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* Foundation stone for Pakistan sponsored school laid in Northern Sri Lanka
Mon, Dec 3, 2012, 09:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 03, Vavuniya: The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Seema Ilahi Baloch, along with Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen laid the foundation stone of the Al-Aksha Maha Vidyalam in Salam Baikulam, Vavuniya.

The Government of Pakistan has sponsored the construction of this school building in the resettled village of Salam Baikulam in Vavuniya Town of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka to support education sector development drive of the Sri Lankan government.

The newly constructed school will be catering to the local population of Salam Baikulam area. Presently, the school is offering qualifications up to O Levels and has an enrollment of over 465 male and female students belonging to all the ethnic groups of Sri Lanka including Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians and Muslims.

The said school project was identified by the High Commissioner of Pakistan during a visit to Vavuniya in July 2012. During the visit she observed that despite having limited facilities in the existing school building where 3 classes were being conducted in a single class room, the people of the area had a strong commitment to education.

The Pakistan government as a gesture of friendship had decided to undertake the uplift of the school with the collaboration of the Sri Lankan Government through the offices of Ministers Rajapaksa and Bathiyutheen.

The detailed planning of the school building is underway and it is planned to have all the modern facilities including a library, a fully equipped science laboratory, computer laboratory and class rooms.

Other projects sponsored by the Pakistani government in health, education and livelihood development sectors include seven clean drinking water supply projects in North and East, construction of the district Hospital Akurana, construction of a three-storied state of the art school in Gampaha District, equipping science laboratories in schools, 30 computer centers and 6 stitching centers, providing ambulances to hospitals, annual awards of Jinnah Scholarships to students for continuation of education, and the annual awards of long-term scholarships for study of medicine, engineering, dentistry and pharmacy in Pakistan.

Minister Rajapaksa thanked the government and people of Pakistan for their support to the construction of the school and assured that the Sri Lankan government will transform the school into a model school for the area.

The High Commissioner Baloch expressed her hope that all efforts will be undertaken to make the school as a modern educational facility on the lines of the other Pakistan sponsored school Babus Salaam Maha Vidyalay in Gampaha.

She reiterated Pakistan's support to Sri Lanka in its journey towards progress and prosperity which can only be achieved through a sound education set up for the people.

She said that the newly constructed school in Salam Baikulam will help in creating professionals amongst the young citizens for the future benefit of Sri Lanka and it will further cement the good relationship between the two brotherly countries.

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