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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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More schoolchildren visit the zoo

A marked increase in schoolchildren visiting the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens is being recorded every day due to new additions of animals, birds, reptiles and species of ornamental fish.

It is also reported that the concession rates introduced by the management of the zoo for schoolchildren who visit in groups is also another reason for the arrival of large number of schoolchildren, teachers and also parents everyday.

National Zoological Gardens Deputy Director, Dhammika Malsinghe told the Junior Observer, that schoolchildren as well as University students visiting the Zoo in groups are charged Rs. 20 each.

“Such affordable rates will also help children not only in the urban sector, but also thousands of other schoolchildren coming from rural and remote areas everyday”.

She said about 4500 people visit the Zoo each day and this number exceeds 8000 during weekends and school vacations.

According to Mrs. Malsinghe, charges for other visitors are also very reasonable and children from Government sponsored orphanages are not charged a fee to enter.

She also said that the zoo will be further expanded with more new additions under the Department’s five-year plan which will be commenced shortly. “The present Zoological Gardens which is constructed on a 22-acre land with natural resources such as pure water, huge trees and creepers has over 350 species of wild animals”. The Zoo is over 80 years old as it was established in 1926 by a German national, John Hagenbeck. The then Government paid special interest towards the development of the Zoo at Dehiwala and acquired it in July 1936.

She said there are about 100 species of mammals, 110 species of birds, 65 species of, 35 species of dangerous and harmless reptiles at the Zoo. The garden has over 2500 varieties of birds such as pelicans and aquatic birds.

She said, in addition, the Department has already undertaken the construction work of two other zoological gardens in the country, the Pinnawala Zoo at Wagolla which is close to the famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and the `Safari Park’ at Ridiyagama in Hambantota. The construction work of the Wagolla Zoo is nearing completion and is due to open in November this year.” The `Safari Park,’ constructed on a 500-acre land will be opened for public before the end of next year.

The Zoological Gardens management also maintains a 16-acre fruit and vegetable cultivation land at Gonapola which is twelve km away from Dehiwala. It provides sufficient food for animals but sometimes the food is purchased from outside places. She also requests visitors, especially schoolchildren to refrain from using polythene bags and also from feeding animals as it could lead to the animals developing various diseases.


First Art Foundation art exhibition


Some of the students engaged in art.

An exhibition of over 400 drawings by 100 students of the First Art, Art Foundation for Children, will be held from October 10 to 12 at the Kegalle Town Hall. All these students have won national and international awards.

The First Art foundation which was established in 2003 aims to provide talented students in rural areas too an opportunity to display their talents by holding such exhibitions outside of Colombo.

The foundation’s objectives are to preserve traditional forms of art, dance and song in the country by teaching them to little children with the assistance of professionals in the field. Apart from aesthetic studies, the students are exposed to an education in religion, morals, culture and social services.

 

 


World Teachers' Day falls on October 5

What have you organised to do on this special day dedicated to teachers? It is important that you pay tribute to them on this day by doing something special, but more than this, the best tribute you could pay to your teachers is to respect and obey them and pass your examinations with good grades.

World Teachers’ Day, held annually on October 5 since 1994, commemorates the anniversary of the signing in 1966 of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

It is an occasion to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels.

The aim of this special day is to activate the support of students and the public for the welfare of teachers and also to ensure awareness and understanding of the crucial contribution teacher’s make to development and education in their respective countries.

 


Winners of “Learn About America” Essay Competition February 2010 (On Martin Luther King)
From left to right: J. Jiyath Ahamed, Risla Naffs, Devmini Thilakshi Perera, M.I. Abdul Kahfar, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka - Patricia Butenis, G.A. Vidushi Kaushali, Pamali Nirantha Sirimanne, Hafsa Iniyas (December 2009 winner), US Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Officer - Glen Davis, .P. Nirmani Samarasekara, W.M. Madushani Kumari Weerakoon. A.S. Fathima Anusiya is not in the picture.

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