Mounting Sri Lanka bombing campaigns curtail school attendance in Kilinochchi

The environment of war and hostilities is drastically reducing the school and education activities in Mullaitivu and Kilincochchi districts, reports premier Colombo Tamil daily Virakesari.

The newspaper quotes the education officers in the region, saying that the attendance in schools have fallen substantially.

Virakesari report further says:

Many reasons including displacement are attributed to the falling attendance in schools. However, fear of the continuing aerial bombardments in the region seems to be the driving reason of parents and students for keeping away from schools, according to T. Kurukularajah, Director of education in Kilinochchi.

[File photo of students at a Kilinochchi school, pic: puthinam.com]

The Sri Lanka government enforced fuel embargo on the Vanni region, along with occurrences of claymore blasts in the areas adjoining the battlefront, including Poonaryn has also created a situation where teachers are unable to commute to their respective teaching positions at the schools, from far-flung areas.

5 out of the 29 schools in the Poonaryn region have become completely dysfunctional due to displacement of people from the surrounding areas amidst intense aerial bombings and shelling. 12 schools have relocated to temporary facilities to the Jeyapuram area of Kilinochchi and only the 12 remaining schools are functioning at the original locations, added T. Kurukularajah, Director of education in Kilinochchi.

As the intense shelling continues in areas surrounding Poonaryn, teaching staff are in fear to serve even in bordering areas where displaced persons have taken refuge. Teachers in thes areas are seeking transfers and new appointees show reluctance or outright refusal to serve there. T. Kurukularajah, Director of education in Kilinochchi has further said to Virakesari, that teachers continue to point out and lament on the life threatening situation in the area.

Claymore attacks along the main roads of Poonaryn, have curtailed the administrative functions of the Education Department officials. Just as the teachers, they too are unable to travel to schools; on their assigned curricular supervising and external duties, said the Director of education in Kilinochchi.

The sudden and indiscriminate aerial bombing and shelling without any regard to time and place are tormenting the students. And parents are refusing to send their children to schools in this climate of hostilities. According to Kilinochchi Director of Education T. Kurukularajah, 30 percent of the students in Kilinochchi are not attending the schools now due to fear of bombing and shelling.

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