Indonesia: New school seasons marked with opening of a temporary school

Banda Aceh, Indonesia Relief -- UNICEF and Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias on Monday open a temporary elementary school in Peukan Bada, that has been built by UNICEF. The opening of the elementary school, SD 1, marked the start of new school seasons in Aceh.
Head of BRR Kuntoro and Deputy for Education and Health Said Faisal attended the opening the school, which also part of 'Back to School' campaign organized by UNICEF in cooperation with BRR, the government and local community partners.

UNICEF Representative for Indonesia, Gianfranco Rotigliano stated, ''The tsunami may have swept away their past, but it should not be allowed to destroy their future. What we all do now will have a profound influence on the lives of these children.''

Kuntoro confirmed BRR's commitment to ensuring every child has the chance to pursue an education.

''As the agency responsible for reconstruction, BRR cannot ignore the critical role that education plays in the development of each child. We are grateful that UNICEF and many other organizations have dedicated themselves to encouraging children to return to school,'' said Kuntoro.

''We all need to work together to ensure that their daily activities can be resumed as quickly as possible. The Back to School initiative is a significant step in normalizing the lives of the Aceh and Nias communities,'' Said Faisal added.

UNICEF is cooperating with its local government and community partners to hand out new school kits each containing notebooks, pens and pencils. UNICEF hopes to deliver 830,000 of these kits to pupils in Aceh and North Sumatra.

Previously, the UNICEF targeted that 200 temporary schools building will be ready to use for the new term which starts on July 18. Up to 42,000 children will be educated in the temporary buildings, which are costing $11,500 each to build. International Organization for Migration (IOM) appointed as contractor of the temporary schools and will use modular prefabricated house to build the schools.

The construction of 200 temporary buildings is the precursor to a $90 million UNICEF programme to rebuild and renovate a total of 500 schools across Aceh, all to earthquake-resistant standards. It is unknown how many temporary schools have been completed. © dil