Two semi amazing things happened today.
A ) I got my picture on the front page of a Sri Lanka national paper, next to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie no less, plus an article and the same picture on page 4 re my presentation to these specialists
B) I got shortlisted for a great job at Camden council. The bum thing is I am not home for the interview, but it is still great news because it means I am pitching my application right.
It was a star day.
Paddiruppu Education Zone
Out of 67 schools 27 are in the ‘difficult’ category and 20 in the ‘very difficult’ category. As with the other rural areas the extra allowance 1,500Rs / 2,500 Rs respectively is not sufficient to cover expenses.
Travel is again an issue with 4 teachers in one case sharing a trishaw to travel 30kms one way each day. Malayarkaddu G.T.M.S is inaccessible when the river floods.
The Director tries to allocate staff to rural areas, but then they go to local politicians, get medicals or call in the unions so it is impossible to enforce. Meanwhile the children suffer.
Poradivu division is highlighted as particularly vulnerable. This area was taken over by the LTTE during the war so many people were displaced and there is a large number of war widows.
The shortage of maths, English and science teachers is again a problem. This impacts on A-level take-up as if students are taught maths badly and fail, they are not admitted to A-level courses. They also tend not to go to technical college because it means a daily journey to Batticaloa Town and families do not have sufficient funds for bus fares.
Unicef, Save the Children and World vision are active in the area, supporting teachers, building temporary and permanent classrooms, running ‘child friendly school’ programmes and donating bikes, bags and shoes.
Paddiruppu particularly highlighted elephant attacks in 7 school areas. 2 parents have died recently. These are:-
Mandur 35 Kannan VID, Puthumumaricholai G.T.M.S, Malayarkaddu G.T.M.S, Mandur 16 G.T.M.S, Mandur 39 G.T.M.S, Mandur 40
Kalkudah Education Zone
Kalkudah zone looks after a total of 83 schools, 75 of which fall into the ‘difficult’ category with staff having to travel 60kms one way to work in some instances. Only 9 of those schools are on the main road.
10 schools have no water supply and in 6 the supply is weak. 10 schools have a classroom shortage and are using temporary shelters. There is a teacher shortage in maths and science and a shortfall of 70 English teachers. Some of this issue might be addressed if teacher quarters were made available.
There is one school with no facilities post year 9. The children would need to travel between 10-75 kms to get to the nearest school. They would like to set up a hostel near one of these schools so that the children could continue in their education. Unsurprisingly there is a 30% drop out.
It is also a big resettlement area with some 8,000 widows. Out of 2,200 grade 5 students 850 get some financial support from the government. Parental alcoholism was again raised as an issue. At A-level the teachers are implementing a programme outside of working hours without any support.
UNICEF and World Vision have been active in this area. UNICEF helped repair 2,500 out of the 4,000 furniture repairs needed. World Vision provided 1,500,000Rs for shoes, bags and sports equipment. They have also supported ‘meet the parents’ events in Vaharai, Korali Pattu North and Kiran.
Batticaloa District Development Plan DRAFT 2013