Undergrads make century-old school overjoyed

15 November 2018 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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At 123 years Dhammarathana Vidyalaya, Indibedda is one of the oldest schools in the country, and yet it has received minimal support for its’ maintenance. The school has faced many hardships over the years and at one point was exposed to the threat of closure. At this point of its history only 12 students had enrolled at this institute. However, with the support of villagers the school was able to gradually develop and sustain itself, as of today.

Located approximately 17 km away from Colombo in Indibedda, on the outskirts of Moratuwa, Dhammarathana Vidyalaya has a population of 180 students with an average of 43 students per grade. There are 8 permanent teachers in the staff. A majority of the students come from low income families where most parents work as carpenters and fishermen. The meals provided daily in the school act as an incentive for families to send their children to school. Furthermore, the school does not have a permanent English teacher at present. It had been noted that out of the 43 students who sat for the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination in August 2018, 18 students could not identify nor write letters, clearly depicting the low literacy levels of students at the school.

Seeing their need, a team of 22 undergraduates from the University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance called Team Rebels set out to raise funds in order to construct a mathematical laboratory along with an area to carry out recreational activities related to the subject. They also plan to conduct an English workshop themselves, for these students. The undergraduates have been working tirelessly since August in order to raise funds, landscape and clean out the outdoor area before the laboratory was built. The community development project was taken up under the name ‘Widumini Ahura’.

Seeing their need, a team of 22 undergraduates from the University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance called Team Rebels set out to raise funds

As per the instructions of the Ministry of Education, a mathematics laboratory-more like an activity room-is considered to be an essential requirement in order to develop the foundational mathematical skills of students in a Primary school. As of now, Dhammarathana Vidyalaya has no such laboratory nor any equipment related to these activities. By constructing a mathematics lab along with an area for recreational activities related to the subject, the undergraduates wish to enhance the knowledge of the students and make them learn the basics of mathematics in a more interesting way, as opposed to the traditional classroom lessons.

As it is a primary school, where the students are still learning the basics of mathematics, the aim is to carry out activities in relation to mathematics in the recreational area in order to help the students have a better understanding of the concepts and theories of mathematics. In addition to this the team aims to carry out an English Workshop with a series of interactive seminars to help these students, especially those facing the Scholarship Exam next year.

After months of hard work and fundraising the opening of the mathematics laboratory was conducted on November 10 (Tuesday). The team hopes to be able to facilitate and provide support to these young impressionable students to ultimately grow into educated, multi-faceted individuals who would go on to serve our country in the future.

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