Tuesday, September 19, 2017 02:48:46 PM

The Road to School: Access to Education in the Plantation Sector

By Raisa Wickrematunge - Wed Aug 16, 1:07 am

For children living in Spring Valley estate, close to Badulla, the day begins at 5:30 am, when they begin to get ready for the bus to school. The bus leaves at 6:20 am and travels for 3 kilometres. From there, it’s another 2 kilometre walk to the Spring Valley Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. The Vice Principal says a few of the children walk the entire way – a journey of around one and a half hours.

This is still better than the plight of schoolchildren attending Old Peacock Tamil Vidyalayam, Gampola, according to its principal, S Rajaram. Some schoolchildren here have to travel as far as 12 kilometres. The farthest estates, perched high up in the hills, are inaccessible by vehicle as the roads are so bad. Due to this, many of the children have to walk a large part of the journey. There are buses along the route, but children have to get up very early to make one bus, or risk being late for school….

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