Photos
Logo
 

Photos: In Sri Lanka, the dangerous climb some kids are making for online school

AP

Published on July 13, 2021 at 12.56

The teachers and some 45 schoolchildren in Bohitiwaya then climb more than 3km to the top of a rock to find an internet signal.

khaleejtimes - photos

Getting online school lessons for residents of this remote Sri Lankan village requires a trek through dense bushes sometimes visited by leopards and elephants.
khaleejtimes - photos

The teachers and some 45 schoolchildren in Bohitiwaya then climb more than 3 kilometers (2 miles) to the top of a rock to find an internet signal.
khaleejtimes - photos

Information technology teacher Nimali Anuruddhika uses the signal to upload lessons for her students who haven’t been able to go to school because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
khaleejtimes - photos

The students who also live in the village make the same climb to download online lessons sent to them by their teachers.
khaleejtimes - photos

Not all have mobiles or laptops, with four or five children sharing one device.
khaleejtimes - photos

Their parents, most of whom are farmers, often accompany their children.
khaleejtimes - photos

H.M. Pathmini Kumari, who accompanies his sixth-grade son, says the children climb the rock twice a day and their safety is a big concern for parents.
khaleejtimes - photos

The village in the central-eastern part of the island country lacks basic amenities, and its children had been studying in a government school, now closed, that is some 16 kilometres (10 miles) away.
khaleejtimes - photos

In the village of Lunugala, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) away, adults escort schoolchildren to a mountaintop treehouse in a forest reserve.
khaleejtimes - photos

It’s about 30 feet high and has internet access.
khaleejtimes - photos

They take turns to upload their homework and download lesson plans.
khaleejtimes - photos

Schools in Sri Lanka have been closed for the most part since March 2020.
khaleejtimes - photos

Authorities say they make every effort to provide all children access to education, but Joseph Stalin, who heads the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, says at most 40 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 4.3 million students can participate in online classes.
khaleejtimes - photos

The majority lack access to devices or connectivity.
khaleejtimes - photos

Sri Lanka’s government on Monday began a campaign to vaccinate all teachers with a view to reopen schools soon.
 
 
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery