KOICA hands over new schools constructed and emergency educational supplies as part of education support to the Kilinochchi District
Kilinochchi, 26 July 2022 - The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has handed over new schools constructed with KOICA funding through UNICEF to Education Authorities in the Northern province and the community in Kilinochchi.
The support to schools and children provided under the KOICA-funded Educational Environment Improvement Project in the Kilinochchi District through UNICEF has been critical, more than ever during these difficult times. Children’s school attendance and continuous learning are at a greater and severe risk, especially among the most vulnerable, due to the ongoing financial crisis. This situation is further exacerbating already-existing learning loss and disparities which were worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure children in Sri Lanka continue to learn and prevent detrimental impacts on children’s growth and holistic development, UNICEF thanks to the support of KOICA has continued to provide much-needed assistance for continuous learning and to improve the educational environment in Kilinochchi and other areas in the Northern Province.
Symbolically, Mukkomban Maha Vidyalayam school was handed over today in a ceremony organised in Kilinochchi attended by a delegation from the Korean Embassy to Sri Lanka led by the Ambassador, H.E. Santhush Woonjin Jeong, and KOICA, led by the Country Director, Ms. Myung Jin Kim. UNICEF Representative, a.i, Ms. Emma Brigham joined the delegation. In Kilinochchi, the local authorities were led by the Governor of the Northern Province, Hon. Jeevan Thiagarajah.
H.E. Santhush Woonjin Jeong, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea said “KOICA, Korea’s Official grant aid agency has actively contributed to the betterment of the Kilinochchi district especially in the Education sector. This project in particular focuses on the infrastructural development of these schools but also on the capacity building of the teachers, principals, school advisers, and most importantly the parents too. It is important to ensure that a project is implemented in such a manner that it ensures the fullest benefit to the target beneficiaries. Thus, I appreciate the work that has been carried out in these schools both the tangible and the intangible. We hope to ensure the Sri Lankan students are equipped with the know-how to tackle any challenge in a competent manner. Because students represent the future of the nation and teachers stand as the backbone of education.”
The project which covers the period, 2018-2022, implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Provincial and Zonal Education Authorities in the Northern Province, has so far supported 13 schools in Kilinochchi District with both infrastructure development and learning materials, allowing 5,051 students from 13 schools including those with special needs to have access to an improved learning environment. Teachers in Kilinochchi including the 13 schools and beyond have also been trained on child-centered teaching and learning methods, and the local communities have been involved in a series of community awareness-raising activities on the importance of education for their children.
In addition, in response to the ongoing economic crisis, KOICA has provided support to emergency education supplies in the Northern Province. This includes paper and notebooks for the local government, schools, and students to mitigate the shortage of education supplies to ensure continuous learning for 200,000 children, including the most disadvantaged. This timely and relevant support to children in need will allow UNICEF to ensure uninterrupted learning for all children in the country.
“UNICEF wishes to thank KOICA and the Government of Korea for their solidarity and support to children in Sri Lanka by helping girls and boys continue learning during this very challenging time”, said Emma Brigham, UNICEF Representative, a.i. “Children in some of the most vulnerable regions across the country are being disproportionally affected by this crisis and initiatives like these supported by KOICA provide important opportunities for children to continue their learning and development,” she said.
This support from KOICA through UNICEF is a crucial contribution to efforts dedicated by Sri Lanka to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG) – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – under the continuously challenging circumstances during the past few years, with the COVID-19 pandemic and followed by the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
About UNICEF Sri Lanka
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF Sri Lanka, visit www.unicef.lk