One-fifth Jaffna children do not attend schools -survey

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 February 1999, 19:51 GMT]
In a survey conducted in the Jaffna district between November,1997 and May,1998 by a eight-member team headed by Professor Dr.N.Sivarajah, Head of the Department of Community Medicine, Jaffna University, it has been found that 20.1 percent of the school-going children in the Jaffna district are not attending schools.

This is approximately 27,000 children based on the district population figures of 132,859 children aged 5-19 years, according to a report submitted by the Jaffna District Co-ordinator of the Save the Children Fund, Mr.Libby Kennard to the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports, North-Eastern province.

This survey was funded by UNICEF and the Save the Children Fund.

Mr.Sundaram Divakala, Secretary to the Provincial Ministry disclosed the contents of the report when addressing the annual prize giving celebrations of the Trincomalee St.Mary's College held today.

Mr.Andrew de Silva, Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education was the chief guest.

The report further stated that the purpose of the survey was to identify the situation of the school-aged children in the Jaffna district.

Due to the conflict and displacement, many children in the Jaffna district have been unable to pursue their education and their needs have changed. As a result, many children are forced to leave schools to earn money and others failed their examinations due to missed schooling.

Some of the findings of the survey published in that report are:

  • 17.1 percent of the children do not attend schools on a regular basis. This is approximately 23,000.
  • 1.9 percent (approximately 2500) of children are not registered to attend schools.
  • 13.3 percent of children (approximately 17,700) are still displaced.
  • 46.9 percent (about 62,300 ) children come from families with incomes Rs: 2000/- per annum.
  • 10.2 percent (13,500 ) children do not have one or both parents.
  • 0.09 percent (apprx. 1200 ) have a recognisable disability.
  • 6.9 percent (apprx. 9200 ) were employed.

 

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