The Education Ministry has granted permission to upgrade sixteen schools in the Nuwara Eliya district to the level of national schools, said Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure State Minister Jeevan Thondaman. The decision was taken by the Education Ministry after a request made by his father, the late Minister Arumugam Thondaman, Minister Jeevan Thondaman told the Education Times. Among the provincial and high schools to be provided with infrastructure facilities and developed into nationals schools are: Highlands College in Hatton, St. John Bosco’s College in Nuwara Eliya, Talawakelle Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, Holbrook Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, St. Mary’s College in Bogawantalawa, Tamil Maha Vidyalayam in Norwood, St. Joseph’s College in Maskeliya, Holy Rosary Maha Vidyalaya in Bloomfield, Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, Ragala Tamil Vidyalam, Holy Trinity Tamil High School and Mariya Tamil Maha Vidyalayam.
“Due to a lack of facilities students drop out of school and end up doing menial jobs. To improve the quality of education, it is important to have many national schools in the district equipped with buildings, IT and science laboratories and human resources. Even with limited resources we see many students excelling at state examinations,” the Minister said. He said discussions are being held with Education Minister G. L. Peiris to provide the above schools with better facilities. “The 16 schools will come under the Government’s 1000 national schools project,” the Minister said. He had also requested for several schools in the district to be upgraded into trilingual schools.
In the recently released grade five scholarship exam results, Highlands College in Hatton (181) and Cambridge College in Kotagala (168) had the highest cut off marks in the Tamil medium mixed school category. Minister Thondaman said plans are also underway to construct a university in the Hatton- Kotagala area, with a focus on agriculture and plantation research. “The land area to build the university has been inspected and the Ministry is now in the process of determining the academic departments of the proposed university. The construction process will begin after this is finalised,” the Minister said. (NF)