Damage to Vaharai schools extensive, says Education official
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2007, 00:51 GMT]
An inspection team appointed by the Department of Education, led by R Gogularamanan and accompanied by two other technical officials visited Vaharai Thursday to view the damaged schools, Vaharai regional education officer N.Gunalingam said. "Most of the schools in Vaharai have suffered extensive damages. The team will detail the damages in a comprehensive report to the Ministry of Education," Gunalingam said.
The Inspection team entered the area after obtaining permission from Mr. Perera, military civil co-coordinating officer, through S.Arumainayagam, Batticaloa Government Agent.
Mr.Gunalingam said that the visit by the team was a follow-up to the high level meeting held in Ottamavadi on 6 February, chaired by Eastern province Governor, Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, to discuss the steps to be taken to resettle the displaced civilians in Vaharai and restore normalcy.
"The Inspection team will also recommend the repairs to be undertaken before the schools could become fully operational," Gunalingam said.
The construction of the damaged schools prior to resettlement of the civilians will be completed in three-stages process. The seven schools in Maharani North that will undergo repairs in the first phase are:
- Kathiraveli Vigneswara Vidyalayam
- Palchenai Government Tamil Mixed School
- Vammiveduvan Maha Vidyalayam
- Oooriyankaddu Government Tamil Mixed School
- Thattumunai Manikka Vinayagar Vidyalayam
- Kandalady Arunthathy Vidyalayam
- Vaharai Maha Vidyalayam
"The roofs of three schools located in Kathiraveli, Vammiveduvan, and Oooriyankaddu are damaged by artillery attack and need extensive repairs. The walls of the school buildings of the remaining four have extensive bullet marks and damage, and large areas of roofs have tile damages.
"Most of the school property including computers are missing. The administrative offices of the principal in the have schools have been forced open and office equipment, educational materials, and most school furniture have been damaged," Gunalingam said.
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) after initially refusing permission for the team to proceed beyond Kayamkerni military base on Wednesday, later allowed them to do so after the intervention by secretary of the Ministry of education and Zonal education officer, sources said.
Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama, has instructed the GA to submit detailed reports of the damage in the area to the heads of departments of Education, Health, Electricity and Transport as soon as possible, sources added.
Meanwhile, no arrangements have been made regarding conducting of the G C E (Ordinary Level ) and Grade 5 scholarship examinations in Vaharai .The Commissioner of Examinations had earlier announced that the exams which were not held in this area in 2006, would be held in February, Mr.Gunalingam said