MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) - Great Britain's government has allocated a million pounds sterling to promote secondary education and vocational training in North Ossetia's Beslan and the entire North Caucasus. Bill Rummell, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, introduced the North Caucasian Educational Initiative launched while addressing a conference today at the British Embassy to Russia.

He regards the initiative as crucial. A horrible day of September last is evergreen in Mr. Rummell's memory-the day he learned about the heinous school hostage-taking in Beslan. He was away from London on a mission that day. It never occurred to him then that anyone would dare try to justify the cruel act that involved children, said the British diplomat.

The entire Britain felt at one with the Beslan victims those suspense-laden days, Mr. Rummell went on. The events set him thinking what his country could do to help all children in the region. That was how work started to draft a program promoting vocational training and education of North Caucasian children and young people-in particular, foreign language tuition. The initiative promises to improve employment opportunities and offer the rising generation a better life in general.

The UK government hopes other institutions and organizations will eventually join the initiative, and so ensure its permanent progress, added the Undersecretary.

The North Caucasian Educational Initiative aims to improve education and quality of life for children and young people in Beslan and the area round it, with greater access to extracurricular education, athletics, amateur acting, and foreign language studies.

Program activists and the British Council have made preliminary analyses to blueprint the fields to which the initiative ought to spread, and the practical forms it may take.

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