97 per cent of Christchurch schools to open

Nearly all Christchurch schools and most early childhood education (ECE) services are set to be open by Wednesday.

The main problems preventing some schools from opening were a lack of working toilets and drinking water, Civil Defence said.

Tomorrow, 151 schools would be open, rising to 157 on Wednesday - 97 per cent of schools in the city recovering after February 22's 6.3 magnitude earthquake, Education Minister Anne Tolley said.

Two hundred and sixty ECE services, or 76 per cent, were also due to be open tomorrow, she said.

"I'm also pleased to say that for the first time since the earthquake, the number of Christchurch students enrolled around the country has started to fall.

"More than 600 students have now returned to their original Christchurch schools, and I expect this trend to continue."

Schools were doing a "magnificent job" ensuring students could return either to their own school or a site shared with another school, Mrs Tolley said.

Learning hubs set up for students whose schools had not reopened would continue to operate, but would be reviewed each day.

Emergency funding for ECE services would continue until the end of the month at least, Mrs Tolley said.

"We will continue to do all we can to support schools and ECE services affected by the earthquake."

- NZPA

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