10 schools across the country were seriously damaged in the earthquake. 

Around 10 students are searching for their books in the rubble of their school in the Shorepani village in Gorkha. 

“I saw some books in the rubble and came to see if some of them are my text books. I found my Social studies, English, Science books but are stilling missing my math book,” said year 6 student Ramesh. 

Sabina Shrestha who is in year 10 says she really wants to get back into her studies to forget her family problems.  

"I am tired of looking at the disaster everywhere. My parents are tense because our house is lost. I just don't want to think about it. I want school to start soon so that I can spent time talking about different things with my teachers,” she said. 

The government and aid agencies have built 137 temporary learning centres for 14,000 children so that they could go back to school this week. 

The students of Bagmati Boarding school in Kathmandu are studying under colorful tents in the field outside their old school. 

“The structure is quite fine but the parents are still living in tents at home. They have intense fear and this has made the children terrified so that’s why we are studying in tents,” explained Mohan Bhatta the principle. 

Grade 7 student Ananya Rimal doesn’t mind she is just really happy to be back.

"We shared our experience how we felt during the earthquakes, what happened to us and what our homes are like now. I have been bored at home so it’s good to be back at school,” she said. 

Back in the remote Gorka district, school principal Shrawan Kumar Nepali says they couldn’t open. 

He fears a landslide from the cliff above the school and has no where to put up tents. 

“I have already went to the top of that cliff. The earthquake has made many cracks there and are really big. Rainy season is also coming. It will certainly fall down and hit the school. Every time there was an after shock, we saw stones falling down from that cliff. All students and we teachers are in danger if we return,” he said. 


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