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Ministry Tightens Standards for Reconstructing Schools in Quake-hit Zone

The design and reconstruction of school buildings in quake-stricken areas must abide by stricter compulsory standard, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Wednesday.

The standard is jointly drafted by the MOE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), but the ministries did not give a specific date of releasing it.

The ministry also said the assessment of the school sites must be conducted by qualified institutes and the basic construction procedures must be strictly followed.

It was reported several thousands of students died in the May 12 massive earthquake, most of them were buried in poorly-constructed school buildings.

The ministry said the criteria for how to assess damaged school buildings in the quake zone, jointly issued by MOHURD, MOE, the Ministry of Finance and the China Earthquake Administration, will also be released, but they did not specify the date.

The ministry promised that students in quake-affected zones will resume their classes on September 1. Temporary classrooms will be provided where previous buildings had been wrecked by the quake.

Fresh and permanent classrooms will be available by September 1, 2009 at most of the schools and nurseries in the quake-hit area, the ministry said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2008)

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