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Be ready to admit Lankan refugee kids, schools told

[TOI, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 07:00 No Comment]

Readying government schools for the children of Sri Lankan refugees, school education secretary M Kutralingam has written to various departments for permission.

According to S C Chandrahasan, treasurer, Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), there could be an influx of students later if conditions did not improve in the camps for the war-displaced in the island nation.

"Approximately, 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in camps in Sri Lanka and are not permitted to leave. India has been requesting the Government of Sri Lanka to resettle them in their native villages but not much progress has been made. Though there are schools within the camps for IDPs, they are not the answer. The people may want their children to study in a regular school and so will opt to come here," he added.

Dated June 29, 2009, the letter from the school education secretary is addressed to the heads of the School Education, Elementary Education, Adi Dravida and Tribal Welfare, Revenue Administration, Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare and Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme departments. Instructing school authorities to admit children of Sri Lankan refugees till class XII, the letter adds that the new entrants should be provided with uniforms, textbooks, notebooks and mid-day meals.

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