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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Norwegian Refugee Council handed over the second rebuilt school in Trincomalee

Colombo, 07 June, ( The second tsunami affected school rebuilt by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) was recently officially handed over to Sri Lankan Educational authorities in a simple ceremony held at Al Akthab Vidyalaya in Kinniya, Trincomalee.

In the meantime, foundation stones were laid for the reconstruction of another 14 schools in the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and Hambantota.

In sharp contrast to the normal practice of getting VIPs to lay the foundation stones, Norwegian Refugee Council came up with a novel idea of allowing little school children to lay the foundation stones to inaugurate construction of their future schools.

According to statement, the master plans of the proposed new schools, utmost care has been taken to provide child friendly education environment.

Following the tsunami, Norwegian Refugee Council entered into a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Education and took on the task of rebuilding 30 schools to accommodate 13,500 students in the six districts - Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Mullaitivu.

The project which is on line to be completed in 2006, addresses the 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 provided by the Sri Lankan authorities.

In addition, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the majority of the schools will be upgraded with playgrounds, water supply, sanitation and electrical installations to provide improved conditions for learning, so that no child is away from school due to lack of or damaged facilities.

The statement by the Norwegian Refugee Council revealed that the reconstruction of the 30 schools was made possible by a grant of SLR 600 million from the Government of Norway and other private donors, aimed at assisting the post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka.

The first tsunami affected school reconstructed by the Norwegian Refugee Council was Godauda Maha Vidyalaya in Matara. The new building with eight classrooms was handed over to school authorities in September 2005.

Meanwhile when reconstructing the schools, Norwegian Refugee Council according to its education program, is also training 85 teachers from these 30 schools on how to provide psychosocial support for school children traumatized by disaster.

- Asian Tribune -

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