On 26th July 2022, Korean Envoy H.E. Santhush Woonjin JEONG attended the handover ceremony of newly constructed schools funded by KOICA together with UNICEF to Sri Lankan education authorities in the Northern Province and the community of Kilinochchi.
The School, Mukkomban Maha Vidyalayam, was handed over in a ceremony organised in Kilinochchi attended by Korean Ambassador H.E. Santhush Woonjin JEONG, Country Director of KOICA Ms. Myung Jin KIM and UNICEF Representative a.i, Ms. Emma Brigham. The Governor of the Northern Province Hon. Jeevan Thiagarajah also attended the ceremony with other high ranking officials from the local authorities including Chief Secretary of the Northern Province Mr. S.M. Saman Bandulasena.
At the handover ceremony, Korean Ambassador commended the contribution of KOICA to uplift multiple sectors in Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on the education sector. “KOICA, Korea’s official grant aid agency has actively contributed to the betterment of the Kilinochchi district especially in the education sector. This project focuses not only on the infrastructural development of these schools but also on the capacity building of the teachers, 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 meaningful work that has been carried out in these schools both the tangible and the intangible.”
The Korean Envoy further elaborated the numerous forms of assistance given to students through KOICA. ’Since 2014, KOICA has conducted activities to uplift the education standards in the Kilinochchi District that has benefitted over 7000 students. Through KOICA we have conducted many projects in the education sector and we hope to ensure that Sri Lankan students are equipped with the know-how to tackle any challenge in a competent manner. I am sure that it will be the driving force behind the overall national development of the country.’
UNICEF Representative a.i, Ms. Emma Brigham also appreciated the continuous support of the Korean government to assist students in Sri Lanka. ‘“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. 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.
Due to the difficult times that have exposed students in schools as one of the most vulnerable groups in Sri Lanka, the support to schools and children provided under the KOICA-funded Educational Environment Improvement Project in Kilinochchi District through UNICEF has been timely and critical.
Children’s school attendance and continuous learning are at a greater and severe risk due to the economic crisis that has unfolded following the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, in response to the ongoing economic crisis, KOICA has provided support to emergency education supplies in the Northern Province with UNICEF. 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.
Embassy Secretary Ms. Miyeon LIM, Deputy Country Director of KOICA Mr. Geun Woo LEE, Senior Manager of KOICA Ms. Min Sun SUNG and the Young Professional Intern of KOICA Ms. Su Kyong GWON also attended the ceremony.