Colombo, May 5: Schools in Sri Lanka will re-open on Monday amidst heavy security, officials said Sunday, two weeks after the country's worst terror attack forced authorities to close the educational institutions.
Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. Serial Blasts In Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, Churches And Hotels Hit; Nearly 156 People Dead, Over 400 Injured.
Following the attack, the authorities closed the schools until further notice.
The second term of school will commence on Monday (May 06) for Grades 6 to 13 in all government schools. For Grades 1 to 5 the second term will commence on May 13, Colombo Page reported. However, classes of only grade VIth and above will be held, according to the Director General of the Government Information Nalaka Kaluwewa.
Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that a special security programme will be implemented in school premises with the commencement of the new school term. Special circulars have been issued by the Education Ministry regarding the security of the schools, the report said.
An extensive security programme has been implemented by the tri forces, police and special task force, it said. Parking vehicles near schools have been completely banned, the report said.
Separate places have been prepared to park school vans, buses. Special search operations will also be conducted from Sunday in schools, the report added.
The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts.