Opportunities to resume education have helped thousands of children get back to normalcy and recover from the tsunami disaster. In the last 11 months, Save the Children in Sri Lanka has built 80 preschools across affected areas and will be completing 80 more reaching a total 40,000 children in 3-5 year age group. To help support pre school education 16,000 pre school kits have also been distributed up to date among children in early childhood development (ECD) centres and welfare camps. Providing supplementary food where necessary is also part of the ECD programme.
Pre school teachers in affected areas needed particular training on helping children to recover from their emotional and psychological setbacks. Save the Children has trained 400 teachers on child protection and psycho social care of children in addition to the regular pre school teacher training. More teachers are receiving this training.
On the request of Ministry of Education, Save the Children is also rehabilitating 21 schools that were used as welfare camps, for the benefit of 15,000 children, and providing extra classes and equipment to more than 11,000 children to help them catch up with their studies. So far, I4, 000 sets of secondary school notes were distributed to ordinary and advanced level students to enable them to take their examinations. Small projects are underway responding to displaced children's educational needs such as providing bicycles to enable them to get to school, setting up study centres and libraries to do their homework. This has enabled both teachers and children to focus on studies and have hope for the future.
The Education Programme of Save the Children has taken accessibility to buildings for the disabled into account in the rebuilding and repair of preschools and schools for which it has assumed responsibility. Save the Children has also responded by encouraging preschools to take in children who have disabilities.