Tuesday, 6 June 2017, Mannar, Sri Lanka. The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Kenichi Suganuma today opened a new classroom building at the MN/ Periya Pandivirichchan Primary School in Madhu DS Division in Mannar district. The classroom building was constructed with funding from the Government of Japan through the project “Sustainable Resettlement through Community-Driven Improvement of the Learning Environment in Mannar District, Sri Lanka”. The project is implemented by UN-Habitat in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Northern Provincial Council, School authorities and community members.
Madame Akiko Suganuma, the wife of the Ambassador; Mr. Suguru Iriyama, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan; Mr. F. C. Sathiyasothy, Divisional Secretary, of Madhu Division; Mrs. L. Malini Weniton, Zonal Director of Education of Madhu Zone and Mr. Chanaka Talpahewa, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat also participated at the event. The Periya Pandivirichchan School Principal and teachers, members of the School Development Society, school children, community members and UN-Habitat officers were also present.
The Periya Pandivirichchan Primary School, with 126 school children with seven teachers, did not have adequate facilities and classrooms. Many classes were functioning in a temporary shelter constructed with a woven cadjan roof, without adequate space for the teachers and school children. In order to improve the learning environment of the school, a school building including an auditorium, canteen with kitchen and storeroom, with water and sanitation facilities was constructed through the project. The School Development Committee of the Periya Pandivirichchan School implemented the construction activities with technical advice and guidance from UN-Habitat. The newly constructed classroom building is 4,290 square feet, consisting of five classrooms. In addition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities have been provided in a separate building with three toilets with a hand wash station. UN-Habitat has utilised environmentally friendly building materials and methods such as fair faced block work to construct the buildings. A rainwater harvesting system to collect water for use during the dry season and compost bins to recycle bio degradable waste have been installed in the school premises.
The “Sustainable Resettlement through Community-Driven Improvement of the Learning Environment in Mannar District, Sri Lanka” project is addressing the needs of over 25 schools in Mannar, including the construction of primary and secondary school buildings, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for school children and teachers’ quarters. It is expected to benefit over 10,000 returnees including 5,500 school children.
With funding of US$ 4,200,000 from the Government of Japan, the project is being implemented by UN-Habitat through a participatory process in partnership with the Government authorities and School Development Committees.