Home » Vavuniya News
Category Archives: Vavuniya News
It would be correct to name the month of July as a silent month. There was a deep sense of silence which was prevailing throughout the campus. The major reason for this was the dwindling number of students. Especially after the last batch which was high in number the present situation is like a big vacuum. Even though the number is less the teachers take maximum efforts to continue the classes in an usual manner. The present situation also reminds us that our focus should be the quality of the individuals who are strengthened through our efforts rather than worrying about the numbers.
Mr Billy and Mr Callum, the Australian volunteers took a month break starting from 22 June until 23 July in order to spend some time with their relatives and friends who visited them from Australia. It was a well deserving holiday for them after all their hard work and constant availability at the campus. During their break they were kind enough to visit the campus with their family and friends. They also had a common interaction with the students which added to the international exposure of the students.
We have been busy with our preparations to commence the next batch. We initiated it by trying to give a new outlook to the campus. We had to place a new iron covering mesh on our well removing the sheets which were on it under the recommendations of the Dengue Prevention unit. We also repainted our walls and planning to make them more attractive before commencing the classes for the new batch. We are also planning to restructure the children’s classes that we conduct within our campus as an outreach programme. Through this we hope that more children will benefit from the opportunity offered to them.
The month of June brought about many changes both within the Campus and within the mindsets of the students. The month began with ‘World Environment Day’ in which students partook in small activities and watched numerous short videos and speeches concerning the wellbeing of the earth. This day was not only beneficial in enhancing the students’ ability to speak publically in English but also in the development of their understanding of the growing environmental issues in our world. As a result of this day, students came up with numerous plans to encourage sustainability within the Loyola Campus including; disposing and separating garbage, using less plastic and planting more trees. The day also included the planting of a tree within the campus symbolic of the progress of the students’ environmental maturity.
This month also brought about more changes within the staff of our Loyola Campus with our longest tenured staff member, Dina Nirushana, leaving to Peradeniya National College of Education. Her commitment and work within the campus has been greatly appreciated and she has made a huge impression in the lives of all of her students not only through her ability to teach English but also through her generous nature. She will be missed deeply within this community and we wish her all the best for her future endeavours. The departure of Dina Nirushana also came with the recruitment of a new staff member, Thigashan, who will be taking both Elementary and Pre-Intermediate classes. Bro. Francis S.J also said goodbye to the campus in order to pursue his higher studies. During his short tenure at the campus, he helped us immensely for the campus maintenance also conducted spoken Sinhala classes.
The GEL classes are being conducted for A2, B1 and B2 level students in spite of the low number of students. The less number of students in a way has given us a chance give individual attention for each and every student. We also have ample time to conduct various class room activities to develop the practical English skills of the students.
May has been a month of endings and new beginnings. It is indeed, a month full of different experiences for the staff and the students. At the beginning of May, the staff attened a Teacher Training programme organised by the Country Office in Kandy. The training was for three days. Connecting with staff from all over the country allowed ideas and experiences to be shared between the staff, while also increasing the strength of relationships.
Loyola Campus bid farewell to Fr M Eliaz SJ, the outgoing Director of Loyola Campus- Vavuniya. Fr M Eliaz SJ has been a part of Loyola Campus- Vavuniya for the period of nearly one year. He has contributed towards the development of the Centre through his years of experience and knowledge in the education field. The staff and the students too showed their love and appreciation to Fr. Elias during a farewell function organised on 10 May.
The new term started on 14 May 2018. They are a number of old students who have returned wanting to follow English course. There are also a number of new students who are eager to improve their skills in a number of areas. The Centre will offer Elementary, Pre-Intermediate and Upper Intermediate classes on English as well as Computer classes and classes for children.
The month also marks the tenure of Fr Dilan Perera SJ, as the Director of Loyola Campus- Vavuniya. Fr Dilan conducted the orientation for the new batch on 21 May 2018. During the orientation a number of important areas were highlighted for the benefit of the new students.
The month of April has brought in fresh energy with Easter and New Year. This time also has provided the staff for respite during a busy month of operation. Due to a number of transitions and the completion of the certificate courses started in January 2018, the month of April had been quite hectic.
