EU, Unicef launch education project in Nepal

Kathmandu, Feb 2 (IANS) The European Union (EU) and the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) have joined hands in an effort to resume education in Nepal for one million children affected by last year’s devastating earthquake.

The four million euro-worth partnership project envisages construction of 650 transitional learning centres, provision of essential learning material in all newly-established centres as well as psycho-social counselling training to teachers in nine earthquake-affected districts, Xinhua news agency reported citing an EU press statement issued on Tuesday.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25, last year, killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000.

“Over the years, Nepal has made significant educational gains. But these gains are at a risk today with massive damage to schools and classrooms during the Nepal earthquakes,” Rensje Teerink, EU ambassador to Nepal, said in the press release.

The project will be implemented in Gorkha, Kavrepalanchowk, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk districts in collaboration with the department of education.

“The new centres will have corrugated galvanised iron sheets for the roof, improved walls, gender-friendly latrines, hand-washing facilities and provision for drinking water,” the statement said.

Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef representative to Nepal, said: “In the last nine months, Unicef has been working very closely with the government and partners to minimise the disruption to schooling in the earthquake-affected districts by helping to resume classes as soon as possible in schools and temporary learning centres.”

The learning environment of the earthquake-affected children will be further enhanced with provision for early childhood development and educational materials in all the newly-established centres.

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