Annual Report 2021
On January 2, we started the new school year with only the staff members present because of the corona pandemic. We provided lunch for 3 monks from “our temple” as the opening of the new school year.
All school buildings had to be disinfected again according to the corona rules and an inspector from the Health Service came to visit to check everything.
It was not until January 25 that all schools in Sri Lanka reopened. Our deaf students returned with happy faces because they saw their classmates again after a long time of isolation. We could not accept new deaf children due to the corona crisis. We started the new school year with 23 boys and 22 girls. The staff was as follows: the founder/principal, the director, the vice principal, 5 teachers, 2 matrons, 1 gardener, 2 kitchen staff, 1 accountant, 1 speech therapist, 1 dance teacher.
The Agriculture Course was temporarily stopped due to the corona crisis.
The Principal opened the new Smart Class for digital education in February.
Unfortunately, the annual climb of Adams Peak could not take place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new computers arrived at the end of March. This was made possible by a successful campaign, organized by Dr. R.J. Reijntjes in collaboration with the Wilde Ganzen.
The used computers, which were 16 years old and fortunately well maintained, were donated to a remote School for the Deaf in Balangoda. A few staff members and students personally handed over these computers to the Deaf School.
In April we celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with all the traditions and a game day that goes with it.
At the end of April, all schools were closed due to the sudden big corona wave that arose after the massive celebration of New Year!
There was even a complete lockdown in August, when the number of Covid-19 patients rose on average to 3000 cases and 170 deaths per day.
Fortunately, the number of corona cases decreased, partly due to strict measures and all vaccinations, so that we could finally open the school again on October 25.
UNICEF wrote in an article in November that Sri Lanka had become a developing country again due to the corona pandemic.
Due to the lockdown, many jobs were lost, especially in the tourist sector, shops had to close, people who worked in the Middle East came back etc.
Our students worked hard, we gave a lot of extra lessons in the free hours, to make up for the backlog. Except for the dance lessons, all other lessons, such as the cookery class, the handicraft and drawing lessons were allowed to continue normally. We lived in a “bubble”, which means that the children could not go home even on the weekends. Moreover, we were not allowed to receive visitors in school. The students quickly got used to it, especially since we all watched a nice movie together on the big screen on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Monsoon rains started in November, causing flooding in several places, especially in the areas around Nuwara Eliya, where all the vegetables for the land are grown. Supply was limited and prices doubled. It also became increasingly difficult to obtain petrol, diesel, gas, milk powder and medicines. All the lockdowns, the terrorist attack on churches and hotels in 2019 and an unstable government contributed to Sri Lanka’s financially worsening condition. To be brief; the government treasury was virtually empty!
On the last day of school in December, we said goodbye to Ruvini, a much-loved teacher who has been committed to our deaf children for 30 years. As a gift she received a smart phone from the School Trust. She was very moved and the students also shed a lot of tears.
The O/Level (MAVO) exams, which normally take place in December, have been postponed until the spring of 2022 due to the lockdowns, because the candidates weren’t ready yet. Our school has 4 candidates who will sit for this exam next year.