Land allotted for Sri Lankan community school
February 21 2015 09:37 PM
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Kumudu Fonseka
Kumudu Fonseka

 

By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter

Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha, that mostly caters to the Sri Lankan community in Qatar, has received a piece of land from the government to build its own permanent school building, the chairman of the school has said.

The construction plans for the building are already under way, it is learnt.

Speaking to Gulf Times, Kumudu Fonseka, chairman of the school and a longtime resident of Qatar said that the plot for the school was allotted in the Al Thumama area of Doha.

At present, The Stafford Sri Lankan School is operating from a rented building off Salwa Road near the Midmac flyover. The school is catering to more than 900 students and employs about 60 teachers.

The school is affiliated to the Sri Lankan embassy in Qatar and runs as a non-profit organisation. The patron of the school is the ambassador of Sri Lanka and the institution is governed by a board of trustees.

Fonseka said: “We are thankful to the government of Qatar that one of our long standing requests has been approved. We have received 10,000 sqm of land in Thumama area. We are drawing up all the plans to construct the school building.”

According to him , the whole project will cost about QR40 mn. "We expect to have all the facilities for our school which include more than 60 classrooms, a swimming pool, gymnasium, playground and an auditorium among others. Our plan is to make facilities for educating around 2,000 students.”

The official also said that raising the funds for the new project was a big challenge. “We expect that the governments of Sri Lanka and Qatar will support us in this venture. We have some savings from our school--about QR 4 mn. We have to look for other means to find the money for the construction. We also expect that more Sri Lankan community members will come out and join the efforts in raising the money for the project.”

The school's chairman noted that there was a possibility that the present school will be retained at the current location and the new school will be an addition or a branch campus of the school.

He explained: “ We have not yet worked out the probabilities. We may retain the present school and continue to run it from there. We might also think of having only one campus. It all depends on the availability of the funds as well as the number of people who will be joining the initiative and contributing to the project.”

The Sri Lankan community is the latest to get a piece of land from the government of Qatar to operate a community school in the country.

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