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Most schools resume classes in quake-stricken region

(China Daily)

08:46, May 03, 2013

Primary students in Ya'an city, Sichuan province, return to school for the first time on Thursday since an earthquake hit the area on April 20. Their school was badly damaged during the quake and they now attend classes in prefabricated houses. Photo by Zhang Xiaoli / For China Daily

Most primary and middle schools in the quake-stricken region of Sichuan province have resumed classes, according to the local government.

A total of 322 schools in Ya'an city had restarted classes as of Thursday, while seven schools remain closed due to safety concerns, said Jiang Jianping, deputy director of the city's education bureau.

Most of the students are studying in temporary shelters and tents, as conditions in classrooms are dangerous, he said.

The magnitude-7 earthquake hit Ya'an at 8:02 am on April 20, leaving at least 196 people dead and 21 others missing. Fifteen students were confirmed dead, while 43 other students and 10 teachers were injured.

There are 357 primary and middle schools in Ya'an city, with classes halted at 329 since the quake as most classrooms and dormitories were destroyed, according to data released by the government last week.

The students were on leave during the May Day holiday from Monday to Wednesday, while teachers and education bureau officials remained at work, said Luo Xiangjian, an official with the city's education bureau.

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