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All 3.4 Mln Students in May 12 Quake Zone to Return to School

All the 3.4 million students in the May 12 quake zone in southwest China's Sichuan Province will return to school on Monday, a provincial education official told a news briefing on Sunday.

About 33 percent of the students will resume classes in their former schools unaffected in the earthquake. Thirty-eight percent will attend classes in buildings that have been reinforced. Around 28.4 percent will study in prefabricated classrooms, according to Tu Wentao, the provincial education department head.

Nearly 20,000 students in the worst-hit areas would have to leave their home towns to seek schooling. About 11,000 will study in 16 other cities in Sichuan Province. The remaining will begin classes in 25 other provinces, including Guangdong and Shanghai, he said.

"We will not tolerate a single student dropping out of school because of the disaster and poverty."

The local governments was providing living allowances to those students, he added.

"I have learned how to surf the Internet. It's great to send e-mails to my peers in Beijing," said He Zhongchen, a grade three student at the Guanzhuang Middle School, in a computer room on Sunday.

In total, about 1,400 students began their new term in 53 prefabricated classrooms at the Qingchuan County school on Sunday morning. The school was funded by Procter and Gamble and computer maker Hewlett-Packard.

(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2008)


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