New educational measures for displaced
[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 March 1999, 19:36 GMT]
The Northeast Provincial Council has to design and introduce new regulations and systems in the field of education, to tackle the problems faced by schools in educating the displaced student population in the area, said Sunderam Diwagalaala, Secretary to the Provincial Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports.
He visited Vavuniya with a handful of top officials of the Provincial Ministry to study the ground situation of the displaced student population in Vavuniya.
He visited the schools that the children of displaced families attend. He also had a special meeting with the school principals of the area to find out the problems and shortcomings they are facing in educating the displaced children.
Sunderam Diwagalaala said that 1348 children in the eleven refugee camps in Vavuniya are not attending schools.
He said that 29,000 children were not attending schools and idling in their houses in the Jaffna peninsula. This was revealed by a research study conducted in the area. He also said that 8000 children in the Vanni were not attending schools, according to a study conducted in the area last year.
He said that he had ordered the official of the Non Formal Education Unit of the Ministry to make immediate arrangements and take necessary steps to make the children to go to schools nearby.
"We are implementing a 'catch up programme' in schools to increase the achievement rate of the children who are backward in their studies, while special actions have been taken under the same programme to encourage the idling children to attend schools through Non Formal Unit of the Education Unit", he said.
Meanwhile a team of Christian leaders visited Vavuniya to gather first hand information of the displaced population and the children on Friday.
They met K.Ganesh the Government Agent of Vavuniya and senior government officials. They also visited the refugee camps in the area.
Rev.Duleep R.Fernando, President of the Methodist Church, Sri Lanka; Rev.S.S.Karunairaj, Chairman Northeast Synod; Rev.Ebanezar Joseph , General Secretary of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka; Rev. Pon. Anandarajah; Rev.K.J.Arulrajah; Rev.Loyasin de Silva and Rev.Ruban Ariyanayagam, Director of Jeevothayam Farm and Superintendent of the Mannar - Murunkan Circuit were in the team.
They visited Murunkan in the Mannar area as well before returning to Colombo.