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"It's good to be back to school": students in disaster-hit regions

09-02-2010 11:13 BJT

LANZHOU/BEICHUAN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- After living through major tragedies, such as the Wenchuan Earthquake that claimed over 68,000 lives and the Zhouqu mudslides that left 1,400 dead, the new semester starting Wednesday may bring a much-needed sense of normality to the affected students.

Senior high schoolers of the mudslides-hit Zhouqu County, northwest China's Gansu Province, began a new semester on a usual date, Sept. 1, which is the first day of school in many parts of China, but at a place 400 km south of Zhouqu, the provincial capital of Lanzhou.

After the county was hit by massive mudslides on Aug. 8, two primary schools were damaged and high schools are now being used by these pupils. So high schoolers, altogether more than 3,000, were transferred to four schools in Lanzhou and Dingxi City.

"The new dormitory has everything -- bed sheets, tooth brushes, slippers, toilet paper, you name it", said Wang Wentian, whose house was destroyed. Fortunately, her family was not at home when the mudslides struck.

Another student, Guo Xiangban, lost several loved ones in the mudslides. "I still feel sad when I am alone. But the past is the past and I have to move on with my life," said Guo.

On the same day, students of the newly-built Beichuan High School, where over 1,000 students were killed after two school buildings collapsed during the Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, 2008, also started their new semester.

"I have never been in a school so beautiful. There is even a bathroom in our dorm," said Qiao Qi, a senior high student at Beichuan.

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