School News

The fear factor: is it safe to go back to school?

Monday, 13th of May 2019

With the calamity that shook the streets of Sri Lanka just two weeks ago, the whole Nation has a ‘fear factor’ in them. Getting back on our feet as a country is taking more time as the situation is currently being analyzed and the triforces are on full effect securing the Nation. Among this chaos, the education sector has recoiled back just to ensure the safety of the students. The safety and security of schools is on the minds everybody, including the educators, as it is vital that plans, processes and systems be in place to protect people and property.

Talking to the current Principle of Gateway, Colombo and Chairman of the Gateway Group and former President of the International Schools of Sri Lanka (TISSL), Dr. Harsha Alles spoke about a “fear psychosis” in the citizens due to the shock faced. He noted that “this level of fear was not experienced even during the LTTE terrorist war”. Dr. Alles went on to state that the schools have to play a major role in ensuring the safety of students. “Schools have to consider security as top priority. Parents, teachers and the management board of schools should get together at this time to safeguard students.”

Dr. Alles also noted that while the citizens have a large role to play ensuring the safety of their children, it is on part of the Government to build confidence in people that their children will be safe in schools. He stated, “I appreciate the protection given by the armed forces to all schools including private schools at this time.”. “While the economy has taken a step back, now is the time for all of us to get together and build the country. The ‘wait and see’ approach will not do anybody any good”, he concluded. The fear factor is what keeps everyone at bay from going on with life.

It’s only being two weeks and the damage caused has left deep impacts on all our lives. Students need a safe environment to study in and ensuring that is in all of our hands. The armed forces are up, day and night protecting the whole Nation. Investigations are carried out on locating perpetrators, and support was given by the FBI and Interpol in analyzing and safeguarding the high threat situation of the country. The low turnout in schools were the best examples of how the fear has taken over the community and the education sector is highly affected. While the fear is justified, as a Nation, community and country it is our responsibility to get back up on our feet.

Devuni Goonewardene

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