Just the facts....
Status: Complete

School: Thampanaikulam Government Tamil Mixed School

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Mannar

Village: Thampanaikulam

Matching Donor: The Spangberg Family

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2011

Grades: 1-5

Students: 181 Students

Thampanaikulam Tamil School opened in August 2011


The New School!

Thampanaikulam Community Profile

The village of Thampanaikulam is located in Mannar District, about 300 kilometers north of Colombo. This region was greatly affected by war, and as a result many of the roads are in poor condition. Due to the neglected condition of the roads, it takes about 8 hours to reach the school from Colombo.

The district of Mannar is 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 on the mainland within the arid and dry zone, with high temperatures and low rainfall characterizing 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 of the people in Mannar. 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 and left communities without homes and the jungle has swallowed formerly populated areas. The residents of Thampanaikulam are very poor due to the 30-year war. Displaced on multiple occasions, these villagers have lost their houses, their belongings, and in some cases their loved ones as well. The shelters consist of temporary tin sheet sheds built by the government or International NGOs. The villagers are dependent on cultivation as their main source of income and many of them work for daily wages. Drinking water is obtained from dug wells. Presently the government is involved in rebuilding the infrastructure of the area.


Why build a new school?

This school currently serves students from grades 1 through 5. Presently, the classes are being conducted in a community building which does not have partitioned rooms. Children have difficulty in concentrating during class due to overcrowding and distractions. The lighting and ventilation for the building are also in poor condition. Due to this poor infrastructure, some parents are not sending their children to school. As part of the resettlement program, officials of the Government of Sri Lanka have asked for support in constructing a new school building in this village.

The school project

The new primary school building is approximately 2500 square feet. It is a spacious building with plenty of light and good ventilation and 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 in addition to storage facilities. There are built-in concrete wall cupboards, which the teachers use for displaying various educational materials donated by Room to Read and Opportunity for All. Opportunity for All and Room to Read has provided 100 student tables, 200 student chairs for primary students and 5 sets of tables and chairs for the teachers.


The New school under construction