Just the facts....
Status: Complete

School: Thullukudiyiruppu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Mannar

Village: Pesalai

Matching Donor: The Joseph Family

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2011

Grades: 1-11

Students: 317 Students

Thullukudiyiruppu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School Opened in August, 2011


The New School!

Pesalai Community Profile

First Image
The village of Pesalai is located in the district of Mannar, about 330 kilometers north of Colombo. This region has been greatly affected by war, and as a result many of the roads are in poor condition. Because of this it takes about 8 hours to reach the school from the capital of 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 Pesalai 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.

Pesalai Community Profile

This existing school served students in grades 1 through 11. Presently some classes are being conducted in a temporary shed built by the Ministry of Education. The classrooms do not have any type of partitioning, which is very distracting for both students and teachers. Due to these poor conditions, many parents are not sending their children to school. As part of the resettlement program, officials of the Government of Sri Lanka have asked for Opportunity for All and Room to Read's support in building a new schoolroom block in this village.

Pesalai Community Profile

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 Opportunity for All and Room to Read. Room to Read has provided 20 student tables and 40 student chairs for primary school students,160 student desks and chairs for secondary school students, and 5 sets of tables and chairs for the teachers.


Start of construction!

There are many schools in this district that are functioning with inadequate facilities. We are lucky because our school was selected to receive a new building with modern facilities. Previously, we had to use temporary buildings constructed by the local community and to conduct some classes in a science lab and storage room. These were a quick fix to the lack of space and were never meant to be permanent classrooms. We give thanks to Room to Read and Opportunity for All for helping our community.
School Principal