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* UNICEF with Australian aid reconstructs new school buildings in Northern Sri Lanka
Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 02:11 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 29, Colombo: The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) with the help of Australian government has invested over Rs. 1 billion to reconstruct and restore facilities in 23 schools in Northern Sri Lanka.

The Australian Government and UNICEF have inaugurated new buildings for children in four schools located in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi in the Northern Province and the fourth inauguration was held on Wednesday, 29 January, at the Katchilaimadu Maha Vidyalayam in Oddusudan.

Also some of the buildings at the Jayapuram Government Tamil Mixed School in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School, and Sillawattai Tamil Vidyalayam in Mullaitivu, which were damaged during the conflict, were newly reconstructed to 'child friendly' standards, the UNICEF Sri Lanka said.

The restoration work was initiated as part of a more than one billion rupee partnership between Australian Government and UNICEF to help restore education facilities for 10,000 children in 23 schools in the North.

Addressing the occasion, the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ms. Robyn Mudie expressed hope that the impact of the program will be long-lasting.

UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Ms. Una McCauley thanked the Australian Government for their support in improving the access to quality education for vulnerable children in Sri Lanka.

"This funding has helped guarantee the rights of these children, some from the most remote places of resettlement, to benefit from education facilities near their homes and in a learning environment that respects their dignity" Ms. McCauley said.

Under the program auditoriums, class rooms, laboratories for science and agriculture, computer and music rooms, offices for principals and teachers, canteens and washing facilities were constructed at the schools.

The Australian Government has also helped train teachers on Child Friendly Approaches to teaching and learning, which will help improve the learning outcomes of children.

Key dignitaries including the Chief Minister and Governor of the Northern Province, provincial education officials, teachers, parents and school children attended the inauguration ceremonies.

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