Anuradhapura Project, Sri Lanka
Our ninth Building Futures programme was in Anuradhapura, a district in northern Sri Lanka. A new primary school was needed to improve the education opportunities for over 400 children.
Sri Lanka ended a 25-year civil conflict between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. In northern Sri Lanka, communities are still recovering from the damage it caused infrastructure and community life. While the government has a strong focus on education and policies to modernise the national education, many communities still lack suitable school buildings and properly trained teachers. The chances these children then have to complete their education and lift themselves out of poverty are almost non-existent.
What we achieved
This project constructed a new primary school in Anuradhapura (a district in northern Sri Lanka) to improve the quality of education for over 400 boys and girls. This included two new school buildings, toilet blocks for boys and girls, a hand washing station and a playground with toys and equipment. Parents were involved in the process to help them understand the importance of education for both boys and girls. The project improved physical infrastructure as well as putting in place longer-term strategies for keeping children in education.
All girls and boys are attending school regularly and 100% successfully completed grade 5 (as of March 2016). The project achieved local government support and the Provincial Department of Education contributed funds to finance more sanitation and water facilities than originally planned. The project created a child-friendly environment in terms of classrooms, facilities and teaching approaches. We trained 161 teachers across the area in the two-way approach to teaching and learning and this is being implemented it in the classrooms. On a family level, 85% of mothers are now aware of the importance of primary education and voice their opinions to the school.
"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!" – Chandra Ekanayake, Teacher