After the earthquake in Nepal.
Testimonies and vignettes from earthquake-impacted areas, where a recovery project is being implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the European Union and the Government of Nepal, to revitalize the education system affected by the 2015 earthquakes.
The partnership project aims to construct 650 Transitional Learning Centers — safe learning environment for children — as permanent rebuilding catches on in the years to come. Along with this, it has provided for learning materials and teacher training in the nine most affected districts as an overall strategy to recover the educational infrastructure.
Scenes from the field where the project is currently underway:
This is my house. It was damaged in the earthquake. And this is the way from the house to the tap, where we wash ourselves and where my grandma gets water for cooking food.
Kristy Tamang — Sankheswori Primary School, Kavre, draws in her new notebook. While most of her friends drew by referencing pictures on their books, Kristy needed no such thing.
Tika Lama, who is helping build a TLC for Kristy’s school, is a proud community member:
I recently came back from foreign employment in Malaysia. I now work mostly around the village. I feel especially good about this work: helping build the community’s school. I am relieved that the children of our village will be getting a better educational environment, and am happy to contribute.
I really like the walls of our new school [building]. Now if we forget something we can look at the wall and that can also be helpful when you are asked a question by the teacher. I can tell the tables from 1 to 5 fluently, but need to think more for the others.
— Samarpan Shah, Karmasingh Primary School, Gorkha, was seen memorizing the table from his new classroom’s wall during a break.
Certainly after the quake, community groups have a much more important role. I am chair of the School Management Committee for our village and we are determined to facilitate the construction of the transitional structures. The terrains are not always easy, so logistics is a problem. It has always been a problem. Everyone realizes that this is about the future of our children. The community wants to move the children into safer, more comfortable learning spaces and our committee is here to assist in every way possible
— Kumar Lama, SMC Chair, Dapcha, Kavre, was overseeing the storage of construction supplies on a bright Sunday afternoon.
Sindhupalchowk’s Siddhikamala Devi Secondary School is host to students from primary to tenth grade from around the area. The community in Chautara, the district headquarter, is called Pipaldaanda. It is now almost unrecognizable from what it had been like before, the principal of the school Pushkar Rayamajhi reports. Sindhupalchowk is one of the most severely affected districts from the 2015 earthquakes. Pipaldaanda is now only a shadow of its former self, with tin structures dotting the area where houses used to stand.
One of these structures is home to 13-year-old Tara Sapkota. When the earthquake hit, her mother and grandmother were not able to escape their house. The house collapsed on them and they passed away. A year-and-a-half later Tara’s father has remarried. Tara’s brother is in Kathmandu in the police force and is someone she looks up to.
For Tara, the school is a good place to be. She says she likes her classes, and she likes playing badminton during breaks. And after more than two years of conducting classes in open and temporary spaces, her school is now finally moving into its own transitional structure, which is expected to be durable for at least five years until permanent construction catches up.