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Quake offers lessons in rebuilding lives

By Tang Yue | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-26 07:50

Students returning to classes discover they must also learn to deal with the earthquake's aftermath, Tang Yue reports in Baoxing county, Sichuan.

As the 12th-grade physics class began on Wednesday afternoon, a few seats were still unoccupied and some of the students were almost asleep.

But the teacher at Baoxing Hainan High School didn't complain. The class was being held just four days after a magnitude-7 earthquake hit the area.

Quake offers lessons in rebuilding lives

Students from Baoxing Hainan High School's 12th grade prepare to relocate to Chengdu. Their move was abandoned at the last hour because the roads are still too dangerous. Tang Yue / China Daily

Luckily, no one from the school was severely injured, but many were left with nightmares, and they still had to deal with frequent aftershocks.

Like most residents and rescuers, the students have been living in tents on a soccer field. Some caught colds after a rainstorm on Tuesday night.

Quake offers lessons in rebuilding lives 

It takes time for life to return to normal and even longer for inner scars to heal. But with the national gaokao, China's college entrance exam, just six weeks away, the 186 students in their final year of senior high school can almost hear the seconds ticking away.

They became even more anxious when students in the neighboring quake-stricken counties of Lushan and Tianquan were relocated to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, on Wednesday, so they could resume preparations for the exam as soon as possible.

However, the frequent landslides on roads connecting Baoxing and the outside world made it too dangerous for students from the Baoxing school to travel.

But time was running out, and as the students couldn't wait any longer, the school resumed classes on Wednesday morning. The lessons were held in the usual buildings, despite frequent aftershocks, the noise from the football field where more than 2,000 displaced residents are being housed, and a lack of running water and electricity.

The teaching complex, built after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, has been checked by the provincial authorities and deemed safe for occupation, according to Zhu Shenyue from the county education bureau.

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