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Estate sector needs more income-generating avenues to keep children in school: IPS

19 November 2022 07:21 am - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Source: Institute of Policy Studies 


  • Calls on govt. to implement ‘special programmes’ to increase income sources of adults in deprived regions 
  • Facilitate continuation of school meal programme 
  • Help estate children to recover lost learning from pandemic closures by rolling out special ‘catch-up programmes’ 

In an effort to prevent the children of the estate sector from falling deeper into the socio-economic crisis faced, the relevant authorities must look at introducing new programmes that expand the earning capacity of adults, so that the school-going age group is kept away from seeking employment, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) said.

A study carried out by the economic think tank called for the implementation of ‘special programmes’ to increase the income sources of the adults in deprived regions, which would be beneficial in discouraging their children from engaging in economic activities while encouraging them to attend school.

Research studies that focus on the plight of estate sector children highlight that there is a rise in the number of children dropping out of school in the estate regions.

A sector-wise comparison of school dropouts prior to the COVID-19 outbreak reveals the estate sector to have the highest percentage of dropouts in all three levels of education – primary, secondary and collegiate. The percentage rises as the level of education advances from the primary to collegiate level. Approximately 4 percent of primary, 20 percent of secondary and 26 percent of collegiate students had dropped out of school in the estate sector. 

In contrast, the corresponding rates in urban and rural sectors are much lower, reflecting the disparity across sectors.

Worsened financial difficulties faced by the estate children after the pandemic are cited as the main reason for the increasing school drop-out level. The ongoing economic crisis in the country has added to their woes, as they are pushed to engage in economic activities to earn income, so that they can afford their basic needs, the IPS said.While providing the adult population of the estate sector with more income-generating avenues will help improve the situation, the study stated that facilitating the continuation of the school meal programme (free meal), by prioritising the highly deprived children in plantation communities, would be another possible solution to reduce child labour.

“It will help reduce school dropouts in the estate sector since many estate children, who struggle to afford a meal, are influenced to engage in economic activities to earn income, the IPS said.Furthermore, implementing special ‘catch-up programmes’ in estate regions for students who could not attend online classes during school closures would help recover the lost learning of these students and reduce the risk of them dropping out of school.While Sri Lanka is committed to attaining the goal of zero child labour by 2025, as set in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, eliminating child labour would solve this issue of school dropouts to a certain extent. However, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, along with the ongoing economic crisis in the country, this goal of eliminating child labour by 2025 has become even more challenging. Evidence suggests that the number of children engaging in economic activities has increased significantly in these estate regions after the pandemic that led to prolonged school closures. 


  Comments - 16

  • Maria Saturday, 19 November 2022 07:50 AM

    This is just a news only. Nothing has been happening for decades.

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 08:50 AM

    Hey IPS ask CWC to step up and take Care of the estate workers!! And same goes for Mano ganeshan yeah mano walk the walk talk the talk!! Huh!!

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 08:58 AM

    CWC responsible for sad state of estate workers and their families!! Just to give you an idea, where the estate dwellings requires 100 toilets CWC build only 10 toilets!! CWC wants strangle hold of estate workers as CWC fear if they fullfil most of estate workers aspirations then the possibility is there they'll give more power to Mano, yeah!!

    Gahamu saddata Sunday, 20 November 2022 08:02 AM

    Mano and Thondaman are useless for their voters. If Estate worker vote for large main stream party like SLPP and get MP in from big party they will get more voice. But Estate worker are always languishing voting for minority party.

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 09:17 AM

    IPS you should look at the Root of the problem, it's CWC responsible for deteriorating living standards of estate workers!!

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 09:20 AM

    The best thing happened to estate people is, they've their union Head office built in the heart of Colombo 7!! And it's made out of all estate workers blood sweat and tears !! Yeah!!

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 09:43 AM

    Hey IPS you should suggest CWC to sell the Head office in Colombo 7 and use part of the proceeds to enhance and uplift estate population living standards yeah!!

    Jude Saturday, 19 November 2022 09:45 AM

    Hey DM you're labelling some group of people as think tanks, NOW where was this organization when SL go. Belly up!! Huh!!

    Chanaka jayaweera Saturday, 19 November 2022 10:17 AM why can not this shit company called akbar brothesss do a csr project to this poor and incent estate workers... Get awards as best tea exporter...earns millions of usd...these fellows spend money to these politicians 225 ...all the best sri lanka

    Waco Saturday, 19 November 2022 01:40 PM

    Has the government got any programme to resolve this issue? Just writing details in a newspaper is useless.

    Gahamu saddata Sunday, 20 November 2022 07:59 AM

    If Estate worker voted for main stream party like SLPP, SLPP candidate directly they can get greater benefits than voting for weakling youth Thondaman. His father, and predecessors stood up well for Estate worker, but young Thonda is pathetic.

    Gahamu saddata Sunday, 20 November 2022 08:05 AM

    These Estate sector males would make great solider to do patrol in North and East. They will be utterly grateful for job, and be vicious towards Tamil in those areas as directed by government. Tamils in the North and East cannot complain when the thuggery is done against them by Tamils from up country. Even Tamil Nadu would side with Estate sector Tamil over the North and East Tamils.

    Martin Milton Sunday, 20 November 2022 06:38 PM

    Look at these innocent Girls wearing 'colonial style' neck ties in the sweltering heat! Why are school Principals and Teachers so very stupid that they abolish such stupid attire? Look at the girls in Colombo schools majority do NOT wear such silly neck ties! Please do not be idiots for all to see. Stop these children from wearing these silly neck ties! Even the parents do not seem to realise they are still promoting colonialism! Extremely sad! MM

    Ane Hondai Monday, 21 November 2022 10:20 AM

    Estates are much cooler weather. You don't know basic geography of our country. Your name is very colonial, and I suggest you take up local name so you don't sound stupid. It is you who are sad making pathetic European style comments!

    Tim Pare Monday, 21 November 2022 12:27 AM

    Agreed. We have been working in the estate sector for almost 15 years and the income levels have never been so bleak. We talk about schooling here but families are feeding their kids hot water for two meals a day due to the economic crisis - no wonder the kids are working. No stationery, no food, no bus fare. Help us to help them, search Tea Leaf Trust.

    Ane Hondai Monday, 21 November 2022 10:22 AM

    I suggest you never drink tea, as it is created in slave labor/pay conditions. Please drink alternative link coffee instead of support continued enslavement of woman to be tea estate worker. These girls have only the same miserable future while there are jobs in the field, while people consume the infernal Ceylon Tea.

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