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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2786

Assisted by the Government of Norway : NRC opens two new schools in tsunami-ravaged East

Colombo, 19 October, (Asiantribune.com): - The Norwegian Refugee Council officially handed over two new schools; Al-Irfan Vidyalayam, Trincomalee and Pulavarmani Shareefudeen Vidyalayam, Kalmunai to Sri Lankan school authorities last week.

Including these two schools, NRC has now handed over five schools out of the 30 it has agreed to build in Sri Lanka in a 450 million rupee project to replace those destroyed nearly two years ago by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. Reconstruction is ongoing for the other remaining schools and 10 more will be handed over before the end of this year.

According to a press rease by the NRC, "The programme which is on track to be completed in early 2007, addresses needs for immediate repairs, reconstruction of damaged buildings and construction of new buildings with modern education facilities within existing school compounds or on new land identified by the Sri Lankan authorities. The master plans of the schools are well poised to create a child friendly learning environment where interactive teaching and child participation help children fully develop their potential."

The basic design in Al-Irfan Vidyalayam incorporates 18 spacious classrooms, a laboratory, a library, landscaped outdoor teaching area and a playground. In Pulavarmani Shareefudeen Vidyalayam NRC constructed 14 classrooms, a staff room, Home Science and Agriculture Unit, safe parapet wall around the school and landscaped outdoor play area. Each school received safe drinking water, separate toilets for boys and girls, fully furnished assembly hall and furniture and equipment.

NRC Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Joern Kristensen said that nothing will signal hope more clearly than rebuilding and reopening schools as education for children is the foundation of a peaceful, stable society. "Our goal is not just to improve the school infrastructure. We will rebuild schools and also be involved in the training of teachers, to help them support children traumatized by disaster." The teachers at the 30 schools have participated in NRC’s psychosocial training programme to be better equipped to support children traumatized by disaster.

NRC’s School Reconstruction Programme that benefits over 13,500 children and teachers from the 30 schools in the six districts of Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Mullaitivu is funded by several private donors and the Government of Norway in a bid to assist the post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka.

View of one of the new buildings in Pulavarmani Shareefudeen Vidyalayam, KalmunaiView of one of the new buildings in Pulavarmani Shareefudeen Vidyalayam, Kalmunai

A student addressing the gathering, a unique feature of this charming ceremony filled with Sri Lankan dance and music, was that it was with Sri Lankan dance and music, was that it was planned and conducted by the childrenA student addressing the gathering, a unique feature of this charming ceremony filled with Sri Lankan dance and music, was that it was with Sri Lankan dance and music, was that it was planned and conducted by the children

- Asian Tribune -

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