The COVID-19 pandemic has had a bigger impact on the western province and Colombo District where SERVE is operating. For example, when the Government announced that schools and preschools could reopen in February 2021 in all parts of the country except for this province, it meant that Saplings, the preschool in Ratmalana that we support, had to remain closed.
Despite this further setback, SERVE has managed to carry on educating children enrolled at Saplings via home visits by a teacher. Initially, each pupil was given a work-pack that included notebooks and workbooks, colour pencils, drawing books and crayons so that school work could be completed at home. The teacher continues to visit the children twice a month to check their work and to give additional guidance and materials as appropriate. Furthermore, she is in contact with both parents and children on a regular basis by phone.
This month we are pleased to report that seventeen children from Saplings have now obtained permission to progress to the Grade 1 primary school class at the Colombo Hindu College in Ratmalana.
There are currently fifteen students in the second year of Saplings but SERVE has yet to register new comers for 2021. Staff are eagerly awaiting a return to school as soon as the Government grants permission.