Update Sri Lanka - 12/31/2008

Graduation for IB Train the Trainer Project Teachers

Sixty preschool teachers from tsunami villages graduate at a traditional ceremony in Sri Lanka; the first program of its kind.

For more information, contact Anne Evans, PYP Board Representative at pypteacher@mac.com

The two year project of the IB is having an impact on the nation. National bodies seek our assistance with implementing their programs in bringing new practices to this basic stage of education. IB schools have partnered in building new schools and providing toilets, running water or fixing roof leaks in existing schools.

Now that the first stage of the project has come to a close, we are seeking donors to continue this very important work and partnership schools to assist our teachers with needed repairs to buildings (many need roofs and toilets!) or to build a classroom. Donations can be made to IB Fund and may be tax deductible.

One week before the final module in the series of 12 modules, one of the participants lost her husband in a road accident. It had been with her husband's support and encouragement that she had taken the class and in his honor, despite her grief, she completed all 12 modules and proudly walked across the stage the day after his funeral.

Stories like this one have filled our hearts with pain as we have watched teachers overcome their fears, personal tragedies and even the lack of support of families and travel great distances from their villages to take part in changing the face of preschool education in Sri Lanka.

Some children in the regions which have experienced recent terrorist attacks have started to exhibit anxiety and stress and against this backdrop, volunteer IB teachers and administrators from a dozen nations have come to train these teacher trainers of the future. Against this backdrop, IB schools have raised funds to build classrooms for the teachers and California educators have been prominent in volunteering.

Each of the teacher trainers has established at least 4 new preschools and trains their staff after each module so that the work of the project becomes sustainable and the network of teachers and villages touched by our program has grown to 200.

A typical village school has one classroom and often lacks running water or play facilities. A school can contribute $12,000 to build a new school. Schools lack books. Help us publish teacher created materials such as this page from a book by one of the teachers. $300 will place a book in the hands of all the teachers.

We welcome teachers of all ethnicities and religious beliefs and support the UN mandate: Education for All.

Slideshow Information:

  • Slide 1: Children from two of the model preschools and their teachers greet Dr. Aryaratne and the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Development with a traditional gift of leaves at the start of the graduation ceremony for teachers from tsunami affected regions of the island of Sri Lanka.
  • Slide 2: Handmade banners decorate the hall
  • Slide 3: Tamil teachers decorate the floor with traditional colored rice designs before the ceremony. Lighting the flame of knowledge and placing lighted candles in a bowl of water precede the award of certificates and gifts from IB of presentation pen sets.
  • Slide 4 & 5: Traditional Dancers welcome the guests as teachers line up to share their exhibition of work
  • Slide 6: Dr. Aryaratne, spiritual leader of Sarvodaya the IB partner n.g.o. welcomes the elders of child care and development to the ceremony
  • Slide 7: Children from Sarvodaya model preschools line up with their teachers to make offerings to guests
  • Slide 8: Each teacher trainer places a candle in a bowl
  • Slide 9: Glynn Richards, Manager of IB Projects awards the certificates to program graduates
  • Slide 10: Exterior of the school
  • Slide 11: Creative drawing of Udawalawa National Park

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