MJFCF continues to support the 22 schools in Talawakelle in Division 2 of the Nuwara Eliya Education Zone with special modal exams in English, Science and Maths for 750 GCE O/L children who will be sitting the national level exam in December 2011. This special project was commenced in 2010 supporting 950 students from 22 schools who were sitting the national exam in 2010. Talawakelle is a predominantly tea growing area close to Nuwara Eliya in central Sri Lanka. All 22 schools supported by MJFCF under this project are attended exclusively by children of tea plantation workers.
The annual English day competition for the 22 schools of Division 2 in Talawakelle was conducted during the month of November under the guidance of the Divisional Director of the Division Mr. Somasunderam and the In-service Co-ordinator for English – Mrs. Seetha Rajanayagam. 275 student from Grades 9, 10 and 11 from the 22 schools participated in English speech, poetry, essay writing and debate.
The prize distribution ceremony of the English day competition of Division 2 schools was held at CambridgeCollegein Kotagala on 26th November, under the patronage of the Central Provincial Minister of Education. Officials from the Central Provincial Educational Ministry, Zone Directors and Divisional Directors, in service Co-ordinators, Principals and Teachers of the 22 schools and the participants were present at the event.
The respective winners presented their winning performances and children from the participating schools also presented their dance and songs to add glamour to the event.
The entire programme was well presented in English by the senior students of the participating schools and was well appreciated by the audience.
The highlight of the evening was a power point presentation on “The importance of Learning English” by S Radarshan – GCE O/L student of Talawakelle TMV.
S Arun Prasad ofCambridgeCollege, T Sri Ranjan of Wattagoda TMV andS Sinudhaof Talawakelle TMV emerged the best performers in Grade 9, 10 and 11 competitions respectively.CambridgeCollegewon the best overall award followed by St. Patrick’s College and Talawakelle TMV.
Sinudha proposing the vote of thanks paid glowing tribute to Settlor and Founder of the MJF Charitable Foundation Mr. Merrill J Fernando for having given them – the children of Plantation workers, a golden opportunity to fulfill their dreams and aspirations in pursuing their higher education and through that to make a change in the quality of lives of the plantation communities. In conclusion she said “if there were a few more like Mr. Merrill Fernando, this world will be a better place for all of us and his thoughtfulness of the plantation children will always be remembered”.
Division 2 of the Nuwara Eliya Education Zone, which had been supported by MJFCF since 2010 have recorded significant improvement in the over all results at the GCE O/L examination in 2010 compared to 2009 as already reported earlier. Although it was expected to improve the overall results in Maths, English and Science in 2010 compared to 2009 from 28 – 37%, 18 – 24% and 30 – 40% respectively, the final GCE O/L – 2010 results recorded by the students supported by the MJFCF special project exceeded all expectations to 50.84% in Maths, 51.4% in Science and 33.1% in English. Further, Division 2 recorded the best overall performances amongst the 5 Divisions of the Nuwara Eliya Education Zone. This achievement by Division 2, which was supported by MJFCF, was highly appreciated by the Ministry of Education, the Principals and Teachers. They also assured that the performances and achievements at this years (2011) exam will even surpass the 2010 results which augurs well on the initiatives taken by the Foundation and MJFCF will continue to closely monitor the progress of this special project to ensure the expected outcomes are achieved by these plantation students.