Special Media Briefing to Discuss the Disaster Situation

3K1A3705Taking the current disaster situation into consideration, a special media briefing was held at the ministry of education today (31) with the headship of The Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.

According to the reports issued by the Disaster Management Center, 44 school children have been dead due to flood so far. The number of students missing is 08.

The worst affected district by flood is Ratnapura where 57 schools have been destroyed and also 02 schools in Kegalle district, 08 schools in Galle district, 04 schools in Matara district and 05 schools

in Hambanthota district have been destroyed. Four schools in Jayawardanapura zone in the Western Province, 15 schools in Mathugama, 39 schools in Horana and 04 schools in Homagama have also been destroyed.

Further, 30 schools in Sabaragamuwa Province, 12 schools in Southern Province and 17 schools in Western Province are being used as the camps for displaced persons.

The minister expressed at this occasion that the schools in flood affected 08 districts will be closed till 02 Friday and further close of these schools or the schools need to be closed depending on the prevailing situations will be notified by Friday. The minister further stated that the necessary actions will be taken to provide 03 sets of uniforms, one set of textbooks, a pair of shoes and the exercise books free of charge by the government to the school children affected by the flood.

When the schools are reopened it is not compulsory for children in disaster affected areas to wear school uniforms and they are permitted to attend schools even wearing other available dresses the minister also mentioned.

In addition to this, the opportunity has been given to obtain the certificates of exams free of charge from the Department of Examinations in place of destroyed certificates in the flood.

The total number of dates to function the schools in one year is 190 days. In these circumstances steps will be taken for some schools that had to be closed due to disaster situation to open them on Saturdays or extending the working hours in those schools to cover up the lost days for children the minister stated at this occasion.

The minister also said that the priority will be given to the teachers and the principals who were affected by the flood when applying for disaster loans provided by the ministry of education.

Centers for collecting relief items except money for disaster affected school children have been established in all national schools. The steps will be taken to reconstruct as soon as possible all schools damaged and collapsed by the disaster situation. Data will be collected about the schools having old and unsafe buildings throughout the country and the necessary steps will be taken to reconstruct them through a cabinet paper, the minister stated.

A program has been started through the Ruwanpura College of Education Ratnapura, Pasdunrata College of Education Kalutara and Ruhunu College of Education Galle to provide cooked food for the people who are living in the camps for displaced in those areas under the directions of the Secretary of Education and State Secretary of Education following the instructions of the Minister of Education. Sending off the food items necessary for this purpose in several lorries happened in the morning today (31) under the patronage of The Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Contributing donations for this purpose have been received from the printers of textbooks.

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