Hambantota Port to rebuild Tissapura Junior School
The foundation stone ceremony for the reconstruction of the Tissapura Junior School, in Andalla Weerawila in the Hambantota district, was held recently at the school premises. Participating in the laying of the foundation were A. H. Weerakeerthi, Principal of the Tissapura Junior School along with key officials of the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG), Ray Ren, CEO of HIPG, Tissa Wickremasinghe, COO of HIPG and Captain Ravi Jayawickrama, CEO of Hambantota International Port Services.
The Tissapura school is one of many community projects undertaken by HIPG, and the company believes that education plays an important role in building a knowledgeable, skilled future generation.
The grant to rebuild the school was made by China Merchants Charitable Foundation (CMCF), the primary CSR arm of global port operator, CMPort, the main partner of HIPG. The laying of the foundation stone to rebuild the derelict school, was the first step in fulfilling a commitment made by HIPG during its very early stages.
It was brought to the Company’s attention that the Tissapura Junior School, a government public school built in 1986, had got into a bad state. The school which has a student body of approximately 300, including preschool and primary school students and 24 teachers, had decaying infrastructure and facilities that did not encourage learning or modern methods of teaching.
Ray Ren, CEO of HIPG speaking at the ceremony said that the company was committed towards supporting adjacent communities as part of their Corporate social responsibility goals. “We are committed towards using our CSR budgets to uplift key areas amongst our adjacent communities and this time we targeted education as it plays a significant role in providing equal opportunities for young people in the Hambantota area. We recognised the need to upgrade the Tissapura Junior School and brought the matter to the attention of CMCF who immediately agreed to make the grant. CMCF is solely funded by our main partner China Merchants Group and the Foundation’s aim is to improve livelihoods through alleviation of poverty and sustainable development.”
HIPG has allocated a sum of US $ 200,000/- for the renovation of the school which will be equipped with all the basic facilities required for modern learning. The new additions to the school includes two new drinking water tanks with filtered water pipes, eight new classrooms, a playground and a wholly repaired roof. Any other repair work will be done on a need basis once renovation gets underway.
HIPG is closely involved in the construction of the school and are working with the Hambantota district engineers and zonal education department to expedite the project.
The principal of the Tissapura Junior School thanked HIPG for their support in rebuilding the school stating that this is the first renovation the school had received since it was built. He added that the action taken by HIPG to support children from such an underprivileged province was greatly appreciated.
Other dignitaries at the event included senior members of HIPG and the Regional Educational Office, teachers and parents of students of the Tissapura Junior School, O.I.C of the Weeravila Police Station and members of the clergy, the Gramasevaka of the area, as well as leaders and principals of neighbouring schools.
The Hambantota International Port is managed by Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS), two new companies set up by China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd. (CMPort) owns 85% and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) owns 15% of the stake in Hambantota International Port Group Ltd. (HIPG), which will undertake the project identified to restructure the Hambantota Port development and transform it to become a commercially-viable national asset.