Rs. 681,625,800.00 allocated for Covid 19 precautionary activities at schools

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Rifthi Ali

Education is essential for the economic development of the country.

Students continued their educational activities from time to time through the direct learning process. However, schools have been closed for several consecutive months since mid-February 2020 in order to protect students from the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Although educational activities were carried out through online platforms during this period, it was not a great success. Thus, last year the Ministry of Education announced that all the students were promoted to the next grade without conducting the final term examination.

However, the Ministry of Education had taken steps to reopen the schools amidst various difficulties, to carry out the educational activities in the best possible manner in 2021.

Nevertheless , schools have been closed indefinitely again due to the third wave of coronavirus in the country following the New Year celebrations.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has allocated an amount of Rs. 681,625,800.00 for all schools in the country for the opening of schools for the first term this year.

This information was obtained through applications submitted to the provincial education departments in the country through the RTI. 

Meanwhile, schools for the first term of 2021 reopened on January 11 amidst the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Of the 10,116 schools nationwide, only 7,314 schools in eight provinces, except those in the Western Province, were opened.

Meanwhile, 907 schools in the Western Province were reopened on January 26 specially for GCE (Ordinary Level) examination students.

However, parents were hesitant to send their children  to schools concerning the spread of the virus.  . Therefore, as a solution, the Ministry of Education has allocated an amount of Rs. 681,625,800.00 for the execution of health protocols against Covid-19. 

Provincial Education DepartmentFund allocated for national school Fund allocated for provincial schools Total funds allocated for schools 
Eastern 73,711,850.00
Northern 1,585,500.0056,125,700.0057,711,200.00
North Central 55,657,650.00
North Western  3,000,000.0076,912,500.0079,912,500.00
Central 7,389,050.0096,683,270.00104,072,320.00
Sabragamuwa  1,260,280.0062,535,500.0063,795,780.00
Uva 61,247,100.00
Total 19,934,440.00363,155,510.00681,625,800.00

Rs. 19,934,440 has been allocated for National Schools in the five provinces of South, North, North Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa and Rs. 363,155,510.00 has been allocated for Provincial Schools. 

Information regarding funds allocation for national and provincial schools in the other four provinces – East, Western, North Central and Uva – have not been provided for our RTI application. 

Funding is provided by the Ministry of Education according to the total number of students in the school. It is noteworthy that the above funds have been used for various health requirements such as hand washing system, medical room system, disinfection, sanitizers, cleaning activities, thermometer purchase, face masks, face shields, soaps, renovation of water systems etc.

Funds allocated by the Ministry of Education’s circular No. 15/2020 under the Central Government are forwarded to the Zonal Education Offices through the Provincial Education Department and have been deposited in the Bank Account of the School Development Association.

Meanwhile, the North Central Province Chief Minister has allocated Rs. 12,765,000.00 for 380 schools in several areas in Anuradhapura district: Keppitikolawa (127 schools), Galenbindunuwewa (95 schools) and for areas inPolonnaruwa district:  Hingurakgoda (54 schools) and Dimbulagala (104 schools). The Provincial Department of Education operates under this Ministry.

However, no information on the allocation of funds by the Provincial Ministries of Education in the other eight provinces was provided to our RTI application.

In addition, Rs. 26,810,000.00 has been allocated to 222 schools in the Keppitikolawa and Galenbindunuwewa Education Zones in the Anuradhapura District under the Plan Sri Lanka Project. It is also funded by the Ministry of Education for the Sunday schools and teachers resource centers.

There are 99 education zones in all the 25 districts of our country. There are  17 education zones in the Eastern Province while there are only tseven education zones in the Sabaragamuwa Province.

Provincial Education DepartmentNo. of districts No. of educational zones 
Central 315
Northern 512
Southern 311
Western 311
Uva 210
Northern Central 208
North Western 208
Sabaragamuwa 207

Meanwhile, the maximum number of education zones is seven in Ampara district and the minimum number of education zones is in Kilinochchi district. Also, there are only two education zones in Mannar, Mullaitivu and Puttalam districts.

Meanwhile, there are 374 national schools and 9,792 provincial schools nationwide. Of these, a maximum of 1,520 schools are in the Central Province and a minimum of 817 schools are in the North Central Province.

A maximum of 75 national schools are found in the Western Province and a minimum of 22 National Schools are found in the Northern Province. There are a maximum of 1,466 provincial schools in the Central Province and a minimum of 802 provincial schools in the North Central Province.

Provincial education departmentNational schools Provincial schoolsTotal  
Northern  22967989
Southern 671,0401,107
Western 751,2791,354
Northern Central 15802 817 
North Western  371,2091,246
Central   5414661520
Sabragamuwa  2810921120
Uva 36862898
Total 374979210166

 The above information has been received through the RTI Applications submitted to the nine Provincial Departments of Education in the country.

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