New primary school in Sri Lanka

Civil war damaged Sri Lanka’s infrastructure and the Anuradhapura district desperately needed a new primary school to improve the education opportunities for 400 children. 

The need

Sri Lanka ended a 25-year civil conflict between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. The war damaged infrastructure and community life, with many children struggling to access suitable school buildings and properly trained teachers. The chances for these children to complete their education and lift themselves out of poverty are almost non-existent. 

Our project school was chosen as the Ministry of Education planned to close the original primary school due to inadequate staffing, and the next nearest primary school would be 18km away. 

What we achieved

Working with Plan International in 2015, our project involved the construction of a new primary school in Anuradhapura in northern Sri Lanka. This directly helped over 400 children access a quality education. 

The project successfully: 

  • Constructed a new primary school in Anuradhapura 
  • Provided new desks, chairs and library cupboards
  • Trained 161 teachers at 15 schools
  • Improved water, sanitation and hygiene systems
  • Promoted the value of primary education to parents and caregivers.

Chandra Ekanayake, a teacher at the school, said

"I'm sure that teaching at Aliwanguwa Macha Vidyalaya school will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience that will boost my career. I can already tell that the child friendly classrooms and new teaching methods have made the difference for both children and teachers!" 

The impact

The project created a child-friendly environment and long-term strategies were put in place to help parents understand the importance of education for boys and girls. 

Extracurricular activities include: concerts, prize ceremonies, a student-run radio programme, a literature club and an environmental protection club. 

Highlights two years on:

  • Nominated a ‘Model Primary School’ in Padvaiya Education Division 
  • Literature Society won 1st prize in the division’s English Day competition
  • School Environmental Brigade maintains the school garden and teaches children about planting and caring for vegetables
  • Girls and boys are attending school regularly and 100% successfully complete grade 5 (March 2016).

A community volunteer, Ms H Chandima Hapuarachchi Abhyapura Padavi Sripura, said:

“As a volunteer, I’m happy to note how villagers are actively engaged in the village development activities, and also how parents are actively supporting the work of the school.

"Now there’s lots of new admissions to the school from far away villages. The school has got very popular and considered as one of the best schools in the area.”