Poor students lack basic facilities at this school

By Mohammad Buharrudeen

KEKIRAWA : Students of the Kalugala primary school located in the Kekirawa Educational Zone are said to undergo hardship in receiving education due to lack of basic facilities. This is the only school in the village which is close to where the borders of the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Matale Districts meet.

The school which started functioning on June 19, 1991 with three children on the roll now has 143 yet it only receives step-motherly treatment.

The school principal T B Tennekoon said that when he took over there were classes only from Grades one to four and that he started Grade five classes in 2005. In 2008 he started Grade 8 classes and later Grade 9 classes with the help of the parents, the principal said.

He said the students are from poor farming families who cannot afford the cost of sending them to a better school which is 16 kms away. The children end their schooling early and help their parents in farming, he said.

The principal said he hopes to have higher classes but laments that the two existing buildings are not sufficient even for the 143 pupils now on the roll many of whom are girls.

Eighty five pupils have only one teacher while there are no trained teachers on the staff. Due to congestion some pupils study in the open air which is not possible during rainy weather, he said.
Though the school has only a small library and no lab facilities a Grade Five student had scored the highest marks in 2005, he said.

The principal appealed to the authorities to improve the condition of the school and requested benefactors to help. When the Director of Education of the Province was asked to comment on the situation, he refused to say anything. The parents say that since no responsible educational authority is prepared to listen to them they would take the matter to the President through the Education Ministry.

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