11 May 2016 - Construction begins for setting up 650 learning centres

May 11, 2016

EU and UNICEF working with the Government to restore safe learning spaces in nine earthquake impacted districts

KATHMANDU, 11 May 2016- The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have started the construction of 650 transitional learning centres in collaboration with the Department of Education in nine earthquake affected districts to help restore education for one million children affected by the 2015 earthquakes. Amidst a ceremony held at Shreepur Chhatiwan Village Development Committee (VDC) in Makwanpur District, Mr. Andreas Roettger, Head of Cooperation at Delegation of the European Union to Nepal broke the ground of the first of these transitional learning centres on Sunday.

"These transitional learning centres will provide a better environment for teaching and learning for students and school teachers," said Mr. Roettger. "At the same time, it will impart the need for safer learning spaces, and raise awareness in the communities for better disaster preparation. in the future."

The project worth 4 million Euro will assist in constructing transitional learning centres in Gorkha, Kavrepalanchowk, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk in collaboration with the Government and partners, as well as equipping them with educational materials.

These learning centres with corrugated galvanized iron sheet roofing, sturdier walls as well as gender-friendly WASH facilities will bridge the gap for learning spaces for the next couple of years until more permanent structures for schools can be built. Once established, these learning centres, with their early childhood development centres, will also be provided with essential learning materials, and training on psychosocial counselling for 1,300 school teachers.

“Following the devastating earthquakes last year that destroyed or severely damaged over 35,000 classrooms, tremendous amount of effort was made to bring children back to school as soon as possible to minimize disruption of their education by establishing temporary learning centres," said Mr. Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative to Nepal.  "In view of the continuing need for vigilance and preparedness for disasters in the country, we need to ensure safe learning spaces for children.  The initiation of this new construction project by the Government of Nepal, EU and UNICEF will further enable us to support the national education system to build back better.” 

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About EU:

The European Union with its 28 Member States is the largest provider of Official Development Assistance in the world. In Nepal our main activities focus on education, rural development and democratic governance. Following the earthquakes the EU committed €131.5 million to help Nepal, which makes it a major stakeholder in the recovery process. You can visit us on Facebook or at http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/nepalvisit.

About UNICEF:

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Nepal, visit www.unicef.org/nepal 

For further information, please contact:

Ambar Mainali, Press and Communication, EU Delegation, +97714429445 ext. 106, Ambar.Mainali@eeas.europa.eu
Rupa Joshi, Communication Manager, UNICEF Nepal, + 977 9851054140, rjoshi@unicef.org