German support helps restore rhythm of regular life amongst school children

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 March 2005, 11:18 GMT]
As part of its response to assist in the rehabilitation of coastal area schools affected by the tsunami, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) on behalf of the German Government, recently donated learning and teaching material to more than 27,000 students in the eastern Trincomalee district and in the southern Hambantota district, according to a press release issued by GTZ Wednesday.

Excerpts from the press release follow:

"In Trincomalee, GTZ teamed up with UNICEF to provide learning and teaching materials to a total of 21,500 students in 95 schools. The identification of schools and the handing over of material was done in coordination with the district subcommittee on education. In schools where GTZ distributed materials like school bags, uniform cloth, water bottles and lunch boxes, the UNICEF supplemented with teaching material.

"A function to mark the event was held at the Nilaveli M.V. in Trincomalee, a school which not only suffered damage to its infrastructure, but also 32 students due to the tsunami.

"Secretary of Education, Mr. R. Thiyagalingam expressed his gratitude to both GTZ for supporting education in Sri Lanka, even prior to the tsunami.

"Head of UNICEF Zone Office in Trincomalee, Gabriela Elroy, stressed that getting education up and running in an emergency situation is even more important than in a regular situation, since in addition to ensuring that children do not miss out on their learning, it is key to helping them regain their childhood and restore the rhythm of regular life.

"GTZ, an arm of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, operates in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka providing assistance to the country’s basic education sector. GTZ works to support Sri Lanka’s overarching objective of creating an environment where children learn to overcome ethnic and cultural barriers and pursue their education in a peaceful atmosphere.

"Meanwhile, in the south, a function to mark the handing over of school provisions like exercise books, school bags, water bottles and drawing books benefiting about 6000 students was held at the Tangalle Primary School, a school which was badly damaged from the tsunami. The Deputy Secretary Education Southern Province, Mr. W. P. Jayathissa and the Director Planning, Mrs. Saraswathi M. Dahanayake thanked the GTZ and the German Government for the continued support.

"Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gerhard Huck of the GTZ-supported Basic Education Sector Programme, expressed hope that in spite of the enormous suffering caused by the tsunami, the impressive response that has followed from everyone can be a catalyst for new opportunities and new collaboration beyond traditional ethnic borders."


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