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Nepal’s Schools Are Starting To Reopen After Last Month’s Devastating Earthquakes

Some classes, mostly in the capital city, restarted over the weekend, but almost 1 million children are still unable to go to school, according to Unicef.

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Nepal’s schools started to reopen over the weekend, holding classes for the first time since two devastating earthquakes in the Himalayan country in April and May killed more than 8,300 people.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A father carries his 4-year-old son past collapsed houses on the way to school in Bhaktapur, near Nepal's capital Kathmandu, on May 31.

Around 32,000 classrooms were destroyed by the earthquakes, according to the United Nations’ children’s charity Unicef. Some media reports, including this one from the BBC, put the figure around 25,000.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A boy comforts his brother after being dropped off at school in Bhaktapur on May 31.

Many children who returned to class over the weekend used temporary classrooms, including bamboo huts built especially on the schools’ grounds, Al Jazeera reported.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

A Nepalese man constructs a tent for a temporary school in Kathmandu on May 31.

However, despite efforts by Nepal’s local authorities and international aid groups, almost a million children across the country are still unable to go to school, according to Unicef.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A 6-year-old boy cries inside a classroom in Bhaktapur on May 31.

Nepal needs more than $24 million just for emergency measures to get children back to class, according to the government and aid agencies. The measures include building more temporary classrooms and providing equipment.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Children sing the national anthem as they start their class in Bhaktapur on May 31.

The bulk of classes that restarted were in and around Nepal's capital Kathmandu, as this journalist and author based in the city tweeted. In remote villages closer to the epicenters, he said the story was somewhat different.

Reports that schools have reopened give the false impression that normalcy is returning to EQ affected districts 1/n

Yes, schools were formally opened yesterday, but in most of the EQ affected districts most of them have no capacity to resume operation 2/n

In Sindhupalchok, for instance, only 34 of 591 schools have managed to construct a tent or a shed. 3/n

Shyamantha Asokan is a foreign news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Shyamantha Asokan at shyamantha.asokan@buzzfeed.com.

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