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A bare light bulb throws rays of hope on the faces of some of Armenia's earthquake children who now study math and the virtues of communism inside a tent.

For the 20 fourth-graders in a green army tent that is now Leninakan's School No. 7, school bells are ringing again.The corpses and the coffins are gone. So are sobbing relatives and the rescue workers who searched for the living amid the dead. A coal-fired furnace in the tent offers warmth.

The children and other survivors don't need to look far for reminders of Dec. 7, the day two months ago that the earth shook and introduced a new lesson - one on survival. Their former school lies in ruins just over a hill.

They are among tens of thousands who never left the area or have returned since the earthquake smashed northwestern Armenia with a blow measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale.

Of the half-million people left homeless, 100,000 women, children and the elderly were evacuated. Those who remain are trying to cope.

Some complain the government is not doing enough to help them get clothes and solid roofs over their heads. Others doubt the reconstruction will be finished in two years, as authorities promise. Still others said government officials were keeping donated relief goods for themselves.

Those who remain live in tents, mobile homes and the few remaining habitable buildings. They shop for food in surprisingly well-stocked stores and receive benefits.

After recovering 25,000 bodies - 15,000 in Leninakan alone - workers have moved on to clearing and rebuilding. The Kremlin says the quake cost $16.1 billion.

Broken concrete and twisted pipes have been dumped along roads leading to Armenia's second-largest city.

"We Will Build Up Our Native Leninakan in Two Years," vows a sign at one city entrance.

About 100 construction workers are building themselves temporary dormitories in Leninakan. Martin Akopyan said his Siberian brigade hopes to finish the dorms by the end of February, and start on homes for the general population.

Among those hoping for permanent quarters are Asmik Tosunyan and three other people living in a one-room mobile home donated by West Germany. The 6-foot-by-18-foot room has just one mattress, two chairs and a propane stove, but no electricity or running water.

Narina Ophsepyan, 18, was not so lucky. Since the earthquake toppled her nine-story apartment building and killed her parents, she has lived in an unheated tent with no water.

She and several other residents of Leninakan and Spitak, the city closest to the epicenter, said they have received none of the millions of dollars' worth of clothing donated from abroad and other Soviet republics. She accused "the bosses" of keeping it for themselves, or selling it.

Yuri I. Khodzhamiryan, a deputy premier of Armenia, said there isn't enough clothing to go around. Asked about the charges, he said: "Everywhere there are bad people."

Officials say 6 million square yards of housing must be built.

Officials insist construction will be monitored carefully to prevent shoddy workmanship, which officials say contributed to the death toll. A commission is investigating why many new buildings collapsed in the quake, while older structures were only damaged.

New buildings will be no higher than four stories and located away from heavy seismic areas, said Alexander G. Krivov, deputy chairman of a committee on architecture and city building. More detailed building codes, like those in the United States, are being drawn, and construction workers will be required to follow them scrupulously, he said.

Slipshod practices are evident, however. Along railroad tracks, wooden building panels and plasterboards are stacked high, warping in the weather and unprotected from rain and snow that could cause rot.

Eventually the rubble will be cleared and a park, small factories and railroad station may be built on the site where Spitak stood, officials said. But for now, all energy is being poured into the new location, a picturesque valley with fresh bulldozer tracks on recently cleared fields.