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Sunday, 20 November 2011

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Education, the first priority:

Northerners revert to a vibrant society


President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveils the plaque to open the new block of Navalar Vidyalayam, Kopay recently.

The Northerners, who had deviated from their path as a society of academic ambitions during the three-decade-long LTTE terrorism, have now begun to bounce back as an educationally vibrant society, thanks to the many programs that have been implemented by the Education Ministry of the provincial administration, Governor Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri told the Sunday Observer at his office in Jaffna.

These programs were implemented with salutary results under the directions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is fully committed to the welfare of the Northern community, and under the concepts of his ‘Uthuru Vasanthaya’ program, Governor Chandrasiri said.

The provincial administration has, under his overall supervision and guidance, provided all incentives and facilities, including rehabilitation of damaged school buildings, furniture, transport arrangements, science labs, computers, schools bags, shoes, textbooks and midday meals to the students.

More programs and ‘ big plans’ are also under formulation for the improvement of the education sector , the Governor said. He also gave details of the availability of teachers in the different streams, the appointment of new teachers and the new arrangements to look after the welfare of the teachers, including statutory payments in respect of retired teachers.

He said that recently he also took several important decisions in consultation with the senior provincial education authorities for the improvement of the education sector.


The new block

Chief Minister of the Uva Provincial Council Shasheendra Rajapaksa donated Rs. eight million as a goodwill gesture from the council, under the North-South Friendship program, for the rehabilitation of the badly damaged Kopay Navalar Vidyalya and President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Jaffna to open the new school building, he said. Minister Douglas Devananda, Governor of Uva, Nanda Mathew and many dignitaries were present at the function, he said.

Schools in the Northern province are now excelling in sports and education, receiving national level medals on several recent competitions, he pointed out.

Provincial Director of Education P. Vigneswaran, Additional Director M. Radhakrishnan and other senior officials were also present at the Governor’s office to explain the many programs that have been successfully implemented to rebuild the Northern community as an academic community and the achievements in the spheres of higher of education, IT and Communication, sports and other activities.

They said that under the able guidance and overall supervision of the Governor, they have achieved much in the field of education during the last 21/2 years. They explained details of all programs that have been implemented and those under formulation at present.

They said that 125 schools are to be selected for development as popular secondary schools, under the national plan. Schools in the High Security Zones are now being rehabilitated, including the schools in Valigamam South, they said.

The Northern province educational standard has risen from zero national level at the end of the war in May 2009 to seventh level at present, they pointed out.

Under the ‘Uthuru Vasanthaya’ program, Rs.100,000 was recently distributed to every school in the Northern province for procuring school requirements, they said.

Almost all the schools have been re-started with only a few more to be started, they said.

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