Scholarships for street children

[September 09, 2004 - 11.00 GMT] 

Hundred and sixty-two street children were given Presidential Scholarships yesterday to mark the International Literacy Day.

At the launch of this scheme, 'Nena Sarana’, for children the President said, “Literacy is not something that exists on its own, but something that is related to education. In today’s fast developing world, literacy is what keeps us on par with the rest.”

The children selected from the plantation sector, coastal areas and Kataragama, Ratnapura and Colombo would go through a rehabilitation programme before they are integrated in schools by January 2005.

Sri Lanka adopted the United Nations convention for compulsory education for children between the ages five to 14 in January 1998, shortly after the Compulsory Education Ordinance was enacted in November 1997.

Sri Lanka is among the countries that boast of having a high literacy rate. 

“With good rates of school completion and the strong government policy of achieving education for all, Sri Lanka is at an advantage when compared to most developing countries,” UNICEF country Representative, Ted Chaiban said at the gathering.

UNICEF chief further said that his organization is proud to be a partner in an initiative, and a support of the functioning of literacy centres for street and non-school-going children. 

President Kumaratunga praised the support of the UNICEF, the Education Ministry and the NGOs in making this scheme a success. "I believe that this scheme would brighten the hopes of these children for a better future,” President said. 

Deputy Ministers of Education, Mangala Samaraweera and Dinesh Gunawardena also attended the event held at the President’s House yesterday.










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Last Updated Date: September 09, 2004  - 11.00 GMT.


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