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An Earthquake Survivor’s wait for the School Ends

Amir Miya (13 years) is a resident of Ward No. 12, Finam, Gorkha Municipality. Finam is primarily inhabited by Muslims, a minority and disadvantaged group. Amir studies in grade seven at Nawa Durga Lower Secondary School. There are five members in his family. He along with his younger sister and brother attend the school.

He was very much scared when the earthquake struck. Houses and school buildings collapsed in a minute. After the shaking was over, Amir came across many injured and dead neighbors. This whole experience affected him psychologically. Other children from his community were also badly affected. He was constantly scared and could not regain a normal level of functioning.

His school was closed for more than two months as the school building was completely destroyed in the earthquake. All of the furniture got buried in the rubble. The earthquake didn’t spare his text and exercise books as well.

After regularly attending the child-friendly space constructed by GNI Nepal for a few days, his psycho-emotional condition improved significantly. Play, games, and recreation healed him but his education was lagging as the school was not yet open.

These days he is studying at the temporary learning center (TLC) constructed by GNI Nepal. The teaching-learning environment at the TLC is not as effective as it used to be. It is always noisy. The classrooms are chilly from the morning to evening, as air moves freely in the absence of solid walls. Amir and his friends use a temporary toilet, which they do not feel secure to use. The girls in particular totally avoid using such toilets.

Many of his friends are regularly absent from the class. He is also not regular because at times he is totally uninterested, given the lack of basic facilities at the school. His brother and sister are more irregular. He tries to convince them to attend the school regularly but the learning environment at the school is not sufficiently conducive.

He is not happy with his studies. His exam is coming near but he fears that he may not perform well because his studies have been badly affected due to the lack of classrooms, educational materials, and poor learning environment. He wishes for a good classroom, toilet, and educational materials at his school.

GNI Nepal is reconstructing the school building and other infrastructures. Amir and his friends wait for a well-equipped school will end when the reconstruction gets completed in 2017.

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