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Colombo school receives IDB grant

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has given an outright grant of SR750,000 to set up a private school for Muslim students in Colombo, the Sri Lankan Embassy announced.
Thanking the IDB for the contribution, the country’s Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohamed said it would help a great deal in enabling Muslim students in Colombo to receive quality education.
The envoy said the IDB donation was in response to an appeal made by Zahira College Colombo, seeking funds to set up its branch in Maharagama, some 10 km from the city center.
Hussein Mohamed said that the IDB is an active player in promoting Muslim education in Sri Lanka.
“For the past 12 years,” he said, “it has been providing scholarships through the Colombo-based Islamic Center for deserving undergraduates who seek degrees in medicine, engineering, agriculture and other specialized fields.”
He said the IDB has offered financial assistance in the past to Arabic colleges and Muslim universities on the island.
It also has a 20 percent stake in the Amanah Bank in Colombo, he said.
Zahira College Colombo, which has been in existence for over hundred years, is a well-established school in Sri Lanka.
Under the stewardship of M. Fouzul Hameed, who took over as chairman of the board of governors in 2006, it has a well-coordinated program to improve standards of education, sports and extracurricular activities within the Islamic environment of the college, which has been carefully implemented with commendable success.
Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, Hameed said the proposed private school would be built on an eight-acre land which belongs to the collage. Stressing the need for another large private school for Muslim students, he said that there are only 19 schools for 350,000 Muslim students in the Sri Lankan capital.
He explained that 15 out of the 19 schools are not up to the required standards of education.
He said that the project, which would cost 800 million rupees, will help the community to find quality education for Muslim kids.
“The IDB grant is an encouraging token to go ahead with the project and the board of management would like to receive more funds from Muslim philanthropists to complete it as soon as possible.”

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