SLA offensives affect 14000 students in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 March 2007, 11:16 GMT]
The education of more than 14,000 students of 110 schools in Batticaloa district has been badly affected by the fighting between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), A. M. E. Paul, Batticaloa District Zonal Director of Education said. Nearly 4,000 students in Batticaloa town whose schools are being used as refuge for displaced people are unable to continue their education, the Director added.
About 9,000 students of 38 schools including 18 which functioned in the LTTE held territory have fled to Batticaloa town where 12 schools are already occupied by displaced people.
Arrangements are being made to begin educational activities quickly to the students from 5 schools in the LTTE held areas, using the floors of public buildings and places of worships in the town. Data is being collected of the refugee camps where the students are currently staying, the Director said.
"The students do not have text books or school uniforms and we have conveyed this to UNICEF, Save The Children and the Ministry of Education," Mr Paul said.
"We do not want these students to suffer the same fate as the students displaced from Muthur and Vaharai did. They have not been issued their text books yet. We also face a situation where we are unable to continue the Nutrient Food Programme for children in grades under 9," Mr. Paul added.
4140 students displaced from Muthur and Vaharai, however, have been temporarily located in other schools in Batticaloa town. Teachers from these areas have been temporarily assigned to the town schools.