Revival of education in Mullaitivu:
Students show tremendous success in academics
Sri Lanka has maintained a higher level of literacy among developing
countries – the highest in the South Asian region and one of the highest
in Asia over a significant period. The reason behind this is the free
Acting Zonal Director of Education in Mullaitivu, S. Malini
The free education system has elevated the living standards of the
people and paved the way for success for many citizens,
Undoubtedly education is an indispensable part of life. Knowledge
gained through education has the strength to carry a person forward.
It is the key factor which would lead the country towards sustainable
development, especially in the development of backward regions. Based on
these core issues special attention has been extended by the Government
to improve the standard of education in many backward regions. Among
them the Mullaitivu district stands out as an area where mainstream
development hardly reached it in the past until terrorism was wiped out.
The education system in Mullaitivu began to revive along with the
resettlement process especially infrastructure development. Today, five
years after ending terrorism, the Mullaitivu education sector is ready
to begin its second phase of development.
“All the schools in the district are functioning. As majority of
rebuilding and renovation programs completed, we encourage schools to
keep a clean environment suitable for teaching,” said Acting Zonal
Director of Education in Mullaitivu, S. Malini. She is the Zonal
Education Director for Thunukkai, an area in the immediate neighbourhood
of Mullaitivu education zone.
“I have visited Mullaitivu district for inspection during the final
phase of resettlement. During that time there were severe damages to
schools. But now when I go to the areas I see that more than
seventy-five percent of the schools have been rebuilt,” Malini said.
Among the infrastructure development projects that need to be carried
out in schools are mainly providing safe drinking water, and proper
sanitation facilities. There is more attention on implementing programs
to improve the health of the students. “Line ministries are conducting
these programs through the Ministry of Education in almost all the
schools in the district,” Malini said.
Mullaitivu has a healthy teacher-student ratio, though there is a
need for teachers in special subjects. “Seventy percent of the teachers
are from the Mullaitivu area and thirty percent from Jaffna and other
areas in the North. In Mullaitivu there is a well-educated community,”
Students have shown multi-faceted success in academic achievements
and in sports, according to her. Kabadi and football seemed to be the
most popular in the area as on any holiday you can see youth playing the
game in the playground closest to their homes. In sports students have
achieved up to national level and possess high potential to develop into
excellent sports personalities if supported by sound training.
The percentage of students passing the main hurdle of examinations
has been increasing over the past five years, according to Malini.
Referring to the 2013 results she said that more than 48% of students
passed the GCE Ordinary Level examination.
“Mullaitivu students have always performed well. They have got good
results,” she said.
Under the present curriculum, children are taught Sinhala or Tamil
apart from their mother tongue. Yet Mullaitivu lacks Sinhala teachers
for the Tamil students to learn Sinhala. With the assistance from
Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri teachers for Sinhala were
appointed in Weli Oya area on contract basis.
Students in discussion with a teacher after school.
Now the trend here is the new technological stream, even in the most
rural schools in Mullaitivu. “When we do orientation before students
start Advanced Level classes we try to promote the science and the new
technological streams and a significant number of children prefer to
choose that too. It is a good trend because children will get more job
opportunities as well as chances for higher education after leaving
school,” she explained.
According to 2014 January statistics in the three divisions of the
Mullaitivu education zone there are 9,507 boys studying at all levels in
schools and more importantly there are more girls studying than boys –
9,824. This is a positive trend specially for a fast developing area
The focus should be on women’s education because the knowledge and
empowerment of one woman can bring about a change in a family and even
in society. It is the uneducated and illiterate people who think women
are not entitled to education. Education of women is a must because the
empowerment and knowledge of one woman can revolutionise her family
first and society at last.
A revolutionary President of the United States of America, Abraham
Lincoln once said that the philosophy of the classroom today will be the
philosophy of government tomorrow. An educated person can differentiate
between right and wrong or good and evil. It is the foremost
responsibility of a society to educate its citizens.
Education can bring people together as friends. Maybe getting the
same level as someone else will bring friendship. It can happen and it
does happen and is a positive approach to reconciliation. The importance
of education in our life cannot be ignored at any cost. Education is the
only way to gain knowledge. The more the society develops the more life
becomes dependent on education. A person becomes perfect with education
as he is not only gaining something from it, but also contributing to
the growth of a nation. Hence, education is not restricted to studying
hard and getting good results. It also means conquering new things for
the betterment of mankind. An educated person can create a huge
difference between wrong and right or evil and good. Education is a
social responsibility for every nation.