After Easter Sunday, the campus started functioning regularly. The volunteers had taken a week off to spend time with their Australian friends who have volunteered in Galle. During the second week of April students were encouraged to write articles on Ecology and Religion, the theme selected for the forthcoming issue of Loyola Campus magazine.
A staff meeting was held on 9thApril 2018. Some of the important issues take up for consideration were the diploma course, preparation work of Loyola Campus inventory, students’ data sheet, fixing date for the final exam, planning for the next intake, and so on. We had also discussed about practical hours that the students have to complete before their sit for the final exam.
As part of practical work of the students, the Intermediate students made PowerPoint presentations in groups on 21April. The topics were limited to Vavuniya district. The main purpose was to create awareness among the students on the conditions of the area they live. However, Pre-Intermediate students were given selected topics from their course book to make it rather easy for them.They also had their presentations on the same day. Whereas, Elementary students covered their practical hours through teaching children at Loyola Campus and those in the neighborhoods they live.
Ms. Premini and Fr M Elias were present for the Certificate Awarding Ceremony of Loyola Campus Mannar on 21April and we appreciate the quality and the content of the programmes arranged by Staff and students.
Loyola Campus- Vavuniya organized a parents’ meeting in the month of April 2018. It was attended by approximately 35 parents of the current batch of students who commenced their courses in January 2018. The meeting of parents and teachers have proved to be a fruitful one as it was the first occasion for the parents to see Loyola Campus, the learning environment and meet the teachers and other staff who are at Loyola Campus.
A number of parents appreciated the service rendered by Loyola Campus towards the betterment of the students in and around of Vavuniya. The parents noted with surprise how the children are eager to come to Loyola Campus and be a part of the learning process.
The Graduation Day was held on 24thMarch 2018. The Chief Guest was Mr. A E S Patrick, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Bio-Science, Faculty of Applied Science, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, and the Guests of Honor Fr Ramesh, OMI Chaplain and Lecturer, College of Education, Vavuniya, Fr Augustine, Dean and Parish Priest, Komarasankulam and Fr Satya Raj, Parish Priest, Vavuniya. Fathers and Sisters from neighborhood Religious Communities also participated. Besides the graduate students, parents and students of the current batch and children studying in the Campus were part of the gathering. We were happy to have Fr Roy, the Country Director of Loyola Campus and Delegate, JWL Sri Lanka and Mr. Thiranjala, Manager Academics and Finance, Loyola Campus Sri Lanka.
The month of February was in-deed a busy and a fruitful month for Loyola Campus, Vavuniya for a number of reasons. The month of March was marked by a num-ber of classroom activities initiat-ed by the Facilitators in order to enhance the level of knowledge of students. A number of students who were identified to be weak in skill areas they are expected to master was given extra attention and assistance.
Loyola Campus welcomed the arrival of Fr Dilan Perera, SJ, the latest addition to Loyola Campus, Vavuniya team. After a process of gradual familiarization, Fr Dilan Perera, SJ is expected to take over as the Director of Loyola Cam-pus, Vavuniya from the month of May 2018.
A parents’ meeting for the Janu-ary-April 2018 batch was orga-nized on 10 March. Around 40 parents attended the meeting that proved to be fruitful for the insti-tution. The parents expressed pleasure and joy in the manner in which their children have pro-gressed in their use of English language. Moreover, the eagerness of their children to attend classes at Loyola Campus regularly was highlighted. Some parents had shared their surprise seeing how the students engaged with the Facilitators of Loyola Campus.
On 24 March around 90 students who completed their courses in English, Computer and Sinhala during the period May to Decem-ber 2017 received their certifi-cates. Prof Anton Emmanuel S Patrick, The Senior Lecturer of Bio-Science Department, Faculty of Applied Science, Vavuniya Campus, Jaffna University was the Chief Guest. The students from the current batch performed a number of programmes to en-tertain the guests, parents and the students who were receiving the certificates. The classes continue with much satisfaction and visible progress on the part of students.
