Some schools sustained only minor damage. Others, such as this school in Oaxaca, are rather worse off. Some schools sustained only minor damage. Others, such as this school in Oaxaca, are rather worse off.

4 million students are without classrooms

But education secretary predicts all will be back in school this month

More than two weeks after the September 19 earthquake and almost a month since last month’s first major temblor, at least 4 million students across 10 states still haven’t gone back to school because they don’t have safe classrooms to which to return.

Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño broke the news while attending a business forum in Guanajuato yesterday, explaining that pupils whose schools collapsed or were damaged in one of the two quakes would resume classes either in temporary classrooms or at other undamaged schools that had enough space to accommodate them.

“Of schools that have total or partial damage, but will require some kind of temporary relocation [of students], we’re talking about approximately 4 million students out of an enrollment of 36 million,” Nuño said.

Despite the huge number of students affected, the education secretary remained confident that all of them would get back to school over the course of this month.

“All students will return to classes in the coming weeks, either because their school already has a structural safety certificate and therefore can be used or because they are temporarily relocated while theirs is repaired . . . .”

Last week, Nuño reported to President Enrique Peña Nieto that 12,931 schools had been damaged in the twin quakes and 577 of them would have to be completely rebuilt. There was partial damage to 1,847 and minor damage such as broken windows or doors to a further 10,507.

The affected schools are located in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Mexico City, México state, Puebla, Morelos, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Guerrero and Michoacán.

Nuño said that in Mexico City alone 978 schools will need repairs or rebuilding, at an estimated cost of 1.5 billion pesos (US $81.5 million).

The number of schools represents 10% of all educational institutions in the capital, Nuño said, but estimated that the return to classes in the city would be normalized within the next 10 days.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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