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Start of school year postponed for most Sanamxay children

Sanamxay district, Attapeu province: The new school year will be postponed indefinitely for most schoolchildren here as their schools cannot be repaired in time following the devastating flood that inundated the area on July 23.
Acting head of the district’s education and sports sector, Mr Bongkeo Sinnakhone, told Vientiane Times on Friday that only students in Grade 4 of lower secondary school and Grade 7 of upper secondary school would start classes when the new school year begins on September 1.
Students in these classes need to prepare for important exams, as they are in their final year of lower and upper secondary school.
The remaining students will go back to school when there are sufficient buildings and classrooms for them to use, although no one can say when this might be.
There are 162 students in the district in lower secondary school and 180 in upper secondary school.
Many of them attend Sanamxay Lower Secondary School, which is currently being used to house more than 1,000 people made homeless by the floods.
It is expected that some of these people will be relocated before September 1, as they will move to temporary houses being built for them in Dongbak village.
But the 315 primary school pupils won’t be able to start school on time as there is nowhere for them to go. Most of the primary schools are also being used to accommodate displaced families.
Mr Bongkeo said these children would not be able to return to school until new classrooms were built.
Mr Bongkeo said he also needed vehicles in which to transport children to and from school, as they are currently living in shelters and tents that are far away from schools.
About 7,000 people are housed in schools and makeshift accommodation and are struggling to cope with very uncomfortable conditions.
But some people are reluctant to return to their villages. Mrs Noy, who was sitting with her friend by a tent next to the district administration office, told reporters that her friend Mrs Ard and her family came from Kong village, one of the 13 communities affected by the flood. However, Mrs Ard’s family doesn’t want to return to their village but says they would rather stay in a tent. The thought of returning to a place of such devastation and destruction is clearly too much for some people to contemplate.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update
August 20,
2018



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