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Events


 

                                       SriLankan Cares empowers Debarawewa Primary                                      

By Chamindra Wickremasinghe
Debarawewa Primary Navodaya Vidyalaya, situated a little away from Tissamaharama in the Hambantota District, has been a stepping-stone to many scholars. It is a rural school “attended by the children of the farming communities,” the principal says. The school however is well known for its students’ academic records.
In the primary grades, the student number reaches 70 in a class. The number drops after Grade five, as many join other schools, passing the Scholarship Exam. There are many who enter the best schools in the island. In fact, in the year 2000, the highest scorer was a Debarawewa Primary student. Its past students have had promising futures – some of them are learning at higher education and professional institutions.

Those fortunate, always go ahead. Amidst talks of great achievers, there’s another lot usually unnoticed – those who get dropped out at Scholarship. At Debarawewa Primary, “that number is equally high,” one of the teachers said. Their circumstances after Grade five do not seem that pleasant. All these years, Debarawewa Primary could facilitate students only up to Grade eight and thereafter these students always had to hunt for schools to pursue study for O/Ls.

However, a ray of hope has dawned on them now, since the School is brought under the umbrella of SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan Cares, the charity arm of SriLankan Airlines gifted a brand new wing to Debarawewa Primary last week. This has enabled students to continue studies through Grade nine in the same school. Dedicated to uplift children’s education throughout Sri Lanka, SriLankan Cares has a lot more to offer them. Those fail at Scholarship exam would be able to do better at O/Ls then – they too could hope for promising futures.

While The Nation trod the grounds of Debarawewa Primary on the day the building was officially handed over, these highlights were captured through the camera lens of Pushpakumara Mathugama.

The new building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 12.4 million. It is an eight-classroom block of 4,500 square feet. The building has been the first phase of a major project by SriLankan Cares to enhance the standard of education in the Southern Province. SriLankan worked in partnership with the German aid agency GTZ, which provided furniture, sports equipment, computers, musical instruments and hearing aids for differently-abled students. The planned Phase II will involve a second eight-classroom building to house Grade ten, also of 4,500 square feet together with furniture and a computer lab. There are also plans for a third building of similar size with eight classrooms together with furniture for Grade 11 and a separate building to house a fully equipped library.
 

SriLankan Cares Trust’s past assistance

Debarawewa Primary Navodaya Vidyalaya is the third school to be adopted by SriLankan Cares Trust. SriLankan Cares in 2003 began a highly successful long-term programme which uplifted Meepagama Jayanthi Maha Vidyalaya, a school of 1,000 children in the flood-ravaged Kalawana area of the Ratnapura District. Following the Tsunami of 2004, SriLankan Cares and its partners Lufthansa Technik, HelpAlliance, and GTZ, reconstructed Al Bahriyah Maha Vidyalaya in Kalmunai in the Batticaloa District, a school of 1,500 children.

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