While the main school in Mahalapitiya may have closed, the privately run Pre-(or Montessori) School has been full to capacity for the past ten years.
The principal is a driven woman – driven to give the youngsters in her village the best possible educations, and so it was with a heavy heart that she announced that unless parents paid the monthly Rs 500 (£2.50) fee on time, she would be forced to close this July. The parents, it seemed, simply did not have the cash.
When Extra Cover learned of this sad state of affairs, Robert went along to visit. It is a simply wonderful place. Soon thereafter a day-house at Brighton College agreed to pay for the two teachers’ salaries (£50 pcm) for a year, and Extra Cover has agreed to fund the provision of a daily nutritious meal and other basic resources (e.g. a small cooker and a canister of propane gas).
There are twenty children at the school – twenty children whose future is now brighter than their parents (and school principal) could have hoped.