Jaffna Schools Rehabilitation Project

Rehabilitation of schools in the northern districts

Due to the conflict in the northern districts of Sri Lanka, the people returning to their ancestral villages have either none or very little resources and only a long history of displacement, suffering and absence of normalcy in their lives. They need support to rebuild their houses as well as to develop public infrastructure and in particular for school rehabilitation. SDC looks back on a successful history of school rehabilitation projects in the Jaffna District and capitalizes on its excellent collaboration with authorities, principals and parents to extend this project to the district of Kilinochchi. As a result of the project, with more than twenty one schools and four pre-schools constructed or rehabilitated, 10’000 or more children are able to attend school in their own villages. The rehabilitation of two more schools and six pre-schools is still in progress. 

Though the main aim is to support already returned and resettled families by developing village structures, displaced families who have not yet returned are encouraged to return to their villages of origin, with the rehabilitation of schools and access to education for their children.

While the school rehabilitation project benefits from guidelines provided by UNICEF the project is implemented in close collaboration with local authorities, in particular those related to education. Parents, teachers and even students themselves are actively involved in school construction works. The project strives to promote ownership within the communities to encourage better maintenance of the schools.

Sustainability of the rehabilitated schools

In 2009 a survey reviewing the quality status of seventeen of the rehabilitated schools was carried out by the SDC field office in Jaffna in close collaboration with the Engineer of the School works Branch in Jaffna. Twelve schools which were badly in need of refurbishment were renovated. Hartley College, Point Pedro and the Nauffield School for Deaf and Blind in Kaithadi were provided with additional facilities under this maintenance programme.

The School Works Branch who is responsible for planning, construction and maintenance of the schools on the government side. SDC has established a school rehabilitation database in close cooperation with the School Works Branch.