Supporting Program on Activation of Child Education through Collaboration with Youth Generation in Tea Plantation of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan tea is world-famous. The beauty of Sri Lanka's tea estates amazes local and foreign tourists. But the life of the tea pluckers and their families is not so pleasant. They live in small estate houses. Although they work all day, their wages are very low which is not enough to cover their daily expenses. As a result, they are heavily in debt. The level of education of tea state children is low compared to children in other parts of Sri Lanka. Also, the facilities in these schools are less compared to the schools in other areas.
Supporting Program on Activation of Child Education through Collaboration with Youth Generation in Tea Plantation of Sri Lanka project is aimed to assist estate students through estate youths. This project has been implemented for three years commencing in 2018 targeting 655 students in grades 02, 03 and youth in the Darawala, Tillery and Ingestra estates. The speciality of this project is that the project provides training to estate youths and the youth assist students in their day to day education process.
Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and Japan Utsunomiya University have partnered with the Sevalanka Foundation to support the implementation of the Supporting Program on Activation of Child Education through Collaboration with Youth Generation in Tea Plantation of Sri Lanka. Field activities have been implemented in collaboration with the Zonal Office of Education to ensure the sustainability of the project.
The project included a novel concept to provide exposure to the estate children with the outside of the estate. Because they are less likely to blend in with the world. As a part of this held a meeting between estate students and students at the University of Utsunomiya through Skype. This was a new experience for the estate children. They mainly discuss their lifestyle in the estate etc.
After School Programme is the most highlighted one of this project. Before starting the programme, we have given the basic training for English language and Mathematics for youths. Aim is to provide basic knowledge on English Language and Mathematics to youth inorder to assist the students in after-school programmes. The youth have initiated to train children, especially in basic skills such as speaking, singing, dancing, presentation etc. In parallel to the above, this project provides training on Child Psychology to youth. The purpose of the training is to provide basic knowledge on “how to deal with the children” which is the key skills for youth for school activities.
Project not only focuses on Children but also in touch with their parents. As usually we have conducted parents meeting. Officials of Divisional Secretariat, School and Sevalanka Foundation collaboratively organized a workshop to provide awareness on alcohol prevention to parents. The event was named as “Tea Plantation Society and Education Development.” Education, alcoholism, child care and family support are the key component covered by the workshop.
Training on “Street Drama” for youth also done under this project. This training was aimed to improve the capacity of youths. The training mainly focused on planning ,Designing and implementing a structured street drama. After training Youth have organized and conducted a Street drama program in Bathford Temple. The event focused on alcohol consumption and its effects on the life of estate people. The performance mainly highlighted the negative effect on children’s education due to alcoholism in the estate sector.
In addition to these activities, various activities such as sports festivals and children's day celebrations, women’s day celebration have been organized. Schools on the island were closed due to Covid 19 but youth conducted the After school class through online. This helped the children to continue their education.
The project covered approximately 655 students for three years. The first batch of students are now in grade Five and Six. At the end of three years, these children were able to become literate in Mathematics and English. The youth community also used their time and productively.