Key issues identified in the damage and needs assessment of the education sector are as follows:
- 9 schools were completely destroyed. They will need to be newly constructed and furniture, teaching/learning materials and equipment supplied.
- 46 per cent of the schools require varying degrees of repair and rehabilitation to be functional
- Furniture, teaching/learning materials and school supplies that had been damaged or washed away needed urgent replacement.
- There is an immediate need to construct temporary classrooms and additional toilets in schools in “host islands” to accommodate those from island communities that had been displaced.
- Toilets and drinking water facilities in many schools have been damaged or adversely affected.
- School libraries were affected in some schools. Library books and shelves were soaked and damaged.
- Many children lost their textbooks and school uniforms during the inundation and the rush of sea water into the islands and homes.
- Many children are traumatized by the tragic and fearful experience and need psychosocial support.
- Technical assessment of the physical structures is needed in schools that remain standing in order to ensure safety for children and teachers.
- The Ministry of Education is also faced with the task of ensuring that trained teachers are in place by the start of the new school year
A positive feature is that 54 per cent of schools in the atolls have been spared, with minimal or no damage. They were ready for the opening by the start of the new school year (25 January 2005). The priority, therefore, is the 46 per cent of the schools that require varying degrees of repair and rehabilitation to be functional. The 09 schools in the Category D were completely damaged. Displaced families have relocated to neighboring islands (“host islands”). Schools in these islands will require additional classrooms to “receive” this influx of additional students. The number of displaced households is still indicative as displaced families continue to move from one island to another.
(Source: UNESCO Mission Report January 2005)
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