Some 170 Italian students have marked their first day of school in classrooms set up in containers after their schools were damaged in the Aug. 24 earthquake that killed 295 people and left 4,000 homeless.

Italy's education minister was on hand for the reopening ceremony on Tuesday, praising the "extraordinary work" to erect classrooms in such a short period and pledging it would just be a first step.

Amatrice's school crumbled in the quake despite having been retrofitted with public funds for anti-seismic improvements. The quake occurred in the early morning hours during the summer break.

The makeshift school has been built on a field that had been left partially fallow and comprises 10 classrooms for students ranging from pre-school to middle school.