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Education through Sustainability


Program Objectives

  • Broaden the leaning scope of rural schools students by providing computer, internet and library facilities and resources for extra curriculum activities and promote them study the natural and built environment that they are living in.
  • Provide access to computer and internet facilities in the school to village youth and improve their management and enterprise skills.
  • Implement environmental management programs in the school premises and the village through collaborative efforts between school children and village youth.
  • Regenerate the interests among students on ayurvedic medicines and healing systems, indigenous seeds and agricultural systems and traditional organic foods and culinary techniques and encourage villagers to use those
  • Improve the management and enterprise skills of youth and motivate them to invest in agri-tourism related ventures based on local resources practices.

Pilot Project

Gallellagama Sirisnagabo school is located in the Madawachachiya Divisional Secretariat Division of the North Central Province of Sri Lanka is our pilot program. There were 350 students in this school in 2005 and number decreased to 186 in 2008 of which only 80 students attend classes daily as many students have to help their parents in farming. Our pilot program targets to double the total number of students coming to the school within next 5 years.
 
 
 
 
 
Gallellagama and the Moragoda are the two villages situated in the school catchment. This program extends its services to those villages. Expected time span of the program to gain project outcome is five years yet the speedy perception and enthusiasm of partners engaged in the program will determine the exact time period taken to show the expected outcome.

 

Strategy

Engaging rural youth in the development and local decision making process is the key strategy in our approach. The easiest and best mechanism through which this could be made possible is the existing education institutions provided their extra-curriculum are modified focusing on changing attitudes towards sustainable practices.

Our process will begin with re-energizing the rural education system by blending the latent sustainable practices of the villages embedded with the new technological advancements. Most non profit and charitable programs help rural schools with buildings, equipments and scholarships. We could see a considerable gap between such programs and ultimate impacts of the lives of rural youth. We provide resources for computer education, libraries and extra curriculum activities; at the same time we facilitate students to learn basic facts about their village, traditional farming systems, ayurvedic and healing systems, village history, irrigation systems and available resources in the village.

Further, we encourage students to work jointly with village youth groups and farm organizations and explore the opportunities of off farming livelihood opportunities available within their villages. In that respect, we believe the primary education institutions in villages could be used as focal points in transferring knowledge and enhancing the management skills of communities.
 

Background

Sri Lanka has had a lower rate of urbanization compared to global trends. This is a result of structural policy initiatives during 1960s and 70s in the agricultural sector and in rural areas in an attempt to reduce rural poverty. However, as with most countries, the majority of jobs, both public and private sector, are in the urban areas. As a result, needs for urban infrastructure such as transportation, markets and education have become the primary concern of urban planners. This focus is somewhat misdirected and does not solve the underlying problems associated with the large number of rural people continually coming into the cities and straining resources. Nowhere is this more true than with the huge number of rural students seeking education in urban areas.  Read more

 
 
 
 

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