NECORD funds new school building in Kanniya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 May 2004, 10:14 GMT]
Students of resettled families of Kanniya, a traditional Tamil village which is located along Trincomalee-Anuradhapura highway, about eight km off northwest of east port town Tuesday moved into a new school building constructed at a cost of 1.3 million rupees by the North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), sources said.

Kanniya School opening
Chief Guest Mr.Walter Keller ( GTZ-Consultant) speaking
The new building, which consists two classrooms and an office room, was declared open Tuesday evening with the Mr. Walter Keller, German Development Co-operation (GTZ) consultant for NECORD as the chief guest.

Other special guests attending the ceremony were NECORD Project Director Mr.T.Lankaneson, NECORD Trincomalee District Deputy Project Director Mr.R.Umakanthan,Trincomalee district parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan and K.Thurairetnasingham, Trincomalee zonal Director of Education Mr.K.Thilakaretnam, School Building Engineer Mr.Perasiriyan, North East Provincial Council Deputy Chief Secretary (Planning) Mr.V.S.Swaminthan and Trincomalee District Director of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) Mr.K.Mathavarajah.

Kanniya School Opening
Principal Mr.Yogarajah presiding over the event
The entire Kanniya village was displaced first in 1985 and later in 1990 due to violence against Tamil residents. More than one thousand families lived in this village. The displaced families sought refuge in LTTE held Vanni region and in refuge camps and welfare centres elsewhere. Most of the houses and other public buildings were destroyed. The army occupied the school building, sources said.

With the ceasefire agreement signed in the year 2002, about 33 families of the internally displaced have returned to Kanniya. The Kanniya Government Tamil School, which was closed following the exodus of the village, was re-opened after about fifteen years on January 6, 2003 with about twenty-two students in a dilapidated building, which was handed over to the education authorities by the Sri Lanka Army, sources said.

The number of the students has now increased to 60 and it could increase to 100 by the end 2004 with more IDP families are expected to return, said the school principal Mr.S. Yogarajah. Other displaced families have not returned to the village as they have no financial resources rebuild their destroyed residences.

Kanniya School Opening
A section of resettled parents seen with students
Before the war number of students attended the school was about 800 and classes were conducted from Grade One to GCE Ordinary Level, education sources said.

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in Trincomalee district has undertaken the reconstruction of war ravaged Kanniya and the rehabilitation of resettled families with funds provided by NECORD, sources said.

Resettled families were living on the dole provided by the Sri Lanka government under the Poverty Alleviation Scheme (Samurdhi), Mr. Yogarajah said.

He outlined the urgent needs of the school such as repairing teacher quarters, which are in a dilapidated state, and providing a playground, which is a must for primary class students under the new educational reforms.

NECORD Project Director Mr.T.Lankaneson said he would allocate 25,000 rupees for the purchase of books to the newly opened library in the school. He further said the school engineer had been asked to take steps to provide security to the school buildings by constructing a fence around the school premises, sources said.
Kanniya School Opening
Resettled students pray before the opening of the new building ( the dilapidated building seen behind )
Kanniya School Opening
A section of students attending the event


Kanniya School Opening
Chief guest and other guests are seen in the new school building after the opening ceremony

 

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