The second term of schools started with a low attendance today, the Education Ministry said. Only the secondary (6-13) classes were allowed to start following the Easter Sunday attacks on April 21.
“However, the schools in town areas recorded low attendance, while schools in the rural areas recorded full attendance of teachers, children and school staff members,” Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said in a media release.
Special search operations were carried out at schools and in the vicinities on Sunday (05) to ensure maximum security before re-opening.
The re-opening of schools for the second term was originally scheduled for April 22; however, it was postponed until April 28, following the heightened security concerns that emerged owing to the deadly terror attacks on Easter Sunday (April 21).
It was later decided that schools would be kept closed until May 6 due to continued threats. The government yesterday announced the second term for grades 6 to 13 would commence today (05), but the second term for grades 1 to five is scheduled to commence on May 13.
Minister Kariyawasam also thanked the parents those who sent their children to schools and thanked the principals, teachers and school community who helped make the effort a success. “Some schools recorded attendance of more than 80 per cent,” the media release said.
Meanwhile, the percentage of student attendance in schools islandwide was reported low despite the government’s decision to reopen all government schools yesterday. Western Province Education Director Srilal Nonis said there were 28,547 school children in the Western Province.
The attendance of students in the Matara District was reported below 10%.
Matara Rahula College Principal F. Welage said only about 130 out of 3,650 students attended school yesterday.
Matara Sujatha Vidyalaya Principal Hemanthimala Wanigasinghe said only 92 out of some 3,500 students showed up yesterday.
It was reported that the percentage of student attendance in the Galle District was 0.2 % out of the 227,098 students in the district.
Only 152 out of 6,003 students showed up at Galle Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya and 156 out of 4,216 students turned up at Galle Mahinda College yesterday.
It was reported that student attendance in rural areas was low.
Provincial Director of Education R.M.P. Rathnayake said the percentage in student attendance in the Uva Province was below 40%. However, the attendance of students in rural schools in the province was comparatively higher.
Northern Province Education Department said the percentage of student attendance in schools in the Northern Province was below 50%.
The student attendance in schools in the Anuradhapura District was recorded very low but the teacher attendance stood at 85%.
Out of the 138 schools in the Gampola education zone, the percentage of student attendance was 5%. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and Sheain Fernandopulle)
Additional reporting by Krishan Jeevaka Jayaruk, D.G. Sugathapala, Romesh Madushanka, Suranga Rajanayake, Athula Bandara, Nayanajeewa Bandara and Prasad Rukmal