A school built with community hands is one of three new schools welcoming students this week. The Greenfield School and Resource Centre in central Queens County is a joint effort by the Department of Education and the Greenfield Community Resource Centre Society. The school was officially opened by Premier Rodney MacDonald and Education Minister Karen Casey at a community ceremony today, Sept. 5. “I commend the Greenfield Community School Society for presenting this unique idea to government, nurturing the concept, and bringing the project to such a successful conclusion,” said Premier MacDonald. “What you have done here speaks to the ingenuity of Nova Scotians.” The non-profit society built and will maintain the $1.3-million school. Local community members and tradespeople donated labour, money and materials during construction of the two-classroom school. Parts of the new building, including the library and computer room, will be available for community use. “This unique project shows the dedication of the people of Greenfield and area to the education of their children,” said Ms. Casey. “The school will have a very positive impact on the community and will be a source of pride for years to come.” The Department of Education is leasing the school from the community for $72,000 per year for 20 years. The South Shore Regional School Board provides the teachers and staff for the school’s 32 students. “The innovation and collaboration of the community that has resulted in the building of this new community school is very significant,” said board superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake. “The South Shore Regional School Board will continue to provide equitable education to the Greenfield students.” The new facility replaces an aging two-classroom school. The former Greenfield Elementary School was more than 60 years old and lacked the modern infrastructure needed to accommodate students and the curriculum. “There is much pride in our community today,” said Richard Freeman, chairman of the society. “Thank you to all of our supporters, and a special thank you to the province and the South Shore Regional School Board for their confidence in us and our innovative solution.” In Middle Musquodoboit, students at Musquodoboit Rural High started classes today in their new $15-million school. The Halifax Regional School Board school can accommodate 450 students. Harmony Heights Elementary in Salmon River opened its doors to students on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The $10.9-million, Truro-area school is part of Chignecto-Central Regional School Board and has capacity for 370 students. An official opening of the school is scheduled for Sept. 29. Also, students returned this week to Caledonia’s North Queens Elementary, which was destroyed by fire in 2006. The school was rebuilt during the past year. Schools under construction and opening later this school year are Truro Elementary and Winding River Consolidated in Stewiacke. Including those schools, the province has 11 school construction projects underway. The department is spending $44 million this year on new school construction and renovations as part of an eight-year, $400-million initiative.
Terming a “courtesy call” his meeting with Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna, the former Minister said Wigneswaran was “quite forthcoming and candid” on pluses and drawbacks in the existing arrangement between the Central government and provincial councils. Asked about his stand on a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council early this month on reconciliation and accountability, Mr. Chidambaram replied that “international flavour” could be added to the inquiry by involving “credible individuals.”He recalled that an Indian judge [Radhabinod Pal] had taken part in post-World War II trials held [by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East] in Japan.Pointing out that political parties in Tamil Nadu were for an international inquiry, he said, “I don’t think there is any support [for such a position] in the UNHRC.” Chidambaram, who clarified that he did not discuss the UNHRC resolution with Mr Wigneswaran, said he sought meetings with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan.He will deliver the 20th Annual Tax Oration at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka on Thursday before leaving Colombo on Friday evening. (Colombo Gazette) Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Wigneswaran, the former Indian Minister praised the Northern Province Chief Minister. Congress member and former Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that India will always assist Sri Lanka.Chidambaram said this after meeting Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in Jaffna yesterday. The former Indian Minister is on a two day visit to Sri Lanka and he was in Jaffna as part of the visit. Meanwhile Chidambaram said a “credible inquiry” [into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka] could be achieved in many ways.Chidambaram, who is the first prominent leader from Tamil Nadu to visit Sri Lanka in recent times, told The Hindu that “at least, there a few ways. You don’t have to have binary approach.”