North Eastern province of Sri Lanka: Between Chaos & Hope
The project is prepared in a regional context that was characterized by natural calamities, political instability and a 4 decades old civil war that led to massive population displacements, destruction of educational properties & breaking away the socio- cultural and economic patterns for a greater extent, which negatively impacted on the early childhood development & education in the most remote and vulnerable landmarks of the North eastern province.
The social-political conflicts before the 2009 have devastated Sri Lanka’s Social – Cultural and economic wellbeing for nearly 4 decades. The North eastern part of Sri Lanka comprising the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Vanni & Jaffna witnessed the worst catastrophe both natural and man-made.
The education setup of the province was greatly affected as a result of civil unrest in the region causing displacements, Camp life and extreme poverty in the rural areas.
Early Childhood Education in the North East….
Over the time, the North Eastern Province has been affected by emergencies, including conflicts, the 2004 tsunami and seasonal floods. The 4 decade old civil unrest and devastating disasters have entirely cluttered the social fabric of the North Eastern Province negatively impacting on the socio-cultural and educational set ups of the provinces.
Poverty & Malnutrition of the children below the ages of 5 is also a serious issue in the North eastern province. The department of Census and statistics noted that over 50% of the children in Preschools are underweight due to several reasons and their early childhood education is drastically disturbed due to this trend.
Overall, the quality of preschools in the North East are challenged by the absence of high quality teaching and learning materials; lack of minimum standards; insufficient infrastructure and resources (including play parks and play materials); poorly paid or unpaid teachers; weak coordination among key actors; as well as a lack of overall monitoring and evaluation (lack of data, baselines and assessments/ studies).