The month of February was packed with a number of activities at the Centre which kept the students and the facilitators engaged. One-day Life Skills training was conducted on 31January 2018. The training programme was designed to facilitate the students to better understand themselves and their surroundings. The concept of self-awareness, which is one of the fundamental ones in anyone’s life was discussed and reflected. The trainer engaged the trainees actively in exercises and group sessions which kept them fully involved.
Taking into consideration the weak reading ability among the students, the Centre commenced loud reading sessions for students in the mornings before the classes commence. Weekly Story Writing is another activity the Centre has introduced with the objective of improving the writing skills of students.
The students took the online Cambridge English Placement Test (CEPT) on 15Feburuary as planned and it was done in different batches. Being the first time, the facilitators found it rather difficult to administer the test.
Loyola Campus- Vavuniya is happy to welcome Callum and Billy, the two volunteers from Australia who arrived at Loyola Campus on 13February 2018. Their presence among the students will add much value and enable the students to better improve their conversation skills in English language.
Loyola Campus was privileged to receive Fr General and his team along with the members of JCSA on 22 February. On the following day morning, there was a Eucharistic celebration at St Antony’s Parish Church along with the religious and Priests from the neighborhood. The following day, the students travelled to Trincomalee to be a part of the event where Vavuniya students performed a song.
During the first week of January, Loyola Campus was busy with preparations for the admission of new batch, which was scheduled to commence on 8 January 2018. The placement test for the students who enrolled were conducted on 8 January. Approximately 40 students attended the placement test on 8 January. The final list of students indicating the level they were placed was displayed soon after. Normal classes began from 9 January 2018. The students who enrolled late face the placement exams separately.
Earlier the teachers had shifted the library to the hall in the upstairs with the help of past students to facilitate better use. The staff felt that the students of the previous batch did not use this learning resource sufficiently. We have also made arrangements to display the newspapers in the same hall for easy access for students.
Prior to the commencement of the classes the staff had an extensive discussion on the procedure during the upcoming enrollment of the students. The meeting that lasted for almost two hours helped the staff clarify certain important areas of enrollment and placement process. Another follow-up meeting was held during the third week of January.
December 2017 not only is the last month of the calendar year, but also the last month of the current batch of students. The academic activities came to a halt with the last exam on 22December 2017. However, for both the staff and the students it was a busy month filled with several activities. Just before the month started on 28November the students submitted their assignments which was part of an exercise in writing skill.
On the first day of December, the students were assigned with topics for PPT Presentation. The choice of the topics aimed at making the students to have an overall awareness of the nation and the northern part of Sri Lanka which is the region where the students come to Loyola Campus Vavuniya. In view of making the students to have service experience, a schedule was prepared which was implemented during 4 – 14 December. Through this schedule, upper grade students took classes for the lower grade students. Some students had experience of teaching English to children in the evenings on campus. Some were working in the library, arranging books and cleaning the library.
Students were taken to Trincomalee for a trip on 17December. Though it was a Sunday, most of the students participated enthusiastically. It was a being together and enjoying the day which left them with pleasant memories.
The students of Computer Application Assistant (CAA) had their practical exam during 12 – 14 Dec. and the three-hour theory was on 22ndDec as per the questions sent by the Country Office (CO). The GEL exams for the students of different levels was conducted on 22 December as planned earlier. The question papers were sent by the Country Office and it was conducted as per the guidelines given by the Country Office. The students were fully prepared to face the exams with preparations and they were clearly explained about the mode of the exam.
Loyola Campus Vavuniya had the Christmas celebration on 20thDec evening in which the children of the Campus and the co-workers joined. Students prepared a variety of programmes which lasted for 90 minutes. Teachers and the co-workers were presented with gifts in appreciation of their service to the student learners in the campus. All enjoyed the refreshments at the end of the celebration. It was very spontaneous and earlier the students decorated the Halls with balloons, Christmas Tree and Crib.
Staff meetings were conducted twice, one on 6thDec and the other on 20th. The different activities of the Campus were discussed and appropriate decisions taken. The meetings paid much attention to the conduct of the exam and the guidelines given by the CO, for it was the first experience for us and we wanted to fully adhere to the instructions and fulfil the expectations of the CO. In the second meeting, arrangements during the break days were planned so that the campus will have a person always present for any enquiry about the programme of the campus.