Just the Facts...

: Complete

School: Andankulam Roman Catholic Mixed Scool

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Mannar

Donor: The Joseph Family

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2010

Grades: 1-13

Students: 451 Students

The Andakulam School completed in 2010


Andakulam Community Profile

Adampan Village is located in Mannar District, which is located in northwestern Sri Lanka. It is one of five administrative districts in the northern province. The district covers 2,002 square kilometers, approximately 3% of the total land area of Sri Lanka. Most of Mannar District is located within the arid and dry zone, which is characterized by high temperatures and low rainfall. The monthly temperatures range between 26.5°C and 30.0°C, with highs normally recorded between May and August. Mannar District receives nearly 60% of its rainfall from October to December. Farmers collect rainwater in giant tanks for use during the dry season. The land is relatively flat and sits at low elevations. Toward the interior, the terrain is slightly hilly. The primary economic activities in Mannar are crop cultivation (mainly paddies), fishing, and animal husbandry. Employment opportunities in the district are highly seasonal, and there are no institutional facilities for advanced education.

The conflicts in Sri Lanka during the past 30 years have displaced many residents and destroyed many homes and lives in Mannar District. The war has ruined the infrastructure of this community. For the past 30 years, residents had no opportunities to work or earn a fair wage. The displacement of residents has left communities without maintenance, and the jungle has reclaimed many buildings. Now that the conflict has ended, the residents are beginning to return and reclaim their village. Many villagers are living in temporary sheds built by the government.

The need for a new school


The original school room was damaged by the war.

The Proposal: Andankulam Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School is currently housed in a two-story building, which was rebuilt after the war. The school offers classes through secondary school. While some of the rooms can house classes, many are beyond repair. Because there are few classrooms, grade levels have been merged. The basic facilities are inadequate, and there is a lack of a sanitary water source. The classrooms are overcrowded and lack proper lighting and ventilation. Because of the conditions, some classes are conducted outside. During the rainy season, classes are often canceled. The students of this school were displaced by the war, and while they are now able to return to school, they risk being displaced again owing to the poor condition of the building.


The school under construction.

The Project: Opportunity for All and Room to Read partnered with the local community in the construction of a new school block. It is a 1500-square-foot building that includes brick and cement walls, a cement floor, and a roof made of clay tiles on a timber frame. The school has three 400-square-foot rooms and a 300-square-foot corridor.
The existing school building was damaged during the war in 2008. Because the building is not suitable for children, the primary school classes have been conducted in temporary shelters that lacked facilities. However, these temporary structures provided little shelter during the rainy season, and we often had to cancel classes. The school management faced many problems due to the lack of a quality learning space. We had requested a new building from the Department of Education, but they did not have the funds to help us. However, they made a request to Room to Read on our behalf. With Room to Read’s contribution, we have been able to complete a new building with modern facilities. Parents are eager to send their children to school and make use of the school. We thank Room to Read and the donor, who have given unconditional support and showed great faith in us.
- Mr. G. Anthonipillai, the school principal and the president of the School Construction Committee