Education Projects

The 30-year civil war has almost ruined the education systems in the North & East. The most affected subjects were English Language, Science and Maths: the text books, in Tamil, that the government provided for Science subjects explained rather poorly the various relevant terminologies, principles and other aspects and the students could not understand many of them and the teachers could not explain properly either. Due to their poor capability in English, they could not get much support from surfing the internet. Improving the standard of English in schools became a priority.

In addition, many families were existing in poverty and consequently unable to provide education to their children and medical support to the whole family. Also, many children had lost both or one of their parents. Consequently, there were needs in various districts of the North & East to provide care and support to these children.

Over the last 20-25 years, SCOT have provided funding to 30 organisations, helping a few each year. In recent years, SCOT have supported 4-6 organisations / children’s homes / orphanages each year. These entities are primarily engaged in providing support to needy children and others. Improving the quality of education would enhance the youth’s employment opportunities. In addition, students need to secure computer literacy to have better job opportunities.

Brief statements relating to two successful projects SCOT have carried out since 2017 are presented here.

English Teacher Training Project, Northern Province



  • Project Name

    Training of Trainers

  • Project Status

    Completed in 2019

  • Project Partner

    Educational Development Forum, Sri Lanka

  • Training Provider

    British Council, Jaffna

English language skills amongst students in the north and east are poor, meaning that they cannot benefit from the many educational resources available only in English and will be disadvantaged in future employment in English-speaking contexts. This lack of English is partly the result of their teachers not being able to teach English effectively.

Training teachers in English language skills would help remedy this, but it is impractical to have experts provide classroom-based training to all teachers. The British Council (BC) offered a train-the-trainer approach, with BC experts training teachers with the most aptitude who would in turn teach the wider teacher population.

SCOT partnered with EDFSL and PED-N to support and/or fund BC in training the trainers. Prospective trainees were asked to take an aptitude test; those passing the test were trained by BC to become trainers themselves; these trainers then began training others, expecting to train all teachers over the next 3 years under the supervision of PED-N.

16 trainers were trained; they in turn have trained 50 other teachers; 680 teachers remain to be trained by the 16 trainers over the next 3 years. SCOT and EDFSL have spent £34,000 between them on training the 16 trainers and expect to spend £2,000 more on monitoring PED-N’s supervision of training for the remaining teachers over the next 3 years.

Computer Literacy Training

  • Project Name

    Support to IT Training Centre, Visvamadu

  • Project Status

    Completed

  • Project Partner

    Centre for Child Development (CFCD), Jaffna

Sri Lankan companies involved in information technology and communication have good job opportunities for computer literate applicants. Similarly, all government departments and agencies have openings for a number of such applicants. There are probabilities that Google or Yahoo (or both) establish new infrastructure in Sri Lanka to strengthen their network and search engines. Our youth in the North & East need to pick up the required computer skills at their secondary schools or from reputed computer training centres. Unfortunately, the youth living in interior areas are rarely exposed to computer use or have convenient opportunities to get trained.

Centre for Child Development based in Jaffna has been supporting computer literacy initiatives in the North. One of its beneficiaries is the IT Training Centre in Visvamadu. In the past, children living in villages around Visvamadu had to travel to Kilinochchi or Mullaitivu town (26-36 km) to get even basic computer training. Most families in these villages are in poverty. CFCD approached SCOT in early 2017 to fund the Visvamadu Centre’s one year operation.

The Centre provides training at two levels: one session is for senior girls (certified course) and the other for young children, comprising girls and boys. The senior girls are geared towards securing appropriate jobs. SCOT provided £ 3,375, which was two thirds of the total cost. The courses commenced in September 2017. In all, 400 students received training. 122 of them followed the certified course.

Support to Returnee Families

In 1996-97, thousands of families who lived in the neighbourhood of Palaly Airport, which is also a major Sri Lankan military camp, were forced out of their lands that they were dependent on for their livelihood through farming. The displaced families moved from place to place until about five years ago without gainfully engaged. Most of their children lost educational opportunities. Since then, a few hundred families at infrequent intervals were allowed to return to their lands: some of these had been farmed by the military personnel for financial gains, while others had become forests. The group of families who came to Myliddy and Palaly are the most recent returnees. Their children were found to lag much behind those of their peers of similar ages who had uninterrupted education.

