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الجمعة، يونيو 17

Omnia Nour

ROTA to dedicate 17 new schools in Pakistan

Qatar-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Reach Out To Asia today announced plans to dedicate 17 new schools in northern Pakistan, which were completely devastated by a Kashmir earthquake in October 2005.

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  • Sheikha Aisha inaugurating one of the 17 schools that ROTA help build after the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
    Sheikha Aisha inaugurating one of the 17 schools that ROTA help build after the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
The 17 schools, including 10 permanent school buildings and seven temporary structures in the Union Council (UC) of Nar Sher Ali Khan in the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), will be dedicated on June 13 during a high-profile Qatari delegation visit to Pakistan next week.

The delegation, to be led by Her Excellency Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani, ROTA board member, Omnia Nour, Director of ROTA, and other top officials from ROTA and representatives from the Qatar Red Crescent and media.

The inauguration of the 17 schools is part of the first phase of rehabilitation efforts undertaken by ROTA in close coordination with the Pakistan Government, Qatar Red Crescent and other social and community organisations.

The schools were completely destroyed during the massive earthquake, which rocked the northern Pakistan on October 8, 2005 and resulted in the death of over 73,000 people. The estimated cost of damages was over $5bn and in excess of 3.3 million people were left injured or homeless.

ROTA was the one of the first NGOs to reach the devastated areas of northern Pakistan following the earthquake and provide basic amenities. The main objective of the ROTA school project, which will help provide educational access to over 2,300 students, is to assist the Pakistani community to restore some of the education systems destroyed due to the natural disaster.

The project also aims to enhance the quality of education by providing capacity training for teachers and administration, and has already seen the opening of seven libraries in the temporary schools.

In her comments, Omnia Nour, Director of ROTA, said: "ROTA has pledged all possible assistance to help those affected by the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005. It is a matter of great privilege that we have successfully accomplished the Phase I of our project aimed at offering the children access to quality education. We are extremely thankful to the Pakistani government, Qatar Red Crescent and other like-minded organisations in helping us in this humanitarian initiative."

She added: "The project, aimed at spreading smiles and education around in northern Pakistan, will also enable sharing of educational initiatives and curriculum, partake in collaborative projects and creating a partnership between students, teachers and faculty members, thereby increasing educational opportunities and bridging cultural divides throughout the Asian continent."

The other phases of the ROTA project in Pakistan, which continues till February 2011, includes equipping the schools with necessary capacity to improve quality of education, twinning of schools / connecting the universities and encouraging volunteer participation from the youth community in Pakistan and Qatar.

In her comments, Omnia Nour, Director at ROTA, said: "The earthquake in October 2005 was a devastating tragedy and we at ROTA are doing our best to help the people affected by the disaster. This handing over of the 17 schools will help enhance the accessibility and quality of education through educational facilities. We at ROTA are proud of being part of this endeavour."

In addition, ROTA and Qatar Red Crescent have also established library facilities, including bookshelves and furniture, at the schools to help the children achieve quality education. ROTA and QRC are also organising librarian training sessions to train the teachers in utilizing the facilities.

In addition to the restoration and rebuilding of the damaged education infrastructure in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (Muzaffarabad & Neelum, Bagh and Poonch), the project will have a direct impact on securing the achievement of educational objectives of students within the local community, national educational strategies and influence the achievement of universal UNESCO Education for All goals by 2015.

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