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Emergency education post-earthquake

A quarter of Nepal’s population was directly impacted by the earthquake, including more than 1.7 million children.

3,000 schools were lost or damaged. Even where schools were safe, many children and parents were too afraid to go into buildings, to be out of each other’s sight, or were too involved in relief and recovery to be able to return to education. Similarly, many teachers were fearful to return to work, were occupied with relief and recovery, or were too traumatised to teach.

Children learn in a temporary classroom in earthquake-stricken Nepal Suraj Shakya

Children learn in a temporary classroom provided by VSO in post-earthquake Nepal

Ensuring the protection of children is fundamental to any emergency response. The longer that children are out of school, particularly the most vulnerable groups, the less likely they are to re-enter formal education.

Actively functioning schools help the public to feel that life is getting back to normal. After a disaster of this scale it brings a sense of comfort to know that their children are in a safe, protected learning environment. This also frees parents up to pursue their livelihood and generate an income again.

Within an hour of the first earthquake, VSO started mobilising staff, volunteers, networks and resources. The following was achieved thanks to the outpouring of generosity from VSO’s supporters, including many past volunteers, and with the partnership and support of UNICEF:

  • Establishing 100 temporary learning centres, enabling 17,000 children to continue learning while their schools were rebuilt. The centres were equipped with teaching and learning materials, and had separate toilet facilities for girls and boys.
  • Distributing essential teaching and learning supplies to 7,869 children at 75 schools.
  • Providing psycho-social support for 11,250 children, parents and teachers.
  • Training 267 teachers and 91 community mobilisers and youth volunteers to encourage children and their families to attend school.

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