Monday, March 21, 2005

School Rebuilding Project - Update

The school committee visited Batticaloa on 13th March along with the architects and civil engineer.

The Onthanchimadam Sri Vinayagar Vidyalayam is to be re-located since the original location is at risk for any future tsunamis. We visited the site of the old school, and saw the devastation that the tsunami had caused. It was a blessing in disguise that the tsunami hit on a Sunday, if not most if not all the children in this school would have been victims, since this school was located on an arm of land that extended into the sea. A beautiful location when you see it now with the calm waters around it, the school was basically on a beach.

After meeting up with the Principal Mr. Peranantham, we visited the new land that has been allocated by the government. This 4 acre land is yet to be formally handed over to the school, but since it is state land this is not foreseen to be a problem. Currently on this land, UNICEF has set up temporary classroom structures, and provided furniture, and children attend school as usual. They will continue to do so whilst the new structures are being made. At the far end of the land IOM (International Organization for Migration) has set up a refugee camp for approx 350 families. These families will receive housing around the school (there is sufficient free land for this purpose) and their children will continue to school at Sri Vinayagar Vidyalayam.

The architects have drawn up the lay out plans and provided estimates (approx Rs. 64 Million - USD 640,000 - before provision for contingencies and VAT) , which have been submitted to the District School Committee on schedule. In the interim the architects drawing will be completed by Monday (21st) and we hope to have a meeting with the principal this week since he is visiting Colombo.

OUR SECOND SCHOOL - Mankerny RCTM Vidyalaya, Batticaloa
The District School committee has requested our club to be involved with Mankerny RCTM Vidyalaya, Batticaloa. The lead club for this project is the Rotary Club of Pamunugama, our role would be to assist in sourcing donors to assist building this school.

Mankerni Roman Catholic Tamil Missionary School is a Primary and Secondary grade school with classes from Grades 1-10(O Level). It is a Type 2 school. The school has a total of 490 students, 213 male and 277 female. The majority of the students (359) are in the Primary School, which is from Grades 1-5. The school has 12 teachers.

This is one of the schools that was almost totally destroyed by the tsunami and has to be relocated owing to its close proximity to the sea. Negotiations are presently underway with relevant Government officials and the Ministry of Education to identify a suitable block of land on which to relocate the school.

However we estimate that the school building will cost approx Rs. 64 Million ( USD 640k) as Sri Vinaygar, since the student population is the same.

We seek the assistance of any kind donors who would like to help us fund the rebuilding of this school. Please contact Chamila on if you would like any further details of the school or would like to make a pledge/donation towards the school.

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