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Fr George Tokes SJ, the Director of Loyola Campus- Mullaitivu has taken a number of initiatives in encouraging the students and children to attend the music, dance and art classes conducted at the Centre. There is a good demand for these classes and the parents are quite interested in sending their students. In order to encourage the students in acquiring these skills, the students form dance class was invited to perform on the feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola, 31 July for the Jesuits who are working in the Northern Mission. The students performed two dance programmes. Jesuits and the parents who were invited for the occasion enjoyed and appreciated the performance of the students.
Fr George Tokes SJ hopes to visit a number of schools in and around Mullaitivu in spreading the news about the new intake in September 2018. The Centre needs a effective strategy in getting more students and winning the confidence of parents. This will definitely lead towards an increase of student numbers. As the Centre develops English and Computer teachers will have to be recruited. Finding qualified and competent teachers who are committed in serving the students remain a challenge for the Centre. At the moment the Centre is in look out for qualified teachers who can be a part of the academic programme of the Centre from September 2018.
The Centre hopes to have a good batch of students for the next intake that will stabilize the academic programme offered at the Centre in collaboration of JWL. The Cambridge English Programme of JWL will definitely assist the students in Mullaitivu and help to bring out the best in them.
Loyola Campus- Mullaitivu is in search of better avenues of serving the student population of Mullaitivu. The Centre feels that a number of students who are neglected by the current education system and discouraged by a very competitive exam practice, remain the recipients who require the intervention of Loyola Campus most.
At the moment the Centre does not offer the GEL programme of JWL as there were no new registration for the batch May-August 2018. Basic preparations are under way to commence the JWL English programme in September 2018 for the post A/L students.
At the moment the Centre is investing on strengthening its children’s classes conducted. Classes are offered for children in music, dance and art. These three important fields are expected to make a tremendous impact in every child and create a better environment for their future growth and development.
There is more eagerness and interest among the parents in sending their children for the music, dance and art classes. The aim of Loyola Campus- Mullaitivu is not to prepare the students for an exam in these subjects but to enhance their life-skills and competencies that create a humane environment for living.
The students who started the course in February 2018 continue their studies under the GEL programme of JWL. Since they started classes later than normal commencement of the batch in January and because of the A/L classes from May, alternative time has been allocated for these students to come and complete the course.
It has been the experience of the Facilitator that these students who attend the GEL programme are quite weak and slow in understanding the most basic components of English language. Hence, the Facilitators need to dedicate more time and effort in explaining to them the basic knowledge. It would be difficult for these students to proceed further without a solid foundation in English. These classes are expected to provide them with a sound basic knowledge in English that they can utilize in their future learnings.
The classes for children in Dance and Music continue with greater enthusiasm. Dance and music is one of the most helpful ways of educating the children of today’s generation about a number of fundamental human values in life that will play a vital role as they grow up in the society. It is not only the skills in music and dance that Loyola Campus- Mullaitivu is interested but forming and helping to develop the complete person.
Despite a myriad of challenges, the Centre continue to offer its services to the students in and around Mullaitivu. One of the most significant challenge the Centre faces is recruiting Facilitators who and qualified and willing to be a part of teaching professional courses in English and Computer.
The first bath of Loyola Campus– Mullaitivu completed their certificate course in English by the end of April. They have had studied at the Centre for a period of three months.
The improvement in English language students who have been a part of Mullaitivu classes is very minimal. This is quite understandable as the opportunities that these students had in initial years for a solid foundation in learning English language is unsatisfactory. Due to war and a number of socio-economic challenges the area has been devastated and people desperately look forward to avenues in rebuilding their lives. It is at this juncture that Loyola Campus– Mullaitivu hopes to make a substantial contribution in the development of the people and their skills in better adjusting to the challenges today.
The fear of English and the traditional prejudices that has been handed over from one generation to another is also a major cause of the reluctance that the Facilitators had witnessed in students. Even before they try mastering the language, many give up and never attempt again. It is this fear and the prejudices that Loyola Campus hopes to break in the classroom providing them freedom and space to grow and develop.
The classes for children on music and dance continue without any disruption. Students regularly participate in these classes with much enthusiasm. It is a joy to see the parents taking great interest in educating their children in these crucial areas that will help their children to develop their personality and self confidence.
Computer classes for students have not begun as of yet due to a number of constraints. A number of repair works are needed for the Centre to be able to better accommodate the students who come for different programmes.