BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- All primary and secondary schools in areas badly devastated by the May 12 quake in southwest China will be able to resume classes on Sept. 1, China's education authority announced on Monday.
Classes in the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Yunnan and in Chongqing Municipality would resume in the new semester, either in school buildings or temporary shelters, said Yang Nianlu, deputy director of Basic Education Department under the Ministry of Education.
Temporary classrooms and teaching facilities were being built and measures adopted to ensure normal school operations, he said.
More than 85 percent of the temporary shelters for education use in Sichuan Province, where the epicenter was located, had been built. Local education authorities were encouraged to procure teaching facilities, including chairs, desks and blackboard, Yang said.
Schools were also required to provide lightning conductors and facilities that could help students avoid extreme weathers, he said.
The central government has allocated 2.3 billion yuan (335 million U.S. dollars) budget from the post-quake reconstruction fund to renovate school buildings and acquire teaching facilities, Yang said.
The money would be spent in primary and secondary schools in 51 counties worst affected by the quake in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.
Primary, middle, vocational schools and kindergartens in the five provinces and Chongqing would be renovated or rebuilt based on an assessment of the severity of the damage, he said.
The May 12 quake claimed almost 70,000 lives and left about 18,000 people missing.