St Anthony’s Parish Church appreciated the predicament of these children, assessed their capabilities to pursue formal education and selected 146 of them to receive catch-up education to bring them back to the levels needed.

The Church approached SCOT in late 2019 to fund the catch-up programme and the subsequent provision of some educational facilities to the newly rebuilt school. SCOT approved £5,500 and remitted immediately £2,700.

  • Project Name

    Children of Returnee Families to Myliddy & Palaly

  • Project Status

    Started in 2019 and progressing

  • Project Partner

    St Anthony’s Parish Church

Special Training for Teachers at Deaf and Blind School



  • Project Name

    Nuffield School for Deaf & Blind, Kaithady, Jaffna

  • Project Status

    Completed in 2015

  • Implementation Partner

    TIDE

Most families who have children with physical or other challenges try to keep them indoors. The reasons could be to protect them from discrimination or name calling by the general public or even not to expose to the public their shame. Many parents give extra care to the affected children, but they over do it and make the children totally dependent: initially on the parents and after the death of the parents; they cling on to their siblings or close relatives. The affected children need to be trained to take care of themselves, given appropriate education and skills training and take responsibility for their own actions.

TIDE has been caring for children with various challenges, and approached SCOT in 2013 for funds to improve the caring and training at Nuffield School at Kaithady. Girls and boys are taken care of in the school. TIDE had already funded a short teacher training programme in early 2013 using two British ladies who had wide relevant experience. The team was led by Ms Anne East. Their inputs were to include giving teaching guidance and certain subject materials to the teachers of maths and science during the inhouse workshops. The same ladies were going to continue to monitor and mentor the teachers during their subsequent visits and also provide some of the needed tools for teaching.

SCOT provided a total sum of £2,000 to cover the period 2014 and 2015. Dr Lakshmi Kuhendran (grand-daughter of the late Mr N S Kandiah, a former president of SCOT) conducted a fund-raising event, which comprised her solo Bharathanatiyam performance, on behalf of SCOT. The trainers provided their report after each visit.

A SCOT representative monitored the progress of the children’s improvements in capabilities. He also noted a few income generation activities within the school that were being carried out by the children. Lakshmi has paid twice visited the school and has given good feedback.

List of Local Organisations, Children’s Homes and Orphanages that SCOT Funded




  • AEDU Vocational Training Centre, Trincomalee
  • Caring Hands Centre, Jaffna
  • Caritas: scholarship
  • English Teacher Training Project, Northern Province
  • God’s Own Children, Jaffna
  • Grace Home for Children, Chettykulam, Vavuniya
  • Hari Children Home, Batticaloa
  • Hartley College, Pt Pedro, Jaffna
  • Holy Family Convent, Uruthirapuram, Kilinochchi
  • Holy Family Sisters, Jaffna
  • Jaffna Medical College Gold Medal for Obstetrics
  • Kurukulam Vocational Training, Kilinochchi
  • Mahadeva Ashram, Kilinochchi
  • Nanattan Maha Vidiyalayam: lab equipment
 
  • RC Girls Home, Ilavalai, Jaffna
  • Rehabilitation Project of Bishop of Mannar
  • Sri Ramakrishna Seva Ashram, Pt Pedro, Jaffna
  • Sri Shanmuga Trust, Trincomalee
  • St John’s Centre, Batticaloa
  • St Joseph’s Commty Assn – St Henry’s, Ilavalai, Jaffna
  • St Mary’s Boys Home, Kalmunai, Batticaloa
  • St Patrick’s College, Jaffna – children from Vanni
  •  Synergy, Batticaloa – community project
  • Thilakavathiyar Mahalir Illam, Batticaloa
  • TRO Nursery School, Aathikoviladdy, Kilinochchi
  • Vasantham Home for Children, Vaddukkodai
  • Vipulananda Children’s Home, Akkaipattu, Batticaloa
  • Vivekananda Girls’ Home, Valaichenai
  • WANT

There are many ways in which you can support both SCOT and communities in Sri Lanka