Between 1983 and 2009 Sri Lanka suffered a catastrophic civil war, which left thousands of families displaced and hundreds of thousands of children out of school. While the country has undergone significant progress in the past decade, there are still regions where there is a significant lack of quality education, where schools aren’t properly equipped and teachers aren’t trained.
Moreover, the civil war had devastating consequences on broader societal and mental health challenges: many children lost their parents and others continue to suffer from trauma-related stress, leading to high-dropout rates and a prevalence of child labor.
Natural disasters and annual monsoons further disrupt the education system. In May 2018, Sri Lanka’s southwest monsoon triggered flooding and landslides that affected over 175,000 people and displaced 20,000 families. Schools were damaged and children were unable to go to school.
What We Do
In June 2017, after conversations with Government departments, international agencies and local charities, Street Child established a presence in Sri Lanka. We are based in Batticaloa in the Eastern Province, the country’s most socio-economically deprived region. We are running a series of pilot projects to support education, child protection and disaster-risk resilience, which we will then scale to support as many children as possible.
In February 2018, in partnership with local education authorities, Street Child in Sri Lanka began a six-month teacher training program aimed at improving curriculum knowledge and teaching techniques for 90 elementary and high school English teachers, through interactive training sessions and in-classroom coaching. We are now working to identify ‘lead teachers’ who will be trained to provide on-going mentoring and support for English teachers.
Building on the success of the Batticaloa West project, Street Child expanded our teacher training model to other districts, beginning with a six-month teacher training program working with 80 English teachers from Kanthale, Trincomalee in early 2019. This provides training to more teachers and is helping more children to access a quality education.