Just the Facts...
Status: Complete

School: P.P. Potkerney Government Muslim Mixed School

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Mannar

Village: P.P. Potkerney

Donor: The Spangberg Family

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2010

Grades: 1-5

Students: 40 Students

The PP Potkerney School was completed in 2011

The Community: P.P. Potkerney Village is located in Mannar District, which is located in northwestern Sri Lanka. This district, one of five administrative districts in the Northern Province, is located in northwestern Sri Lanka. It covers 2,002 square kilometers, approximately 3% of the total land area of Sri Lanka. Geographically, the bulk of Mannar lies within the arid and dry zone. High temperatures and low rainfall characterize the climate. The monthly temperatures range between 26.5°C and 30.0°C, with highs normally recorded between May and August. Mannar receives nearly 60% of its rainfall during the northeast monsoon, which lasts from October through December. The land area is relatively flat and sits at low elevations. Across the region's gently undulating terrain, rainwater is stored in tanks and used for irrigation of arable land. Crop cultivation (primarily paddy), fisheries, and animal husbandry support most people in Mannar District. Employment opportunities in the district are highly seasonal, and there are no institutional facilities for tertiary education. The district is inhabited by members of various communities, though the Tamil-speaking community is the most prevalent.

The last thirty years of conflict in the region have resulted in the displacement of large segments of the area's population. War has destroyed the region's infrastructure, displacement has scattered former communities, and the jungle has swallowed previously populated areas.
The residents of P.P. Potkerney Village are very poor due to the decades-long war. Displaced on multiple occasions, these villagers have lost their houses, their belongings, and many of their loved ones. Now that the conflict has ended, the residents are beginning to return and reclaim their village. Many villagers are currently living in temporary sheds built by the government.

The Prior School Situation

The Need for Suppport: Classes are currently held two 80-square-foot temporary structures. This space is not sufficient for classroom activities, and the buildings are not child friendly. The rooms lack space, light, and ventilation, which make it difficult to conduct classes. In addition, the school lacks basic water facilities, leading to poor sanitation. During rainy days, classes are often canceled and many parents choose to keep their children at home due to the poor condition of the school.

Under the Government’s rehabilitation and resettlement program, the Department of Education asked Room to Read and Opportunity For All to help provide a new building at this school.

Temporary Classrooms

The New School Project

First Day

Students on Opening Day


Mothers at the Opening Day Ceremonies

The new primary school building is approximately 2500 square feet. It is a spacious building with plenty of light and good ventilation. The building is an attractive addition to the community. The exterior of the building is painted to match the existing buildings at the school. The single-story building has five classrooms and built-in storage facilities. There are built-in wall cupboards, which the teachers use for displaying various educational materials donated by Room to Read. Room to Read has provided 200 student tables, 200 student chairs, and 5 sets of tables and chairs for the school.

- Donation of land by the Department of Education
- Clearing of site and excavation of foundation by villagers
- Unskilled labor for construction work provided by parents
- Roof covering installed by community members
- Toilet pit excavation done by community
- Construction management and maintenance by community

- School design, project management, and technical support and supervision
- Funds for school construction
- Interior furnishings, including desks, chairs, chalkboards, cupboards, and other library supplies
- Construction training for community members


OFA's Spangberg Family vists the School