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Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Latest News
UPDATED: May 19, 2008  
Surviving Children Back in Classroom Six Days After Quake

Surviving the magnitude-8 earthquake on May 12, 166 children in Sichuan Province had their first class on Sunday morning in the provincial capital of Chengdu.

The children, mostly from the hardest-hit Pengzhou, Dujiangyan and Mianzhu cities, were accommodated in an old folks' home in Xindu District of Chengdu, along with 850 other quake-affected people.

Those children, some of whom lost both parents in the quake, had originally been intended to go to several primary schools in the district.

"It would not be good for the children if they were away from their families or relatives in separate schools. So we set up a temporary school in the place where they live," said an official of the district's education bureau.

The children are divided into four classes which are in charge of about 20 teachers transferred from nearby schools. Two psychological consultants were also assigned to take care of the children's mental health.

Another school was also set up in Zundao Town in Mianzhu City at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, with donations from China Youth Development Foundation.

The new building includes nine classrooms and a teacher's office, covering about 1,100 floor space.

"We have started an appeal for donations to rebuild schools in quake-ravaged areas. Now we have received more than 100 million yuan (14.3 million U.S. dollars)," said Tu Meng, secretary of the foundation.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2008)

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