58 street children in search of a place to set up a school

By Damith Wickremasekara

Street children who may have ended up spending their childhood and teen years on the pavements of Maradana may get a complete education, from Montessori all the way up to university, thanks to a worthy Police Department initiative.

Fifty-eight toddlers, including orphans, are attending a Montessori school run by a committee of police officers, headed by the Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya.

The committee is now looking to expand the school with a Year One class, and then progressively adding on classes each year until the children reach the GCE Advanced Level.

The Ven. Elle Gunawansa, formerly of the Police Commission and a committee member of the Montessori, told the Sunday Times that the committee was looking for a suitable building, with hostel facilities, for the 58 children.

Ven. Gunawansa, who heads the Dharmayathana Temple in Borella, said the school is open to children who have been abandoned or whose parents are too poor to look after them.

The Montessori is staffed by graduate police teachers. Staff will be added on as the number of classes increases. The children attend the Montessori accompanied by their parents or care-givers.

It is understood that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is considering allocating an abandoned school property for the purpose. Meanwhile, the committee is appealing to members of the public who could help by providing a building for the charity Lakvidu College project

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