18 April 2002

Sierra Leone: Sole Secondary School Reopens in Kailahun

The top UN official in Sierra Leone on Tuesday officially re-opened the only secondary school in Daru, in the eastern district of Kailahun, the UN Mission in Sierra Leone reported.

Speaking at the ceremony, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Oluyemi Adeniji said the reconstruction of the Ahmadiyya Secondary School "was not only an indication of progress, but also an indication that Sierra Leoneans are conscious and willing to contribute to peace-building projects."

There are currently more than 340 students enrolled at the school, according to S. Moiforay, the school principal. Its nine classrooms give it the capacity to cater for up to 600 students on double shifts, UNAMSIL reported him as saying. Around a third of the students are former child soldiers while demobilised ex-combatants worked as labourers on the rebuilding project, UNAMSIL's Child Protection Adviser, Bituin Gonzales said.

The school was destroyed in 1996 at the height of the 10-year war between Revolutionary United Front rebels and the Sierra Leone government. Its reconstruction was funded by the Sierra Leone Trust Fund, with Jawi Chiefdom and the Norwegian Refugee Council acting as implementing partners.

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