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New era for rural schools dawns on May 5

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Work on developing 6,000 schools selected under Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s combined national campaign to develop 5,000 elementary schools and 1,000 secondary schools is now nearing completion and will be ready for use by May 5.

The programme was launched in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana Vision Punarjeewana programme with the participation of the Education Department, Provincial Education Departments, Ministry of Economic Development and other State institutions.

The work commenced on April 5 and Rs. 500,000 was spent on developing each school with the help of residents. For developing 5,000 elementary schools into child friendly schools 3322 schools were selected representing the island’s 25 districts .  The funds allocated for the purpose is Rs. 1661 million. Already 1,678 schools selected under the first stage have been completed at a cost of 839 million.  But its total value is twice the amount allocated for it. Under the second stage 4322 schools were developed.

The first stage was successfully launched in August last year.  Steps were taken for the supply of power and water, developing toilet and health facilities, building fences and providing schools with gates, repairing and painting existing school buildings, distribution of perennial economic crop seedlings to parents under the Divi Neguma National Programme, making the school ground a model home garden, preparing the school’s name board, arranging rooms for grade 1 students to do handwork, building children’s playgrounds and doing only essential repairs to teachers’ hostels if any.

Improving education to develop human resources is also among the government’s goals. These are in addition to mega development projects.  Last year toilets were built in 8680 schools in response to an appeal school children had made to the President.

This programme has been welcomed by parents and the principal and staff of rural school which until recently have been facing tremendous hardships and difficulties.

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