February 2017, Mannar District, Sri Lanka. Two opening ceremonies were held recently in Mannar district to commemorate the successful completion and handover of several learning facilities and teachers’ quarters through the project “Sustainable resettlement through community-driven improvement of the learning environment in Mannar district, Sri Lanka”. This project, funded by the Government of Japan, is implemented by UN-Habitat in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Provincial Ministry of Education in the Northern Provincial Council, Zonal Education Offices in Mannar and Madhu and other stakeholders.
On 27th February, a new building designated as residential quarters for teachers was opened at MN/ Thevanpiddy Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School in the Madhu Zonal Education division. The Teachers’ quarters includes four units. Three of the units consist of a bedroom, kitchen, sitting area and toilet that can accommodate 2 persons in each unit, while the fourth is a family unit with two bedrooms, kitchen, sitting area and toilet for the school principal.
On 28th February, a new class room building with an auditorium and five classrooms, a separate canteen and kitchen and water and sanitation facilities were provided to MN/ Ikra Government Muslim Mixed School in the Mannar zonal education division. Both these schools have been selected for assistance by the project as they lacked necessary facilities and resources for the teachers and school children.
Senior officials from the Zonal Education Offices, members of the Northern Provincial Council, school principals, teachers, school children, parents and UN-Habitat officers participated at the two opening ceremonies. Representatives from Community Based Organisations and school societies were active participants. The opening ceremonies were organized by the respective School Development Committees.
With a total budget of US$ 4.2 Mn, the overall project is addressing the needs for improving the learning environment in 25 schools in Mannar, including the construction of primary and secondary classroom buildings, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and teachers’ quarters. The project is expected to benefit over 10,000 returnees including 5,500 schoolchildren and will be concluded in September 2017.