2nd Lead (Adds photos)

UNICEF provides school building for Nochchikulam students

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2004, 16:16 GMT]
About fifty students of resettled families in Nochchikulam village in the Morawewa division in the Trincomalee district Thursday moved into a new building, which has been constructed with the funds provided by the UNICEF. The children of the resettled families studied under tree shades till the completion of the semi-permanent building. UNICEF Trincomalee zone head Ms Gabriela Elroy declared open the building Thursday.

Nochchikulam School
New school building is seen behind the destroyed building
Nochchikulam is located on Trincomalee-Anuradhapura trunk road and about forty km off northwest of east port town,

UNICEF has been providing semi-permanent school buildings for IDP students to study till permanent infrastructure facilities are provided by other agencies, education sources said.

The buildings of the Nochchikulam Tamil government school were destroyed in the military operation when the Tamil families fled from the village in July 1990 and sought asylum in other areas in the northeast province and in South India, education sources said.

With the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), 115 IDP families returned to Nochchikulam.

An additional 111 families have returned to Shanthipuram, another settlement in Morawewa division. The school was re-opened in January this year and students were taught under tree shades till the completion of the semi-permanent school building, sources said.

Morawewa Divisional Secretary Mr.H.S.Yasaretna presided over the opening event. Trincomalee Zonal Director of Education Mr.K.Thilakaretnam, Deputy Zonal Director Mr. T.M.Yoosuf Jhan, Principal Miss Kathirgamathamby Kanasaraswathie, Morawewa Police Officer Mr. Wijeratne, UNICEF Trincomalee development officer Mr.P.Uthayakumar and several other officials participated in the event.

Nochchikulam School
Students waiting with garlands for the arrival of guests
Nochchikulam School
( L-R) Morawewa Divisional Secretary Mr.Yasaretna, Morawewa Police officer Mr.Wijeratne, UNICEF Trincomalee head Ms Gabriela Elroy , Zonal Director of Education Mr.K.Thilakaretnam, UNICEF official Mr.Uthayakumar, Deputy Director Mr.Yoosuf Jhan and Principal Miss Kathirgamathamby Kanasaraswathie are taken in a procession to the new building

Nochchikulam School
UNICEF Trinco head Ms Gabriela Elroy with students after the opening of the new building

Ms Gabriela Elroy handed a set of UNICEF school bags to the school attendance committee officials and the Principal to be handed over to students who have returned from welfare camps in South India. Education and police officials distributed UNICEF school bags to other students of internally displaced families, sources said.

Ms Gabriela Elroy, Mr.Thilakaretnam, Mr.Yasaretna, Mr.Wijeratna and others addressed the gathering. All wished the students with better and bright future.


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