Govt responds to reports that children of 8 villages have stopped schooling due to food shortage

The government says that a newspaper report alleging that children of 8 villages in Dimbulagala have stopped schooling due to food shortage is false and inaccurate.

This has been confirmed by the respective District/Divisional Secretaries, Zonal Education Director, Principles of respective schools and the villagers, according to the President’s Media Division.

Four major national newspapers in the country have reported this on Monday (31) with a headline alleging that “children in 08 villages in Dimbulagala have stopped going to school due to food shortages” and also that they are “digging for wild yams and eating forest leaves.”

In response to a written inquiry with regard to this by President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, the Polonnaruwa District Secretary W.A. Dharmasiri and Dimbulagala zonal education director had informed him that the news report is inaccurate, the release said

The Dimbulagala Divisional Secretary and other officials had visited the Dalukana division, the main village where the indigenous Veddah community resides, and had looked into the matter, the PMD said.

The officials had visited the schools in question as well while the principals of the schools had stated that they provide morning and afternoon meals for the children and that there are no children in their schools who do not attend school continuously due to a lack of food.

The principals point out that there are normal children with economic difficulties and that especially there is a situation where a few children come to school intermittently due to the lack of parental desire, but the parents are informed and steps are being taken to avoid it.

However, they further emphasize that there is no situation of children not coming to school due to lack of food as stated in the newspapers articles, the PMD further reports.

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